LEXUS IS300 AND SPORTCROSS – REDEFINING COMPACT LUXURY SALOONS

  • On sale from 1 October, IS300 saloon priced at £26,700; SportCross at £28,450
  • Lexus IS300 SportCross introduces new ‘cross-over’ styling, combining dynamic performance with five-door versatility, to create a new segment in the luxury car marketplace
  • Attention to weight distribution and torsional rigidity ensures optimum handling for both Saloon and SportCross
  • IS300 combines legendary IS attributes with boosted power and torque from three-litre, 211bhp, straight six VVT-i engine
  • 288Nm of torque available at 3,800rpm
  • IS300 series adopts five-speed automatic transmission as standard, with E-shift, steering wheel-mounted, push button gearchange system and cruise control
  • New radiator grille, rear light cluster colouring, side mouldings and dashboard materials enhance the latest IS200 and IS300 range
  • High standard specification including full leather seat trim, five-speed automatic gearbox, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and curtain shield airbags
  • DVD based Lexus Navigator with new seven-inch screen available as an option for £2,340
  • Maximum speed of 143mph (where permitted), 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, 8.4 seconds for SportCross model
  • Competitive insurance grouping of 15E for both models
  • CO2 figure of 256g/km for IS300 saloon and 265g/km for SportCross

From its launch at the beginning of 1999, the Lexus IS200 successfully challenged the best compact saloons in Europe, to create a new standard in one of the most competitive market places in the industry. This year over 12,000 customers across Europe are set to enjoy the unique and exciting driving experience that is delivered by the IS series.

The Lexus IS300 saloon and the radical Lexus IS300 SportCross build on the attributes that have made the Lexus IS200 one of the most popular compact luxury sports saloons in Europe. They build on the original philosophy behind the range which was created by Lexus engineer Mr Nobuaki Katayama, the Chief Engineer of the IS project. He identified that while most luxury saloons are easy to drive, few were fun – and set out to change that.

While sharing the powertrain and front-end styling of the IS300 saloon, the SportCross pays careful attention to structural rigidity and weight distribution, including the use of an aluminium tailgate, to ensure that it handles as well as the best sports saloons.

Clever interior design ensures that while having a rear profile similar to a sleek coupé, the IS300 SportCross can accommodate over 340 litres of luggage under its parcel cover with rear seats upright. A further 36 litres of space is available in additional covered storage boxes, while with seats folded items over 2.6m long can be carried.

DISTINCTIVE, EYE-CATCHING AND EFFICIENT STYLING

The Lexus IS300 Sportcross shares the same platform as the IS200 and IS300 four-door saloons, but has a slightly increased length of 4505mm, while the wheelbase remains identical at 2670mm. Although both models share similar front-end styling, a reprofiled front bumper exclusive to the SportCross gives the model a more sporting and wider, more robust appearance.

An interesting innovation is the rear tailgate handle, in which a switch unlocks the door electrically, allowing a traditional locking key cylinder to be removed. As soon as the switch is activated, either manually or using the remote control, the door can be opened. However it automatically remains locked if the central locking is applied or the vehicle is in motion.

Figure-hugging sports seats; a three-spoke, real leather steering wheel and an excellent driving position come as standard. The full leather seats are designed to offer maximum driver and passenger comfort for long distance touring yet also provide plenty of support during performance driving.

The fully-integrated on-board DVD-based navigation system, which is one of the options that can be specified on all IS models except the IS200 entry level model, now features a larger seven-inch pop-up display fitted to the top of the centre console. The larger screen is easier to see and read from any seat, so either driver or passenger can navigate. When the navigation system is not being used the display folds back into the console for neatness. The navigation controls are still positioned at the bottom of the centre-console, but their layout has been changed to improve ergonomics.

A full climate control air conditioning system is standard equipment on both models. This provides temperature regulated airflow to all areas of the cabin and also houses the display of outside temperature or digital clock. An additional Foot/Demist mode has been added compared to previous models.

Remote control central locking, electric windows all round, with one-touch control and jam-protection for the driver’s side are fitted as standard equipment. So are heated, electrically folding and electrochromic exterior mirrors, front and rear fog lamps, illuminated vanity mirrors and a passenger seat belt warning. A folding armrest console box is standard equipment which further enhances relaxed driving, gives additional storage space and offers easily accessible cupholders for front and rear seat passengers.

The new eight-speaker audio system (nine-speaker on SportCross) is fully integrated into the sweeping centre console and includes an in-dash six-disc CD changer. As a safety and convenience measure, the audio equipment controls have been simplified for ease of operation, despite the technical sophistication of the system.

