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Discussion Starter #1
Just got home from the Lexus event at Englishtown, NJ. A very worhwhile event although the initial 30 mins presentation of BMW, Audi and IS by the organizers was a little stilted as you might expect. A bonus here was the appearance of the SC430 (silver) at the end of the presentation - I will hopefully be getting one next year.

Next we went outside for an acceleration/decceleration demonstration pitting the IS300 against the BMW 328i (auto). The two cars were lined up at the far end of the straight and near us were two large paper barriers, one for each car to hit. Both cars (professional drivers with a spectator on board) hit the gas when the green flag dropped. Within a second the IS was slightly ahead and by the time they came up to the checkered flag the IS was over a car length ahead. Both cars stood on the brakes when they got to the checkered flag. The very impressive brakes on the IS stopped it 10 feet before the barrier, and naturally the BMW stopped 10 feet after bursting through the paper. If this demo wasn't staged (and I don't think it was) then it certainly persuades me that the IS can easily accelerate and brake better than a 328 with auto and no sports package.

The organizers had two circuits set up in a large carpark - unfortunately no racetrack - a Hot Lap course with the professional drivers and a Learn to Drive course for the merely human. The Hot Lap (actaully two laps due to small circuit) is where I started off. My driver is off to Malaysia later this week for some international event so seems to be a real professional. He threw the car through the corners like I couldn't believe, sliding and correcting the car all the way whilst carrying on a polite conversation about the handling etc. We never exceeded 80mph due to the tight circuit but I was very impressed with the car and the driving. I asked him how he thought the IS compared to the BMW on handling and grip and he said it is definitely better than the BMW on regular wheels and tyres.


Next I went to the Learn To Drive course which was also a coned route through the carpark with various obstacles (flip-up cardboard cars to drive around, guy throwing foam rocks to distract you, sand covered cornering section to test ABS, various slaloms, simulated potholes etc). I jumped into the IS first and gingerly navigated the course, not knowing what to expect. Speed limits were marked everywhere and nothing exceeded 35mph. I learnt little about the IS other than the engine is very smooth and the quality of the production interior is easily better than the NY show car. (Sadly the pedals are aluminium on rubber with rubber blobs on top).

Next was the Audi A4 2.8 tiptronic - very sluggish and unresponsive in acceleration (I left it in full auto) and slow to change direction and with a lot of bouncing around on the potholes. Not good at all. This time I was familiar with the course and ignored speed limits and braking markers but I didn't have much fun.

The BMW 328i was what I was really looking to compare with. Again all the vehicles were automatics (would anyone really buy an auto 328?) with 'standard' wheels, tyres and suspension. The beemer was much quicker than the Audi and very chuckable - a lot of fun (by now I was very familiar with the circuit).

Finally I returned to the IS. Before setting off I went back onto the Hot Lap to get the adrenaline flowing and to see how it should be driven. This time when I drove the IS on the Learn To Drive circuit it was incredible. I managed to break traction on almost every corner, but it was so controllable, the steering perfectly weighted and direction changes instantaneous. The acceleration was slightly better than the BMW but IMHO the handling and braking was leagues ahead.

I left the course quickly, before someone spoke to me about not sticking to the suggested limits, with a huge smile on my face. I look forward to my Spectra Blue on June 23rd (instead of a metallic blue 330Ci on July 31st - my other option).



[This message has been edited by
 

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Hi and probably good bye everyone, I enjoyed this site tremondously the last couple of months (thx TEG and webmaster) while waiting for my car but will no longer be visiting as often. I went down from Toronto to try the IS300 vs the BMW. I found the IS to be better in acceleration, braking and comparable in handling. However, then went to a dealer in Toronto and drove a BMW with the full sports package and it was in a different league than the IS. The clincher was that BMW had a big sale this weekend and I picked up a new 328 with a full sports package at a cost very close to the IS (within $4,000 cad or $2,500 usd) .... well I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy your new IS300 I still think it will be a hot car.
 

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Hmm.. that's the first post that stated that the handling between the IS300 with 17" tires was comparable to the 328 with standard tires. The others seem to claim that the IS300's handling is in a league higher than the 328.

Maybe it's time to go test drive my roommate's 328is w/ sports package.

--k

[This message has been edited by chiem (edited June 11, 2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There was so much arm-twirling going on due to the tight circuit with multiple hairpins that it would have been impossible for the driver to have used the e-shift. He exclusively used the gear-stick to shift between L and 2 (and perhaps 3).

I asked if he ever had tried the e-shift and he replied that he had played with it earlier that day and it was pretty good under more normal conditions.

