The new Lexus IS has made its world premiere.
The new car is a product of rigorous testing at Toyota’s Technical Center Shimoyama, which Lexus claims has “enabled building in an ever-higher dimension of vehicle performance.”
One of the first things engineers targeted at the testing centre was enhancing the body rigidity of the Lexus IS.
This was done by reinforcing key areas such as the radiator side supports, increasing the number of front-side-member weld points, and optimising reinforcement structures from the C-pillars to the sides of the roof.
The increased rigidity not only helps reduce unwanted noise and vibrations. It also helps improve ride comfort and driving performance, with better responsiveness to steering inputs.
For the first time, the new Lexus IS will be available with larger 19-inch wheels to improve its cornering abilities and provide a greater contact patch with the road.
Lexus IS F SPORT models will also get two different 19-inch wheels, including one from BBS. The standard 18-inch wheels will replace the outgoing 17-inch wheels on all other models.
The new Lexus IS also features coil springs that are 20% lighter than the outgoing model. New A-arms are employed as well that feature a forged aluminium material, resulting in an 18% weight reduction.
Engineers also chose a new material for the stabiliser bar to optimise its diameter and thickness, while providing a 17% weight reduction.
The new springs are coupled with new swing-valve shock absorbers. These are equipped with ultra-low-velocity valves in their pistons to manage oil flow in response to the most minor of road irregularities.
For the 2021 model year, U.S-market F Sport models will only be offered on the IS350 powered by the 307bhp 3.5-litre V6 engine.
Exclusive cabin trimmings and a new Circuit Red interior help make the F Sport models stand out. Meanwhile, the Dynamic Handling Package will also add Adaptive Variable Suspension.
Buyers that opt for rear-wheel-drive will get a Torsen limited-slip differential for improved handling and performance when cornering or exiting turns.
Exterior-wise, a newly designed spindle grille which features a three-dimensional, polyhedral structure that originates from the foremost tip of the grille to adds to the car’s presence.
The new headlamps now feature daytime running lights with a sharper L-shape signature that runs across the lateral axis.
The rear fenders of the Lexus IS have also been extended, lowering the rear deck to create a low stance that enhances the wider hips.
The Lexus IS now has a standard 8-inch touchscreen. In the U.S, a new 10.3-inch touchscreen is available on vehicles equipped with navigation or Mark Levinson audio with navigation. The new multimedia system has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa.
The Lexus IS range starts with the rear-wheel-drive IS200, powered by a turbocharged 2-litre 4-cylinder that delivers 238bhp and 350Nm of torque. This engine is mated to an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission.
The all-wheel-drive IS300 is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 that delivers 256bhp and 320Nm of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The IS350’s 370bhp 3.5-litre V6 is offered with both all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive.
IS350 rear-wheel-drive models also get the 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission, whereas the all-wheel-drive models will get the 6-speed automatic.
Read our review of the Lexus RX350L here.
Want to test drive your favourite Lexus without going to Leng Kee? Why not try out Lexus’ new Test Drive Concierge service?
Click here for more information about available Lexus models