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Lexus IS-F

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Lexus, known for building elegant and capable luxury sedans, is moving into the high-speed sports car market with the new IS-F that was unveiled Monday.

The car, powered by a 400-horsepower, five-litre V-8, is based on the company's IS sedan's underpinnings. It was designed outside the normal methodic Lexus process by a group of ``rogue engineers,'' said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager.

``This is the fire-breather our guys very carefully inserted into the IS platform,'' Carter said.

The car goes from zero to sixty in less than 4.9 seconds and has large four-wheel disc brakes that Lexus is so proud of that it placed its logo on the calipers.

It also has an eight-speed automatic/manual transmission.

Lexus won't reveal the price until a month or so before the car gets to the showrooms, which should be about a year from now.

The company, part of Toyota Motor Corp., also unveiled a high-performance concept at the Detroit show called the LS-F. The 500-horsepower V-10 engine can push the concept to around 200 mph, Carter said.

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