Lexus IS range
Lexus’s redesigned and expanded IS range has arrived in New Zealand, showcasing a more muscular exterior look, a sportier cockpit and more interior space, a raft of new technologies and – for the first time in the range – a dedicated Lexus Hybrid Drive version.
Prices start from $ 73,995, and the main aim of the new design was to project a sportier, driver- oriented, image.
Says Neeraj Lala, Lexus NZ general manager of product planning: “The third generation IS line- up has been redesigned from the ground up and the IS250 and IS350 have been specifically engineered to be the best handling compact luxury sedans in the market.”
The range is powered by a mix of 2.5-litre and 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines ( IS250 and IS350), as well as the addition of a newly developed 2.5-litre four cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine paired with the Lexus Hybrid Drive system ( IS300h).
All versions of the IS sports sedan have the intuitive Drive Mode Select system found in GS and LS models. This system features up to four switchable driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sport S and, for models fitted with Adaptive Variable Suspension ( AVS), Sport S+.
F Sport version will be available in New Zealand for all three IS models, including the 152kW IS250 F Sport, priced at $ 84,995, the 162kW IS300h F Sport, ($ 91,995) and the 228kW IS350 F Sport ($105,995).
The F Sport performance package offers specially tuned front and rear suspension, along with a host of driver-focused attributes such as sports pedals, sports front seats, steering wheel, exclusive front bumper detailing, and the “driver’s meter” with moving centre ring inspired by that used in the Lexus LFA supercar.
The new car has a longer wheelbase and wider body than its predecessor, with more cabin space, 60: 40 split-folding rear seats, and improved luggage capacity. The IS250 carries over maximum braked tow rating of 1,500kg, and the IS350 now has the same.
The IS300h hybrid offers combined power from the 2.5-litre four cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol engine and the electric motor of 164kW. The Lexus hybrid powertrain features is fitted in a rearwheel drive vehicle for the first time.
Claimed fuel consumption for the IS300h, which is also available in F Sport guise, offers an engaging driving experience, is 4.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 113g/ km. Price is $ 80,995 and braked tow rating is 750kg.
Inside the cabin, greater emphasis has been placed on providing a sportier, more refined cockpit, and increased comfort and space. The centre console uses premium soft-touch surface materials, as well as unique controllers that require a simple finger touch against the temperature controller to manipulate the car’s climate control air conditioning system.
Standard features across the IS range include keyless entry and start, Bluetooth hands-free, phone book accessibility and audio streaming, satellite navigation and a reversing camera (with front and rear parking assist monitoring), all accessible through a full colour seven-inch high resolution display screen and the second generation of Lexus’ Remote Touch interface.
The contoured cross- quilted front seats ( or unique sports seats in F Sport models) have genuine leather facings, are multi-way adjustable, and offer both seat heating and ventilation across the entire range.
Limited grade IS models feature a 15- speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound audio system – also available as an option in F Sport models.
Safety features including stylised L- shaped LED daytime running lights ( separated out from the main head light cluster for the first time), a Lexus Vehicle Dynamics integrated management system, a vehicle stability control system, traction control and, for Limited grades, lane departure alert and an automatic high beam system.
A pop- up bonnet designed to lessen pedestrian injuries in a collision makes its debut in the IS range and, on F Sport and Limited models, a blind spot monitoring system and dynamic radar cruise control are standard, while the entry-level IS250 and IS350 can be optioned with an active pre- crash safety system and dynamic radar cruise Control.
The cars are in showrooms now.