I fear for this Lexus IS F. One day, sometime around 2018, this car will find itself in the nether reaches of the second hand car world. We know that it will for two reasons.

First, because it will survive that long, even if neglected. It's a Lexus, which is a posh Toyota, and if you glance around you will find plenty of time-worn Corollas and Carinas still giving loyal service as minicabs (not to mention those indestructible Toyota pick-ups so beloved in the Tora Bora). Old Lexuses are bearing up well, too. Toyota wanted their upmarket Lexus marque to rival Mercedes-Benz for durability; they've done it, inside 20 years of its launch.

The second reason that this Lexus will still be on the streets is that it is a very desirable motor; crucially, it has a proper V8 which never loses its appeal, especially not in this compact packaging. However, it drinks lots of fuel and is going to be fairly unfashionable quite soon. In other words, it will be a pretty cheap set of fast wheels for someone, somewhere in a few years' time. Its list price is £51,155 and I'd be surprised if it made a tenth of that in a decade. It's a muscley thing now, though not pretty - the automotive equivalent of Daniel Craig, perhaps. As is passes into the hands of the "customisers", it will no doubt gain a pointless boot spoiler, some gold badging (why do so many old Lexuses have this?), even bigger alloys and semi-legal little blue lights. It will spend its last hundred thousand miles burdened by such indignities before it meets the crusher.

So what will the bargain hunter of tomorrow get, apart from eight sonorous, torquey cylinders? An eight speed automatic gearbox, to make the most of the engine's high-flow intake ports, high-lift valve train, compact intake fuel surge tank and oil scavenge pump, if they're still working. Adjustable cruise control for the motorway, so all you do is steer. Nice comfy leather seats. Harsh suspension. A biggish boot. A sat nav that isn't that wonderful, actually (it seemed to take some time to find its bearings on our test car). And lots of exhilaration. You don't have to be very aggressive with it for it to wriggle it s bottom a bit; traditional rearwheel drive you see. Doing the German thing again. The F in "Lexus IS F", by the way, refers to the Fuji Speedway, the car's 'home circuit' where presumably they honed its, ahem, edgy handling.

I'll be looking for a straight, clean IS F in about December 2018. If I find one I promise I won't put gold badges on it.

Price £51,155

Top speed 168mph

0-60mph 4.8 seconds

Consumption 24.8mpg

CO2 emissions 270g/km

Best for Second hand bargain hunters

Also worth considering? BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Vauxhall VXR8.

Search for used cars

Comments