Refined, driver-focused Lexus IS range on the way

By Wright Communications

Following on from styling cues debuted on the RX, GS and LS models during 2012, the meticulously re-engineered third generation IS aims to epitomise Lexus' aggressive elegance and be the best handling compact luxury sports sedan on sale.

The expanded IS line-up, incorporating a hybrid model for the first time, showcases a bold, sophisticated new exterior look accentuating recognisable L-Finesse design attributes such as Lexus' signature spindle grille.

An even more muscular stance and a sportier cockpit mean that, both inside and out, the new IS range has been designed to attune to the driver like never before.

Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama says that taking the original concept of an emotional, high performance drive and raising it to an even higher level was an IS development goal from the outset.

"Just take hold of the steering wheel, depress the accelerator level and drive. That's all there is to it. From there on out, your body and soul do the understanding," he says of the meticulously redeveloped IS, which delivers distinctive, precise performance on-road.

Underlining this renewed focus on the driver, all versions of the IS sedan now boast the Drive Mode Select system also found in GS and LS models. This system features up to four switchable driving modes - ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and, for models fitted with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), SPORT mode is replaced with more advanced SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. These selectable modes are engineered to optimise a preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics as driver requirement and environment changes.

F Sport iterations will be available in New Zealand for all three IS models, including the 153kW IS250 F Sport, priced at $84,995 and muscular 233kW IS350 F Sport, priced at $105,995. The hybrid IS300h F Sport, meanwhile, is priced at $91,995.

The comprehensive F Sport performance package features specially tuned front and rear suspension systems with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) offering a genuinely dynamic enhancement to on-road feel, along with a host of driver-focused attributes like sports pedals, sports front seats, exclusive front bumper detailing, the innovative driver's meter with moving centre bezel from the celebrated Lexus LFA supercar, and more.

While driver involvement remains a key attribute, Lexus' popular IS also features improved practical elements like increased interior space and visibility. The new car boasts a longer wheelbase and wider body than its predecessor; a performance-orientated stance that also results in a more spacious cabin.

Particular attention has been made to enhancing the space, comfort and convenience in the rear with improved passenger space, 60:40 split-folding rear seats and luggage capacity increasing by a substantial 82-litres in petrol models, and 52-litres on IS300h.

In addition to the meticulously redesigned IS250 and IS350, added efficiency and technology also arrives with the introduction of the IS300h - the first Lexus IS sedan to feature a highly efficient Lexus Hybrid Drive system, offering combined total system output of 164kW.

Lexus New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell says, "The new IS builds on its successful blueprint, and we firmly expect it to comprehensively take on the compact sports sedan competition in New Zealand. Lexus has designed a car capable of winning in any of the world's markets.

"The entire range has been meticulously re-engineered with the objective of being the best handling compact luxury sports sedan on sale. From the ground up, this car is designed to showcase the best blend of premium refinement and driver involvement that Lexus offers."

The all-new driver-focused IS range arrives in showrooms from July 1st, 2013.


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