Project IS-F : We Test the Joe Z/PTS exhaust system

Project Lexus IS-F Part 2: We test the PTS - Joe Z Series Exhaust

By Mike Kojima

One of the bad things about having an unusual car like our Lexus IS-F is that it is, well, an unusual car.  The IS-F is the first attempt by a rather young maker, in this case Lexus to build and market a true performance car.  Lexus has a reputation for luxury with value and rock solid reliability, not a performance and racing pedigree.

Project IS-F : We Test the Joe Z/PTS exhaust system
 The stock rear exhaust section weighs 37 lbs and seriously necks down near the rear crossmember.  Reverse flow mufflers are also restrictive.

Lexus cars until the IS-F have not been stellar performers, they have been known, like their parent company Toyota, as vehicles with superb quality, excellent value and bulletproof components, a sensible car for the sensible upper class consumer.  Because of this, unlike a BMW M or Mercedes AMG, the Lexus F brand is virtually unknown to buyers of performance luxury sedans.

Project IS-F : We Test the Joe Z/PTS exhaust system
The front section of the exhaust is actually decent in diameter but merges into a single pipe with a larger pre muffler.  It weights 33 lbs.

No pedigree means low demand and low production numbers.  Low production numbers means little demand for aftermarket parts.  Little demand for aftermarket parts means that the bigger parts manufacturers are not too interested in developing performance parts for such a low volume machine.

Project IS-F : We Test the Joe Z/PTS exhaust system
The PTS Joe Z exhaust is made of beautiful 304 stainless and weighs 35 lbs for the front mid section and 29 lbs for the rear, a total savings of 6 lbs even though it is a true dual exhaust.

Thus a lot of the best parts available for the IS-F are not built by large companies; they are produced by smaller groups of enthusiasts, often ones that can be found on forums in an almost grassroots effort to develop quality performance parts for the brand.  One such enthusiast is Joe Z.


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Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:21 AM
That is a beautiful exhaust system. Do Joe Z or PTS make exhausts for other cars? I'm really interested in that "siamesed" x-pipe.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 3:36 AM
I hope that bay door was open during the dyno run. ;-)
Max Machine
Max Machinelink
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 6:47 AM
Nice gains.
The IS-F aesthetics never appealed to me, and am always reminded of a comment I read once that said ~“the IS-F takes its styling cues straight from a JC-Whitney catalog”, pretty funny.
Anyway, I root for it.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:25 PM
Let's see em PTS Joe Z on the IS-F need pics please, I wanna see.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:56 PM
Huh, 5 pages of pics on an IS-F isn't pics on an IS-F?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2:20 PM
Not only is the quality top notch but Joe Z's customer service is second to none! I have every part he sells and gladly look forward to whatever may be next!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 4:24 PM
wow, the torque gain between 5.5k rpm and 6.5k rpm really seals the deal!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:01 AM
is there a post install dyno vid? i would love to hear how it sounds now.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 5:34 AM
That is post install, why should we put up a video of it pre install? I guess it is somewhat confusing that its on the first page.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:13 AM
I have always wondered why not merge a dual exhaust into a larger diameter single pipe? That would save weight and do the same basic functions of a dual exhaust right?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:25 AM
Merging the exhaust into a single pipe can save weight (and money) but you change the sound, and more importantly you ruin the ground clearance most of the time if you're going to keep the flow the same. Each system has its place, pros, and cons.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:30 AM
Beautiful! need to start saving my pennies.
Monday, May 09, 2011 4:33 PM
Hi Mike,

When are you going to test out headers?

I am on the brink of buying a PPE header before a group buy expires this week (thursday).

To bad you haven't already tested it. I bought the K&N after reading the MotoIQ article on it
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