Lexus takes wraps off new IS range

The new Lexus IS 250 will be launched in the UK in summer 2013.
The new Lexus IS 250 will be launched in the UK in summer 2013.

JAPANESE luxury carmaker Lexus has unveiled its all-new IS range. The models will see a UK launch in the summer period.

Lexus took the wraps off the new models at Detroit’s North American International Motor Show. Among the offerings will be the first full hybrid IS, the IS 300h and a petrol-driven IS 250. The drive for both cars is via the rear wheels and the latest F Sport package will be available for both models.

The manufacturer accepts that the majority of its sports saloon customers are looking for driving performance, so has designed the cars to deliver top performance and fully engage the driver. Inside and out, the range has a more distinctive look to it.

Junichi Furuyama, IS chief engineer, explained: “We adopted an entirely different approach to the development of the new IS. Rather than develop each individual aspect in the hope they will combine to offer an engaging driving experience, we first established the kind of driving experience owners desire. With this as our initial premise, we then developed the individual performance elements to support it.

“Every aspect of the new IS has been engineered with a focus on sporting performance, agile handling, accurate response to driver input and highly communicative feedback.”

The new IS benefits from a dozen Lexus-first features and technical innovations. It also
showcases an all-new interior that combines authentic Lexus quality and refinement with a more sporting and focused environment for the driver. There is also best-in-class space for rear seat passengers and a larger, more user-friendly boot. The cabin design is clean and elegant, with an ergonomically ideal environment for the driver.

There is generous loadspace in the IS 300h too, as the hybrid battery has been located beneath the boot deck board.

The new IS’s development programme targeted a class-leading driving experience, with every aspect of the car’s dynamics engineered to achieve this goal.

The interior of the 2013 Lexus IS250 F Sport.
The interior of theLexus  IS 250 Sport.

The IS F Sport models not only display more sporting design features inside and out, they also benefit from dynamic enhancements, notably specially tuned front and rear suspension systems.
The front and rear suspension and the electric power steering are tuned to enhance the F Sport models’ handling, without compromising ride quality.
In the UK the IS 250 will be powered by a 204bhp/152kW V6 petrol engine, driving the rear wheels.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system in the full hybrid IS 300h combines a powerful electric motor and a newly developed 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine, equipped with D-4S fuel injection, Dual VVT-i intelligent variable valve timing and a high-efficiency Exhaust Gas Recirculation system. Total system output is 217bhp/162kW, but Lexus’s target is to achieve class-leading, sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and average fuel consumption of more than 65mpg.

The new IS features a new pop-up bonnet design which creates space above the engine to absorb pedestrian impact forces. The range will feature a number of advanced, new active safety features, including automatic headlamp high beam operation, Lane Departure Alert, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Full IS equipment and technical specifications and other information specific to the UK market models will be announced at a later date.

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