Published on October 1st, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lexus Revises The IS Sedan
Featuring revised styling, enhanced Human Machine Interface (HMI) technology, new exterior and interior colour schemes, an improved driving experience and an upgraded safety specification, the new Lexus IS model range makes its European debut at the 2016 Paris motor show.
Global sales of the Lexus IS broke through a significant barrier in July 2016; three generations of the compact sports sedan achieving sales of over one million units since the original model launch in 1999.
REVISED EXTERIOR DESIGN
Because the original styling of the current Lexus IS has proved so popular, Lexus has kept the essence of car’s exterior appearance intact; however, the front of the new model has undergone a transformation, highlighted by new headlamps, large air intakes in the front bumper and an evolution of Lexus’ spindle grille. The reshaped headlamps are more pronounced than before and extend inward, resulting in an eye-catching shape that accentuates the L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The bumpers, with incorporated air intakes, flow dynamically from the fenders, giving the new front a more powerful road presence.
The new grille folds back at a higher point, its top and bottom proportions changing to enhance its sporting look with a visually lower centre of gravity, while blending effortlessly into the reshaped hood. The new F SPORT’s dark chrome grille features an exclusive 3-dimensional F-mesh pattern that incorporates functional brake ducts. These brake ducts provide a sense of continuity with the side garnishes that enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.
The profile of the IS is made sleeker by an enhanced character line that runs down the side of the car, and a choice of 16- 17- and 18-inch wheel designs add to the vehicle’s new-found dynamic flair. A 5-twin-spoke, 17-inch wheel with a bright machine finish, and a multi-spoke, 18-inch luxury grade wheel are both new to the model range.
Changes to the rear are highlighted by more pronounced L-shaped LED light guides that are now triple layered within the taillight housing, and new rectangular chrome exhaust tips that further accentuate the car’s sporting nature. Finally, two new colours – Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black – are now available in the IS’s exterior paint palette.
ENHANCED INTERIOR DESIGN AND HMI
Numerous carefully considered enhancements have been incorporated into the new IS’s cabin. The size of the multimedia display screen has been increased from 7 inches to 10.25 inches. The new high-resolution monitor offers a larger and clearer image of the various functions of Lexus’ innovative multimedia system. An ‘Enter’ button has been added to the side of the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) on the centre console, making the system easier to use. On the centre dash the audio and ventilation-control panel has been refined to fit completely within the knee bolsters, and a new hairline-finish surface provides both a high-quality feel and improved appearance.
New stitching on top of the driver’s instrument binnacle hood enhances the sporting feel of the IS cockpit, as do the refined speedometer and tachometer. Further enhancements include new cup holders, a new, larger, leather-wrapped palm rest with stitching for the RTI and new dial markings on the in-dash analogue clock. For select markets, two new shades -Nuance Black (exclusive to Sport grade) and Noble Brown- have been added to the choice of interior colour schemes. And the Moonstone and Ivory colour schemes have been replaced by Sandstone; a new light shade that blends the elegance of Ivory with a more modern light-gray hue.
CHOICE OF POWERTRAINS
The new Lexus IS model line-up will remain unchanged, with a choice of full hybrid petrol or 2.0 litre turbo powertrains.
Accounting for the vast majority of European sales, the full hybrid IS 300h delivers exceptional smoothness and efficiency whilst preserving the driver rewards fundamental to the IS’s traditional appeal. The full hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a compact, powerful electric motor for smooth and responsive performance, supported by the use of Dual VVT-i intelligent variable valve timing, Lexus’ D-4S fuel injection technology and a high-efficiency exhaust gas recirculation system.
This advanced engineering delivers unprecedentedly low exhaust emissions and fuel economy, with official emissions and fuel consumption figures from just 97 g/km of CO2 and 4.3 l/100 km, strengthening the model’s appeal in a market where environmental performance and ownership costs are key customer considerations.
The Lexus IS 200t will be powered by the recently-added, 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged unit, which comes mated to a smooth-shifting, 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission developed for the high-performance RC F. This engine features a number of innovative technologies including 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, and the D-4ST direct injection system. It combines a high pressure fuel system for injection directly into the cylinders with a low pressure system for injection into the ports. Power is rated at 245 DIN hp/180 kW at 5,800rpm and torque delivery 350Nm from 1,650 to 4,400rpm.
CLASS LEADING SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
Committed to offering state-of-the-art technology to a wider audience at an attractive price, the new IS’s safety equipment has been upgraded with the adoption of the Lexus Safety System +, a newly developed set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations. Combining a camera and millimetre-wave radar for a high level of detection performance, the Lexus Safety System+ features a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, which helps prevent or mitigate the severity of collisions, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control.
IMPROVED DRIVING DYNAMICS
The driving dynamics of the new Lexus IS has been improved through key revisions to the front and rear suspension systems, and the steering. The front double wishbone suspension benefits from a new lower arm assembly forged in aluminium, which offers a 49% increase in rigidity over the steel member it replaces and new No. 1 bush with a 29% increase in rigidity. In combination, these new elements offer a marked improvement in steering response at cruising speeds. The front suspension system further benefits from a new upper support bush, a change to the coil spring rate, new shock absorber components and a revised damper setting. The rear multi-link suspension features a new upper arm No. 1 bush and a new stabiliser bar, new shock absorber components and a revised damper setting.
The ECU settings of the Electric Power Steering system (EPS) have also been revised. As a result of the comprehensive measures, both 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.