EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF THE NEW LEXUS IS
Paris motor show information
- Revised 2017 Lexus IS model range* follows celebration of one million global sales
- Front, side and rear exterior design enhancements and new F Sport grille
- More refined interior design and upgrade HMI technology
- Adoption of Lexus Safety System+
- IS 300h delivering CO2 emissions from 97g/km
- Revised chassis gives improved driving dynamics
The new Lexus IS model range makes its European debut at the Paris motor show, featuring revised styling, new exterior and interior colours, an improved driving experience and an upgraded safety specification.
The IS passed a significant milestone in July, the three generations of the compact sports saloon achieving more than one million global sales since the launch of the original model in 1999. The IS was the first Lexus to be designed primarily for the European market, a region where its popularity remains strong to this day. In fact Europe has accounted for almost 20 per cent of the model’s worldwide sales to date.
The current, third generation IS marked the beginning of a new era for the model with the introduction of Lexus Hybrid Drive to the range for the first time. Since its launch in 2013, the IS 300h has proved by far the most popular choice for European customers, claiming 90 per cent of IS sales.
The IS continues to be a key element in Lexus’s worldwide model range, currently marketed in more than 70 countries and achieving more than 6,000 sales every month. The revised IS model range will go on sale early in 2017.
REVISED EXTERIOR DESIGN
Because the styling of the current IS has proved so popular, Lexus has kept the essence of the car’s exterior appearance intact. However, the front of the new model has undergone a transformation, with new headlamps, large air intakes in the front bumper and an evolution of Lexus’s spindle grille design.
The reshaped headlamps are more pronounced than before and extend inwards, creating an eye-catching shape that accentuates the L-shaped daytime running lights. The bumper, with integrated air intakes, flows from the front wings to generate a more powerful road presence.
The new spindle grille folds back at a higher point, creating a change in the proportions of its upper and lower sections that generates a more sporty appearance and the impression of a lower centre of gravity while blending smoothly into the reshaped bonnet.
The new IS F Sport’s dark chrome grille has an exclusive three-dimensional F-mesh pattern and incorporates functional brake ducts. These ducts provide continuity with the car’s side garnishes, designed to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.
The IS’s profile has been rendered sleeker by a stronger character line that runs along the wide of the car, and by a choice of 16, 17 and 18-inch wheel designs. A 17-inch design with five sets of twin spokes and a bright machined finish, and multi-spoke 18-inch wheel are both new to the range.
The changes to the rear are highlighted by new triple-layered LED light guides and new rectangular, chrome-finished exhaust tips, further accentuating the car’s sporting quality.
Finally, two new colours – Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black – have been added to the exterior paint palette.
ENHANCED INTERIOR DESIGN AND HMI
Many carefully considered improvements have been made to the new IS’s cabin. For example, the multimedia display screen has been increased in size from seven to 10.25 inches, and a new, high-resolution monitor provides a larger and clearer image of the multimedia system’s various functions.
An ‘Enter’ button has been added to the side of the Remote Touch Interface on the centre console, making it easier to use. On the centre of the dashboard the audio and ventilation control panel has been adjust so that it fits neatly between the knee bolsters; a new hairline finish to its surface provides both a high-quality feel and improved appearance.
New stitching on the top of the instrument binnacle hood adds to the sporting feel of the cockpit, as do refinements made to the speedometer and tachometer. There are also new cupholders, a larger, leather-wrapped and stitched palm rest for the Remote Touch Interface and new dial markings for the analogue clock on the dashboard.
For selected markets, two new shades – Nuance Black (exclusive to Sport grade models) and Noble Brown – have been added to the choice of interior colour schemes. Also, the Moonstone and Ivory colour schemes have been replaced Sandstone – a new, light shade that blends the elegance of Ivory with a more modern, light grey tone.
CHOICE OF POWERTRAINS
The new IS model line-up retains its established powertrains, with a choice of the IS 300h full hybrid petrol or IS 200t 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
The IS 300h, which accounts for the vast majority of IS European sales, delivers exceptional smoothness and efficiency while preserving the driver rewards that are fundamental to the model’s traditional appeal. The full hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a compact, powerful electric motor for smooth and responsive performance, supported by Dual VVT-i intelligent variable valve timing, Lexus’s D-4S fuel injection technology and a high-efficiency exhaust gas recirculation system.
This advanced engineering delivers low exhaust emissions and fuel economy, with official combined cycle figures from 97g/km and 65.7mpg respectively, strengthening the model’s appeal in markets where environmental performance and ownership costs are key customer considerations.
The IS 200t is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder twin-scrolled turbocharged unit, which is match to the smooth-shifting, eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission that Lexus originally developed for the RC F performance coupe.
This engine features a number of innovative technologies, including D-4ST direct fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) which allows the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson cycles by varying the intake valve opening angles. It uses high-pressure fuel injection directly into the cylinders and a low-pressure system for injection into the ports. Power is rated at 241bhp at 5,800rpm with maximum torque of 350Nm delivered between 1,650 and 4,400rpm.
CLASS-LEADING SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
In line with Lexus’s commitment to offering state-of-the-art technology to a wider audience, at an attractive price, the new IS adopts Lexus Safety System+, a set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions in a wide range of traffic situations.
The package includes a Pre-Crash Safety system with pedestrian detection function, which helps the driver avoid an accident, or reduce the severity of a collision; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Automatic High Beam; and All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control.
IMPROVED DRIVING DYNAMICS
The IS’s dynamic performance has been improved through revisions to the front and rear suspension and the steering.
The front double wishbone suspension has a new forged aluminium lower arm assembly which delivers a 49 per cent increase in rigidity compared to the steel member it replaces, and a new No1 bush. Together these elements offer a marked improvement in steering response at cruising speeds. The front system also has a new upper support bush, a revised coil spring rate, new shock absorber components and a revised damper setting.
The electric power steering system’s ECU settings have also been revised.
As a result of these measures, both the standard and F Sport IS models demonstrate an improvement in ride quality, body control, rear traction and straight-line stability, as well as better steering response and feedback.
* Data and specifications relate to international markets; UK specific details will be announced later.