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World debut for all-new Lexus

Lexus has revealed its all-new IS range, which will be launched in Ireland this summer. The line-up, unveiled at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit, includes the first full-hybrid IS, the IS 300h, together with the petrol-powered IS 250. Both versions feature rear-wheel drive and will be available with a further evolution of Lexus’s F Sport package.

Acknowledging that driving performance is the prime consideration for sports saloon customers, Lexus has engineered the new IS to deliver outstanding dynamic performance and driver engagement. It also adopts more powerful, distinctive styling inside and out, led by a dramatic interpretation of Lexus’s hallmark spindle-shaped front grille arrangement.

Exterior design
The new IS is inspired by Lexus’s LF-CC concept car and displays its own interpretation of the spindle front grille arrangement that has become a hallmark of all new Lexus models. Overall the impression is of power, elegance and a stronger brand identity.

Viewed in profile, 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.

There is also a new, powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design, with Lexus’s signature L-shaped daytime running lights presented independently below.

Interior design
The cabin design is clean and elegant, with an ergonomically ideal environment for the driver.

The new-design driver’s seat is more comfortable and provides better lateral support. The seat hip point and the angle of the new steering wheel – inspired by the LFA – are both lower, and the steering wheel’s reach adjustment has been increased, giving a more sporting driving position.

The refinement of the cabin materials, trims and finishes is complimented by advances in HMI technology and the introduction of a high-quality analogue clock. The centre console controls feature a Lexus first: electrostatic switches that need just a finger touch to adjust the air conditioning temperature.

The new IS’s increased width (+10mm) and longer wheelbase (+70mm) allow for significantly more comfort for rear seat passengers and greater luggage capacity, too. The combination of the extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design delivers best-in-class knee-room (+85mm compared to the current model) and rear seat access. The new rear seats also have a 60:40 split-folding function.

There is generous loadspace in the IS 300h too, as the hybrid battery has been located beneath the boot deck board.

Driving dynamics

The new IS’s development programme targeted a class-leading driving experience, with every aspect of the car’s dynamics engineered to achieve this goal.

The painstaking approach included new laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding techniques, which, together with additional spot welding, have increased the car’s overall body rigidity.

The double wishbone front suspension has been revised, giving a 20 per cent increase in roll rigidity. At the rear there is a new multi-link system, similar to that featured in the latest generation Lexus GS.

Changes to the structure and rigidity of the steering rack have created lighter, smoother and more accurate steering feel.

The new IS gains a new Drive Mode Select system, with three switchable driving modes: Eco, Normal, & Sport. Drivers can switch between the different modes to achieve their preferred balance of economy, comfort, performance and handling.

F Sport

The IS F Sport models not only display more sporting design features inside and out, they also benefit from genuine dynamic enhancements, notably specially tuned front and rear suspension systems.

The F Sport versions can be instantly recognised thanks to their special grille and front bumper design: there are more prominent chrome trim elements and a different mesh pattern is used for the grille. The “waistline” of the spindle-shaped grille is set higher than on the standard models, creating a larger lower grille that can draw in the greater volume of cooling air needed for sportier driving.

The IS F Sport also has an exclusive seat design that provides extra support. The seats are made using an integrated foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling, giving both excellent comfort and great lateral holding.

The front and rear suspension and the electric power steering are tuned to enhance the F Sport models’ handling, without compromising ride quality.

New IS equipment and technical specifications and other information specific to the Irish market models will be announced at a later date.

 

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