With all seats in place, the SportCross can accommodate 340 litres of luggage under its load area cover. A further 36 litres of space is available in additional covered storage boxes. The 880mm-long load space in the rear is large enough to allow four golf bags or three suitcases to be carried without interrupting rear visibility.

The rear seats are designed to fold in a 60/40 per cent split to further enhance flexibility. This allows up to three people to be carried while extending the length of the available load space to 1670mm. The front passenger seat back can also be folded forward, allowing it to be used as a table when parked and extending the available load length to 2600mm.

WORLD-LEADING POWERTRAIN PERFORMANCE AND REFINEMENT

Despite the importance of styling and interior appointments, the truly dominant feature of any member of the IS series is the driving experience – and at its heart is the powertrain.

Extending the capacity of its classic DOHC, straight six, Variable Valve Timing – intelligent (VVT-i) engine from two litres to three for the IS300, boosts power from 153bhp to 211bhp and maximum torque from 195Nm to 288Nm. Matched to the legendary IS chassis, the Lexus IS300 emphatically regains for enthusiastic drivers, the feeling that the driver is in control.

Equally important is the fact that thanks to the natural characteristics of the straight six and the VVT-i valve timing, the torque curve remains linear. More than 250Nm is available from 2,000rpm to the rev limit of 6,000rpm, giving smooth linear acceleration through the gears and rapid throttle response for safe overtaking and maximum driver enjoyment.

Driver control on the Lexus IS300 is further enhanced by the use of a new five-speed automatic transmission with an ‘E-shift’ push-button gearchange system.

With the floor shift lever engaged in the ‘M’ position, buttons mounted on the steering wheel allow the driver to manually change gear, without moving their hands from the steering wheel, with a faster, smoother shift than a manual and greater control than a regular automatic. While the buttons are being operated, a dashboard display shows which gear is selected.

If the car is driven in fully automatic mode, the system has adopted the 5 SUPER ECT (Electronic Controlled Transmission) system to effect fully integrated control of the engine and transmission. Buttons on the front of the steering wheel control down-shifts, while up-shifting is performed by operating buttons on the back of the steering wheel.

UK SPECIFICATION, PRICING AND COMPETITOR COMPARISONS

Specification of the new IS300 for the UK will be high including full leather upholstery, five-speed automatic gearbox, rear privacy glass, lowered rear suspension, aluminium drilled pedals, rear spoiler, yellow front fog lamps and electrochromic interior and exterior rear view mirrors.

The IS300 SportCross with its radical new ‘crossover’ styling will have the same specification with the addition of estate bodystyle, nine speaker audio system, split folding rear seats, load area cover and rear wiper.

IS300 Pricing – On the Road

  • IS300 – £26,700
  • IS300 SportCross – £28,450

The DVD Lexus Navigator system is available as an option on both IS300 and SportCross models for £2,340.

At £26,700 the IS300 saloon offers a high level of standard equipment including full leather seat trim, eight-way electrically adjustable and heated seats, electronic folding door mirrors and vehicle stability control.

In fact, the Mercedes C320 Elegance at £30,700 would require an increase of over £6,000 on the base price to meet the same levels of standard specification as the Lexus IS300
3.0-saloon. The Audi A4 3.0 Quattro SE at £25,295 would require an increase of over £8,100 in options to meet the impressive specification of the Lexus.

The IS300 SportCross demonstrates the ability of Lexus to create new concepts in luxury and performance car design offering dynamic performance and handling with five-door versatility. SportCross pays careful attention to structural rigidity and weight distribution to ensure that it handles as well as the best sports saloons. Like the IS300 saloon, the SportCross is fitted as standard with the five-speed automatic gearbox with E-shift.

IS300 SportCross enjoys similar price advantages over its main competitors. At £28,450 it is already £3,200 less expensive than the equivalent Mercedes and has an additional specification advantage of over £6,000. Equally, the equivalent BMW will need another £5,970 of optional upgrades to bring it up to the high specification level of the SportCross.

Full competitor comparison tables are listed on the following two pages.

LEXUS IS300 SALOON VERSUS COMPETITORS


LEXUS


JAGUAR


MERCEDES


AUDI


BMW


BMW


IS300


X-TYPE


C320


A4


3 SERIES


3 SERIES


SALOON (Auto)


