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Review: 2002 Lexus IS300 (Modified)

This is my friend’s car which he modified by putting a centrifugal supercharger kit in the car only a couple of months after buying it… and it was his first car.

Performance – As a stock car, it was a Lexus so it had adequate power and handling characteristics. Once it had been modified, it became a totally different car. The supercharger kit gave the car another 100-120hp at 8psi bringing the total up to around 330hp at the crank. This resulted in straight line performance that would make an M3 owner start to panic in a drag race. Brakes were upgraded to Toyota Supra 4 piston calipers along with super aggressive brake pads. The suspension was also not looked over, initially the suspension was just new shocks and what was thought to be lowering springs (which turned out to be oem springs that brought the ride height up to off road truck territory) but was then upgraded to fully adjustable coilovers and thick TRD sway bars. These suspension upgrades gave the car very quick initial turn in and a lot of oversteer on turn out of a corner. In fact with the 235 wide rear tires, the car felt more like a drift car and was more comfortable drifting rather than going through a corner smoothly. The other thing that was upgraded and improved the acceleration and handling of the car was the stripping of the interior. Almost everything was taken out of the car except for the dashboard, navigation computer, and dashboard. Everything else was just bare metal.

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Comfort – It has none… ok I’m not being fair. The owner had left the original driver’s seat in but it didn’t help considering that the coilovers were on the hardest setting and the profile of the tires were 35 so even the smallest bump on the road felt like a high speed crash. Also because the interior had been stripped, every single rock and pebble that was on the road and was picked up by the tires, would get flinged off the tires and in to wheel wells where it sounded like a machine gun was going off just behind the driver’s seat.

Odds and Ends – This car in my opinion was one of the best sounding modified cars for two reasons. One, the blow off valve was pressure activated, rather than vacuum activated, so it made a very unique “chirping” sound. Second, the cat-back exhaust had a very deep tone and made the inline 6 engine sound very angry, like a lion or a tiger, I know it’s a cliché but that’s the best way to describe the exhaust note.

Sadly, the owner decided that 330hp was not enough and the supercharger kit was removed, however the car was not sold. Instead it is being given a new heart…

Part 2, coming soon…

Update: Part 2 of this review Here

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