New Lexus IS unveiled


Hot on the heels of the Infiniti Q50, another Japanese 3-Series rival has been revealed at Detroit: the new Lexus IS.

New IS styling is an evolution of the old
New IS styling is an evolution of the old
And it's rather a handsome thing, in that quirky, swooshy way we've come to expect from Lexus (and yes, that is a technical term). The new model shares much of its DNA with the previous generation; it’s styling is more an accentuated version of the old model’s than a whole new look, but it’s still distinctive, with plenty of interesting angles and pointy bits (also a technical term). In Lexus speak, the new IS ‘shows the mass of the cabin concentrated towards the rear, with a rising line flowing from the lower body into the rear lamp clusters, adding further elegance and dynamism’. Which is nice.

Turning to matters of substance rather than style, the 2.5-litre 204hp V6 petrol in the IS250 has been carried over from the previous model, but Lexus’s big news is the new IS300h, which it claims will be able to deliver 220hp while offering under 100g/km CO2 emissions and average fuel consumption of over 65mpg. Even if you’re not the world’s greatest hybrid fan, that’s a pretty impressive set of figures. Whether the IS300h will prove good enough to remove people from their diesels is another matter, however. Either way, both powertrains will be available in F Sport trim, which Lexus says will offer both suspension and power steering that have been tuned for a sportier driving experience, as well as a more aggressive front end and unique sports seats. And no matter which trim level you choose, it seems you also get the largest steering-wheel badge in the world, ever.

Old IS-F still makes a good case for itself
Old IS-F still makes a good case for itself
All par for the course, then, but what we’re really waiting for is confirmation that there’ll be another IS-F, a matter on which Lexus has been noticeably silent until now. Which doesn’t bode too well. Still, if you’re hankering after some rear-drive Japanese V8 daftness, you can now get hold of the old IS-F for just over £20,000, which doesn’t seem too bad for a distinctive M3 rival with a fantastic exhaust note. We certainly wouldn’t say no if one turned up on our driveway.

 





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Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • AnotherClarkey 29 Jan 2014

    Locknut said:
    I had a test drive in one last week and it's certainly an impressive car close up. The styling and related things has been done to death in this thread so I will make no comment on that. I came away from the test drive with two lasting impressions, both non-positive and probably the only non-positive things on the car:

    1) the parking brake is one of those American-style pedals above where the clutch used to be. With it pressed there was no room for my left foot. The salesman said "don't worry, leave the pedal alone and put the gears in "P" , it will never move".

    2)the auto gearbox is a CVT type. It takes getting used to at the traffic-light drag race. The engine revs up but there is no "bite" of acceleration. It's like a clutch slipping on a manual car, but a glance at the speedometer shows that it's making rapid progress.

    I'm put off by the fact that the gearbox is a CVT rather than an ordinary auto. CVTs have a bad reputation for longevity. Maybe Toyota have overcome the problems but others like Nissan and Ford have failed in the past. I think the CVT would be the worry that would put me off buying.

    PS: Do the other Toyota hybrids have CVT or conventional autos?
    I don't think you need worry. Toyota refer to the transmission as 'E-CVT' but it has nothing in common with other CVT units. It is extremely simple, reliable and compact with no clutches, torque converter, pulleys, change of gear ratio, valves etc.

    There is loads of information on the web - mostly Prius related but the basics of the power split device in the Lexus are similar. e.g:

    http://eahart.com/prius/psd/




  • Locknut 29 Jan 2014

    I had a test drive in one last week and it's certainly an impressive car close up. The styling and related things has been done to death in this thread so I will make no comment on that. I came away from the test drive with two lasting impressions, both non-positive and probably the only non-positive things on the car:

    1) the parking brake is one of those American-style pedals above where the clutch used to be. With it pressed there was no room for my left foot. The salesman said "don't worry, leave the pedal alone and put the gears in "P" , it will never move".

    2)the auto gearbox is a CVT type. It takes getting used to at the traffic-light drag race. The engine revs up but there is no "bite" of acceleration. It's like a clutch slipping on a manual car, but a glance at the speedometer shows that it's making rapid progress.

    I'm put off by the fact that the gearbox is a CVT rather than an ordinary auto. CVTs have a bad reputation for longevity. Maybe Toyota have overcome the problems but others like Nissan and Ford have failed in the past. I think the CVT would be the worry that would put me off buying.

    PS: Do the other Toyota hybrids have CVT or conventional autos?

  • va1o 17 Jan 2013

    daveyc86 said:
    They've absolutely nailed it!

    Play the video on the Lexus website, and look at that interior!!

    http://www.lexus.co.uk/lexus-today/the-all-new-is/...
    It's nice but not perfect, there are still aspects of the interior that just look st and outdated:


    It isn't just the climate control system and display that looks out of place, but the warning lights below that could have easily been integrated into the car's computer screens. You simply wouldn't find that kind of thing in a BMW or Audi.

    Small but its the attention to detail that counts IMO

  • Andy ap 17 Jan 2013

    Rumour has it that someone in the marketing department was playing with concept pictures on Photoshop and accidentally used the pinch tool to pull the bumper in. And the look somehow caught on?........;)

  • Paul O 17 Jan 2013

    I think I like that. The exterior is a bit quirky but the inside looks very nice! smile

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