3.0 V6 SE


ELEGANCE


3.0 QUATTRO SE


330i SE


330i Sport

Engine cylinders

6

6

6

6

6

6

BHP

211

231

218

217

231

231

Automatic transmission

ü

£1,250.00

ü

£1,400.00

£1,220.00

£1,220.00

Cruise control

ü

ü

ü

£400.00

ü

ü

CD Autochanger

ü

£350.00

£330.00

£320.00

£250.00

£250.00

Electrically adjustable front seats

ü

£300.00

£1,020.00

£1,000.00

£1,055.00

£1,055.00

Heated front seats

ü

£320.00

£310.00

£350.00

£615.00

£615.00

Torsen limited slip differential

ü

X

X

£250.00

X

X

Leather upholstery

ü

ü

£1,220.00

£1,250.00

£1,200.00

£1,200.00

Rear spoiler

ü

ü

X

X

X

X

Speed sensitive power steering

ü

ü

£200.00

X

X

X

Curtain shield airbags

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

Brake assist

ü

X

ü

ü

ü

ü

Electronic brake distribution

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

All round electric windows

ü

ü

ü

£300.00

ü

ü

Centre armrest

ü

ü

ü

£110.00

ü

ü

Folding door mirrors

ü

£125.00

X

£220.00

£190.00

£190.00

HID Headlights

ü

£700.00

£397.00

£750.00

£545.00

£545.00

Headlight washers

ü

£250.00

ü

£215.00

X

X

Electric sunroof

ü

£895.00

£1,250.00

£800.00

£895.00

£895.00

Alloy wheels

17″

£960.00

£960.00

£750.00

ü

18″

Climate control air conditioning

ü

ü

£390.00

ü

ü

ü

OTR price

£26,700.00


£26,250.00


£30,700.00


£25,295.00


£26,740.00


£28,830.00

Specification Adjusted Price

£26,700.00

£31,400.00

£36,777.00

£33,410.00

£32,710.00

£34,800.00

Absolute specification adjustment vs Lexus IS300 Saloon

£5,150.00

£6,077.00

£8,115.00

£5,970.00

£5,970.00

Price position vs Lexus IS300 Saloon

+ 17.6%


+ 37.74%


+ 25.13%


+ 22.51%


+ 30.34%

CO2 Emissions (g/km)

256

249

252

262

230

230

Taxable P11D rate 2002/2003

33%

31%

32%

34%

28%

28%

CO2 based specification adjusted monthly tax charge 2002/2003*

£291.89

£322.76

£390.53

£376.78

£303.75

£323.26

Monthly tax burden variance vs Lexus IS300 Saloon


£30.88


£98.64


£84.89


£11.87


£31.38

* Monthly tax charge based on the assumption that the P11D value of competitor vehicles includes the relevant options costs required to bring each vehicle up to the equivalent specification of the Lexus. It also assumes a marginal rate of income tax of 40%.

LEXUS IS300 SPORTCROSS VERSUS COMPETITORS


LEXUS


MERCEDES


AUDI


BMW


BMW


IS300


C320 ESTATE


A4 AVANT


3 SERIES TOURING


3 SERIES TOURING


SPORTCROSS (Auto)


ELEGANCE


2.8 QUATTRO


330i SE


330i SPORT

Engine cylinders

6

6

6

6

6

BHP

211

218

193

231

231

Automatic transmission

ü

ü

£1,627.38

£1,220.00

£1,220.00

Cruise control

ü

ü

£400.00

ü

ü

CD Autochanger

ü

£330.00

£400.00

£250.00

£250.00

Electrically adjustable front seats

ü

£1,020.00

£930.00

£1,055.00

£1,055.00

Heated front seats

ü

£310.00

£350.00

£615.00

£615.00

Torsen limited slip differential

ü

X

£250.00

X

X

Leather upholstery

ü

£1,220.00

£1,250.00

£1,200.00

£1,200.00

Rear spoiler

ü

X

X

X

X

Speed sensitive power steering

ü

£200.00

X

X

X

Curtain shield airbags

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

Brake assist

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

Electronic brake distribution

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

All round electric windows

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

Centre armrest

ü

ü

£110.00

ü

ü

Folding door mirrors

ü

X

X

£190.00

£190.00

HID Headlights

ü

£397.00

£940.00

£545.00

£545.00

Headlight washers

ü

ü

£215.00

X

X

Electric sunroof

ü

£1,250.00

£800.00

£895.00

£895.00

Alloy wheels

17″

£960.00

X

ü

ü

Climate control air conditioning

ü

£390.00

ü

ü

ü

On the road price

£28,450.00


£31,650.00


£26,158.00


£27,540.00


£29,630.00

Specification Adjusted Price

£28,450.00


£37,727.00


£33,430.38


£33,510.00


£35,600.00

Absolute specification adjustment vs Lexus IS300 SportCross

£6,077.00

£7,272.38

£5,970.00

£5,970.00

Price position vs Lexus IS300 SportCross

+ 32.61%


+ 17.51%


+ 17.79%


+ 25.13%

CO2 Emissions (g/km)

265

252

262

230

230

Taxable P11D rate 2002/2003

35%

32%

34%

28%

28%

CO2 based specification adjusted monthly tax charge 2002/2003*

£329.99

£400.66

£377.01

£311.22

£330.73

Monthly tax burden variance vs Lexus IS300 SportCross


£70.67


£47.02


-£18.77


£0.74

* Monthly tax charge based on the assumption that the P11D value of competitor vehicles includes the relevant options costs required to bring each vehicle up to the equivalent
specification of the Lexus. It also assumes a marginal rate of income tax of 40%.

