Ok fellas, here is my 250 mile review. I hired an English PhD from New Dehli to interpret my keyboard cockhammerings.
Car is fukking awesome.
Out of the box, power is great, handling is absolutely amazing. Car is nice and chill and quiet when cruising or tinkling around town but is beast when you start romping.
Yes I broke my budget but I felt like being self indulgent and getting exactly what I wanted. The ISF is indeed, in my opinion, twice as nice as the 335i. Power, suspension, ballerness, everything is better. Also, the interior makes me feel like I am a better person than you are. Yes, the 335i can do 400hp with bolt ons and flash. But. But. Still needs suspension. Still looks like the 50,000 other 335is on the road. Also then I am into boost-reliant modding again. That is fail. This car only takes IHE mods, and it is a lexus which means reliable.
Overall, the car is about as fast as a 250whp miata. So, it's pretty fast, but definitely not faster than god. It does however, compete fairly decently with a 350hp miata by virtue of it's gearbox. In manumatic mode, you can manually upshift the car in a quarter second or less. Pretty much instantly. Downshifts take about half a second and the car automatically revmatches. Gearing, power under the curve, all that stuff plays a big deal in how a car moves when it's on the road. TQ is kinda flat across the range so it moves pretty well. Of course, it could use more power, and 330whp (as commonly dyno'd) is not that much in a 3800lb car.
Oh, the car also feels very very stable at all speeds. The other night with Lenny I hit 150mph and while gawdam that was fast, it didn't feel like the car had sprouted wings or that the tires were two inches wide. Note though that when stopping down from 150mph, the brakes did fade. Needs race pads for them brembo brakes. Oh, and BTW 150mph in this car feels like 100mph in my other miatas. That means that 100mph is an extremely nonchalant event.
The suspension is, as I mentioned before, superb. It handles better than any bimmer I drove (didn't drive any //M cars), and also better than my old holy grail of suspensions, the RX-8s suspension. I am not a track driver, so my criteria for suspension quality is as follows:
1. How high are the handling limits
2. Can I comfortably approach the limits
3. What happens when I hit the limits.
From the first minute of driving the ISF, I was totally comfortable dancing with the limits. From the factory, the car is quite balanced, and I imagine is about as tossable as a 3800lb car gets. Criteria number two is probably my most important criteria, and I have rarely felt fear when I pushed the car harder and harder. The factory tires probably deserve a good amount of credit for this- they are great. The car can fit 300 width rubber underneath though so there's a shiitton of headroom for making it handle even better with just a wheel/tire swapout. I would say that the springs are a little bit on the soft side, and that the dampers are wonderful. They soak up the little bumps and also control the rebound superbly. In hard turns the car is very stable at all corners, it's great.
Yes the car is great fun. Exactly what I wanted. The driving experience is of course, very different than Miata. My stock Miata is totally raw in comparison. LOL at how raw ALLOFIT is in comparsion. The car beeps at redline telling you to shift, the flappy paddles are doofy, silly, and enjoyable. The intake manifold of the motor has a butterfly which opens up the volume of the plenum or something. Anyways, the butterflies open up when you are at more than 50% throttle and over 3500ish RPM, and the sound of the motor totally changes from near-silent lexus cheese and toastettes into v8 velvet tiger growl. That makes WOT very enticing. As I said before, approaching the handling limits comfortably is very fun too, albeit in a different way than a Miata. The limits are much higher than a non racecar'd Miata, and it is much smoother and calm. Having confidence in a turn is fun.
Buying a car that costs as much as 20+ Miatas is kinda a life event for me. I am very very happy with the purchase. Financially speaking, I could have bought a new Chevy Aveo. I also could eat Ramen three meals a day, and yes, Top Ramen Oriental flavor is vegan. But I can easily afford a non Ramen-based diet, and I can also easily afford this car. Food and your daily driving experience can both be considered transient experiences in life, but I like to enjoy my life, so I bought this car.