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Lexus details local IS range, priced from $61,500

Lexus gives its IS sedan a new look, wider hips and more gear for 2021

15 Oct 2020

LEXUS Australia has revealed and detailed its local line-up for the fourth-generation IS mid-sized sedan with the all-new model set to kick off from $61,500 plus on-road costs when it arrives in showrooms early next month.


Despite being a new offering with more standard kit, the IS’ entry price is only $1000 more than the outgoing model’s, with the line-up being trimmed from seven variants to five – not including the Enhancement Packs.


In regards to the added standard gear, Lexus is citing five key firsts for the range, consisting of intersection turning assist, emergency steering assist, automated collision notification, SOS call and stolen vehicle tracking.


On top of that, all new IS’ come with 18-inch alloy wheels, electric park brake, new 10.3-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, smart entry and start, heated and eight-way power adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker audio, DAB+ digital radio, satellite navigation with Suna live traffic, voice control and LED headlamps with automatic high-beam.


Range-wide safety kit meanwhile consists of a new pre-collision system featuring pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, all-speed active cruise control, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, blind-spot monitor, parking support brake, and rear cross-traffic alert and braking.


As before, three different powertrains motivate the IS range, all of which have been carried over unchanged from the outgoing model, including the transmissions – eight speed automatic (petrols) and continuously variable (hybrid).


The range is opened by the IS300 Luxury ($61,500) and F Sport ($70,000) variants which utilise a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine good for 180kW/350Nm.


Priced $3000 upstream meanwhile is the IS300h Luxury ($64,500) and F Sport ($73,000) duo which shed the force-fed 2.0-litre in favour of the familiar 164kW, 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid set-up.


Still at the top of the range meanwhile is the $75,000 IS350 F Sport whose 3.5-litre V6 continues to pump out a peaky 232kW/380Nm.


For those wanting some extra toys without opting for the next model up, the Luxury variants are available with two enhancement packs, the first of which adds a panoramic moonroof while the second also adds 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather-accented seat trim, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and a power rear sunshade – most of which come as standard on the F Sport trim level.


In addition to the equipment contained within the enhancement packs, the F Sport nomenclature denotes the inclusion of an F Sport bodykit and spoiler, F Sport scuff plates and ornamentation, five drive modes, adaptive variable suspension, F Sport leather-accented trim, sports pedals and seats and an LFA-style 8.0-inch driver display, but not the moonroof, premium sound system or rear sunshade.


F Sport customer wanting those missing features will have to opt for their own $3,300 enhancement pack.


Compared to the current-gen car, the new IS has been given a drastic, more aggressive styling workover while still retaining a few of its key IS trademark features including the upsweeping side sculpting, albeit enhanced and dialled up to 11.


At the front there is a fresh take on Lexus’ familiar gaping grille design, which has been made wider and more curved as it makes it way down toward the front bumper.


Slimmer headlights add a focused, squinting expression to the entire arrangement, complemented by a broader overall stance courtesy of wider wheel tracks – +45mm at the front and +50mm at the rear.


The biggest change though is the IS’ roofline, which has been made more swooping than before with Lexus looking to take its mid-sized rear-driver down the four-door coupe path.


Not only is the new IS wider and more aggressive-looking than before, the body has also been stiffened in a bid to enhance “steering response and cornering ability” while a wealth of changes have been made to the suspension to make sure components are as light as possible.


Specifically, these changes include lighter coil springs, aluminium upper and second control arms rather than steel, a reshaped and re-engineered bound stopper, new swing-valve shock absorber design (Luxury only) and a new rear stabiliser bar.


When all added up, Lexus claims these changes combined with thinner body panels shave 30kg from the kerb weight of the IS350 F Sport while all variants score a new active corner assist function.


According to Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson, the new IS will “reinvigorate the medium sedan class” with its focus on three key attributes.


“An intense focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics will help ensure a new generation of Lexus customers are welcomed into IS sports sedan ownership,” he said.


“The sports focus of the new IS, alongside the luxurious ES, together deliver two distinct personalities for Lexus customers to select from in this segment.”


Lexus has sold 409 IS sedans so far this year ending September, accounting for 4.6 per cent of the $60,000+ medium car segment.


2021 Lexus IS pricing*

IS300 Luxury (a) $61,500
IS300 F Sport (a) $70,000
IS300h Luxury (a) $64,500
IS300h F Sport (a) $73,000
IS350 F Sport (a) $75,000

*Excludes on-road costs

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