THE SUCCESS OF LEXUS IN THE UK

The growth of Lexus in the UK is very impressive. From 1991, when just 671 Lexus cars were sold in the UK, the brand has grown substantially as by the end of 2001 Lexus expects to have sold over 11,000 vehicles.

Sales volume for these two new models for 2002 is expected to be around 1,400, 400 of which will be the IS300 SportCross.

In terms of network development Lexus now has a dedicated network of 48 centres of which 25 are operating from newly developed independent facilities. The remaining 23 are scheduled for conversion to Lexus independent operations by the end of 2002.

The IS300 and SportCross go on sale in the UK on 1 October and, as with other Lexus models, are fully backed by a three year/ 60,000 miles warranty, three year paint and 12 year anti-perforation warranty.

Both models only require servicing every 10,000 miles for a Health Check and every 20,000 miles for a major service.

IS300 AND IS300 SPORTCROSS TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

IS300


IS300 SPORTCROSS

Type

2JZ-GE

2JZ-GE

Valve mechanism

24 valve, DOHC, VVT-i

24 valve, DOHC, VVT-I

Cylinder configuration

Six cyl in-line

Six cyl in-line

Capacity (cc)

2,997

2,997

Bore & Stroke (mm)

86.0 x 86.0

86.0 x 86.0

Compression ratio

10.2 :1

10.2 :1

Max output (bhp/rpm)

211 @ 5,800

211 @ 5,800

Max torque (Nm/rpm)

288 @ 3,800

288 @ 3,800

PERFORMANCE

0-62mph

8.2secs

8.4secs

Max speed

143mph

143mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION,EMISSIONS AND VED
Urban cycle (mpg)

18.2

17.5

Extra Urban (mpg)

35.3

33.6

Combined (mpg)

26.1

25.2

CO2 Emissions (g/km)

256

265

VED Rating

D (£155)

D (£155)

WEIGHTS
Kerb weight (kg)

1500-1580

1540-1615

Gross vehicle weight (kg)

1955

1990

Max towing weight (braked)

1200

1200

GEARBOX RATIOS
1st

3.357

3.357

2nd

2.180

2.180

3rd

1.424

1.424

4th

1.000

1.000

5th

0.753

0.753

Reverse

3.431

3.431

FINAL DRIVE
Limited slip differential

3.583

3.583

DIMENSIONS
Overall length

4400mm

4505mm

Overall width

1725mm

1725mm

Overall height

1405mm

1430mm

Wheelbase

2670mm

2670mm

Front track

1495mm

1495mm

Rear track

1485mm

1475mm

Front overhang

750mm

790mm

Rear overhang

980mm

1045mm

Coefficient of drag (Cd)

0.29

0.30

Fuel tank capacity (L)

70

70

Minimum turning radius(m)

5.4

5.5

Luggage capacity (L)

400

340 / 620* /1046**

* With rear seats folded ** With rear seats folded, loaded to roof line

IS300 AND IS300 SPORTCROSS TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – CONTINUED

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

IS300

IS300 SPORTCROSS
Interior room length

1,890mm

1,890mm

Interior room width

1,440mm

1,440mm

Interior room height

1,165mm

1,165mm

Interior height (sunroof)

1,125mm

1,125mm

SUSPENSION
Front

Double wishbone

Double wishbone

Rear

Double wishbone

Double wishbone

BRAKES

Front

Ventilated discs 296mm

Ventilated discs 296mm

Rear

Solid discs 307mm

Solid discs 307mm

Additional features

ABS with EBD and BA

ABS with EBD and BA

STEERING
Type

Rack and pinion

Rack and pinion

Ratio

15.7:1

15.7:1

Turns (lock to lock)

3.0

3.0

TYRES AND WHEELS
Wheel type

17″ Aluminium

17″ Aluminium

Tyre size – front

215/45 ZR17

215/45 ZR17

Tyre size – rear

215/45 ZR17

225/45 ZR17

ENDS

Lexus Press Team

For further information, please contact one of the following:
James Clark on 01737 367919 or by e-mail at james.clark@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General media enquiries
Erica Haddon on 01737 367308 or by e-mail at erica.haddon@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General media enquiries
David Crouch on 01737367505 or by email at david.crouch@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries
Richard Seymour on 01737 367272 or by e-mail at richard.seymour@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General and technical media enquiries

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