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Lexus dreaming of the F world

The future for Lexus could be sprinkled with high-performance models as its F label becomes as important as an M badge at BMW.

The chief engineer of the brand's breakthrough IS-F, Yukihiko Yaguchi, is already checking everything from the GS sedan to the RX soft-roaders for their potential for an F upgrade.

He wants more and to do more, even if there is no firm plan.

“It hasn't been decided yet but, yes, I would like to do that,” Yaguchi says at the Australian press preview drive of the IS-F at Fuji Speedway in Japan.

“It is just an idea . . . but the IS F was just an idea, also.”

Yaguchi made the $150,000 IS-F a personal campaign, battling management reluctance and limited support to produce a 5.0-litre V8 competitor for long-standing luxury performance vehicles from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

“I wanted to develop a new breed of animal for Lexus,” Yaguchi says.

“In general our company produces rather rational cars and it was certainly a very difficult project . . . I cannot say what the future holds.”

Lexus Australia boss John Roca hopes Yaguchi's IS-F will not be a one-shot wonder.

“There is nothing on the drawing board at this stage, but you certainly wouldn't rule out similar performance derivatives of GS and LS in the future,” Roca says.

“This (car) will also give our existing customers a boost. As much as we have had potential customers wanting to buy a Lexus had this type of vehicle been available, we also have existing customers who have clearly shown they are ready to move into a car of this type.”