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Harder IS on Lexus Australia’s want list

Harden up: Lexus Australia is seeking a version of the IS fitted with adaptive suspension similar to that already fitted to the hybrid-engined GS450h F Sport.

Lexus Australia seeking adaptive suspension option for IS range

3 Mar 2014

LEXUS is leaning on its Japanese parent company to bring a more performance-honed version of its BMW 3 Series-fighting IS range to Australia.

However, instead of adding big-engine brawn under the bonnet, the car-maker says it is looking to add an all-wheel-steering system and electronically adjustable steering and dampers to the car.

Lexus is believed to be keen to add a higher performance variant to its IS range along similar lines to the RC350 F Sport coupe that makes its debut at this week’s Geneva motor show.

Lexus sells a version of the IS350 F Sport in Japan fitted with an ‘Adaptive Variable Suspension’ system that can change suspension settings on the fly, and ‘Lexus Dynamic Handling’ which includes rear-wheel steering.

However, the system is only sold in Australia fitted to the petrol-electric GS450h F Sport, Lexus’ $112,500 mid-size coupe.

A Lexus Australia spokesman told GoAuto that adding variable suspension and all-wheel steering “is something we’ve been asking about for the IS for some time”.

The move would give Lexus an important competitive edge in the luxury compact segment where variable suspension controls are widespread.

BMW offers the two-setting ‘Adaptive M Suspension’ as an option across all models in its 3 Series range. Audi, meanwhile, offers ‘Dynamic Ride Control’ across its entire A4 sedan and wagon and A5 coupe range.

Mercedes-Benz offers a ‘Dynamic Handling Package’, including adaptive suspension, as an option across its C-Class range.

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