LA Exclusive: The Curator’s David Ong Takes the Lexus IS 350 FSport On A Test Drive - Play

The three-in-one barista, bartender, and entrepreneur shared his Lexus IS 350 FSport experience during coffee talk with Lifestyle Asia.

Coffee and cocktails connoisseur David Ong is used to wearing many hats.

READ ALSO: 6 Coffee Shops That Deliver Your Much Needed Caffeine Fix To Wherever You’re Working From

As co-founder and managing partner of successful enterprises like The Curator Coffee & Cocktails, OTO, and EDSA Beverage Design Group, Ong has taken a hands-on approach in his craft.

This allowed him to master both the front and back-end of the business, able to brew refined concoctions while toiling through managerial tasks.

It also paved the way to well-merited recognition. 

Ong’s trademark specialty coffee and craft cocktails put The Curator and OTO on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. He himself was labeled as one of the most influential people in the Philippines’ food and beverage industry today.

READ ALSO: Philippines Lands Three Spots In Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019

It is prosperity owed to omotenashi (hospitality) and kaizen (improvement)—ideas deeply rooted in him since childhood.

These are values shared by luxury automotive brand Lexus, which partnered with Ong to showcase the product of their takumi (artisan) master craftsmen: the ​​Lexus IS 350 FSport.

The entrepreneur hosted a group of his closest friends and family to take the sports sedan out for a spin.

Good with his hands and with an eye for detail, Ong reviewed the new Lexus model based entirely on firsthand experience. Here’s what he found.

Driving On Caffeine

Upon seeing the ​Lexus IS 350 FSport, his first impression was how the price was justified.

“Well, first of all, it’s definitely for people who have extra cash lying around…It’s not the most affordable,” Ong tells Lifestyle Asia.

“But then when you do get in the car, it gets you thinking. So this is why it costs this much. Just like the upholstery, just how things are laid out, being really spacious, the technology, and everything.”

The interior made him feel comfortable from the get-go. He even vouched for the driving system’s user-friendliness.

“It didn’t take me a long time at all to get used to the settings,” Ong recalls. “It felt perfect. I didn’t have to adjust it.”

The 35-year-old thinks the vehicle would appeal most to drivers his age up to 50 years.

He singled out young professionals who like to lead an active lifestyle as a target market that could make good use of ample trunk space with their sports gear.

The make reminded him of best-selling compact executive cars on the market, except with a distinct quality that could only be experienced directly.

“It’s almost like an airplane,” Ong describes its feel on the road. “I really feel like this car wants to go fast.”

He remembered that even the slightest step on the accelerator puts the car from rest to the general speed limit of Philippine highways, in a matter of seconds.

“You feel like there’s no pressure at all. Like literally when you press the accelerator, the car’s moving and you feel the speed, especially on the highway. It’s so easy to go faster than you should, because you don’t really feel it. There are no wobbles and stuff like that,” Ong highlights.

He joked that it would take a race track to reach the vehicle’s full potential.

“Try not to go too fast. That’s the challenge,” he advises people planning on buying the car.

Pedal To The Metal

The Lexus IS 350 FSport is powered by a 3.5-liter, V6 petrol engine that delivers 312 horsepower and boasts upgraded suspension, transmission, and sports trim.

It can go 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in six seconds, consuming 9.5 liters every 100 kilometers.

The interior can be outfitted in white, flare red, or black with satin. Meanwhile, exterior color options are white nova glass flake, sonic iridium, sonic chrome, sonic titanium, graphite black glass flake, radiant red contrast layering, celestial blue glass flake, and heat blue contrast layering.

Exclusive features include a mesh spindle grille, aluminum pedals, leather sport seats, LFA-inspired meters, and a dimpled leather steering wheel.

Other details are 19-inch wheels, signature Lexus rear lights, built-in Apple Carplay and Android Auto, power outlet, leather shift knob, and UV-reducing glass.

A lane tracing alert, dynamic radar cruise control, blind-spot monitor, parking assist monitor, tire pressure alert, sensor-controlled SRS airbags, adaptive high beam system, and pre-collision safety system comprise the safety technology.

The compact luxury sedan is retailed at P3,808,000.

Photos by Lexus courtesy of Bridges PR

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