I tried the e-shift on my first lap in the IS300 but got hopelessly confused - I think it will take a little while to get used to (although it is fast to switch gears - more so than Acura CL-s I have driven). On my second much faster lap in the IS I just left it in M (gear 5) and didn't touch the buttons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fiasco - I think if you can get a good deal on the 328 with Sports Package then go for it. Unfortunately I couldn't get the two BMW dealers I visited to move much on price for one of the first 330Ci's (I need a car by late July when my Jeep lease expires). Just a note of warning - both dealers mentioned that residuals/resale on the last few 328s available may not be that great what with it's imminent replacement.
 

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Well just got home from driving the IS300 at Englishtown. Nice setup there with plenty of food and snapples to drink. 100degrees 2day
There was a Yellow IS300 in the center with power coming from another source since the batter was disconnected but windows,stereo etc.worked. There was a small display of IS300 clothing a few preppy shirts,and watches. Next to that were 4 simulation like the arcade kind. A few kids just played around with that.
First the moderator talked about the BMW facts and figures..and then the Audi. He complemented audi's engine designs but said that at higher excelleration speeds the car is sluggish.And pointed out that there is a chrome interior on the shifter area gave credit for originality but said that you can find them on volkswagens as well. They did show the SC430 at the end sweet looking car but no one had time to look at it.since there was that demo of braking being conducted outside.There were only about 40-50people its was pretty mixed,
21-40's crowd 3 familes.
Ok there were 2 Tents outside 1 with just the IS300 for the hot lap the other IS300/BMW/AUDI learn to drive.
On the hot lap the pro drivers were in MIA or something. They let everyone drive through the hot lap course for about 30min. I hopped into a auburn is300 and floored it.
Took turns at only 50 since i wasn't too familiar with the course. Also at the middle of the track there were Lexus guys watching your speed,mainly the learn to drive section. After I finished up the pro drivers appeared, waited in line 5minutes only =)
These guys and 1 girl also, knew how to drive
fast and furious. The guy who I rode shotgun with took it easy around the 1st lap then let it all loose. Good thing we had to wear helmets, cause during the second lap he pulled a manuever the propelled me up hit the roof LOL. It was pretty cool..the seats helped you sit in place, with full leather you'd be tossed like a rag doll. He took the curves pretty sharp in my opinon no fear..came within 1/2 inch if smackin a cone.
On one of the turns was doing 70 slowed up and gunned it.. smoked the wheels. burned out and continued on towards the next turns with more power.I headed towards the learn to drive to relax a bit after the adrenaline rush..waited about another 5minutes. went for the IS first,I took it easy around there were cardboard pop ups of a deer and car which just made me laugh. Then came some sand said to stop to test the ABS.Then after that were some rubber strips,and pot holes I barely felt anything. Next was a a boulder which was lame to foam lying on the floor. I was going slow then he throws one at the car LOL I guess he missed fired I managed to run it over..that was it. Oh during my driving stereo was at full force that system is kicking is way better than BMW/Audi by far.

My overall review is that the brakes are killer, the handling is very tight. This car has a very sporty feeling, it's like a civic on steriods. The majority of the cars had the graphite polised wheels which looked good.The inside is very small,especially in the back but I won't be there so I don't really care.They mentioned that its has the biggest rear space than bmw/audi though. I drove all the beamers a few weeks ago. 3series 5series 7series X5 for kicks
my opinion of the 3series is a softer ride than the IS300. Value and Performance wise the IS300 wins hands down as well as styling I like the interior and the xenon lights w/ yelow fog lights. Now I cant decided what color graphite gray or silver. The silver looked a bit placid, like the mercedes silver but not a whole lot of depth.
On the way out you filled out a survey and handed it in got a free gift for Lexus. A cd holder silver shell with Lexus Emblem on it
with sleeves inside to hold 22cds.
Also I saw a new commercial last night,,partially anyways showed the tailight of the IS300 and the engine growling.


[This message has been edited by AlexS (edited June 11, 2000).]

[This m
 

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The Lexus Event today in Boston was in pouring rain, so maybe that's why there was no braking demonstration (both cars would have burst the paper), and there was no sand, cardboard cars to dodge, no potholes, nothing but autocrossing. The A4 is a terrible autocrosser, at least without sport package, didn't try the BMW (IS300 lines moved twice as fast cause there were twice as many cars). The event converted me from a BMW 330i buyer to an IS300 buyer (but I'll wait for the 5 speed).
 

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I'm going to the Boston event Sunday morning, I'll post my review afterwards. The weather is suppose to be clear so hopefully I'll get the "full show"...
 
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