In 1999 Lexus, Toyota's luxury division saw a gap to take on Germany's heavy weights in the D Segment of the car market and launched their IS model, at the time only offered in a V6 variant it stood out on its own with bold design, luxury offerings which many were standard as well as that great reliability backed by its parent company Toyota. While sales were slow, here on 21 years later the model is still putting up the battle to the likes of BMW's 3 Series, Audi's A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Yesterday saw Lexus unveil their latest iteration of the model with even bolder styling, and more dynamic performance.
We've becoming accustomed to Lexus aggressive styling over the years, every since the introduction of the large spindle grille and sharp lines mimicking a samurai style fighter, every model brought out by them since has garnered keen interest by many. The thing with Lexus is though, their cars just not only look good but deliver equally on performance as well. The all-new IS takes high-level driving performance and sporty styling after more than a million units sold in its 20 years. The new IS was developed a various facilities around the world, including the new Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama that opened last year. As with all Lexus models, there is no compromise to the the attention to detail on this model, Lexus say that drivers of the new IS will enjoy comfortable driving sensation in everyday driving situations, and with a model like this, that is all the consumer is asking for. In a market where it's quite hotly contested, the buyer will look for minor things that would make their commute a pleasure rather than a disaster.
Taking a closer look at the design, there's no looking away at the large spindle grille which features a three-dimensional structure that originates from the foremost tip of the grille. Bock forms based on a spindle motif combine with mesh pattern to achieve a sporty impression. The grille itself is more dominant than ever in a Lexus design, and when blacked out completely in F Sport guise just adds that extra element of aggression. The redesigned front headlamps feature a unique LED pattern with the design flowing to that of the form of the car, everything is smooth and flows like a complete package but while remaining sleek like a fight jet. The side profile bears many resemblance to the current model but with a few more creases and lines to advocate that sharp styling. The re-design of the rear is just stunning, with the high bootline which has the Lexus emblem elevated above the solid rear lights to that of the NX really adds a different dynamic to the model when view from behind and must be even better to witness as night.
The interior has been revised and tweaked a bit with addition of circular air-vents on the sides of the dash, this ties the ends up well, the infotainment screen has been upgraded to larger screen which is also touchscreen, this negates the use of the cumbersome touch pad which is still present in this new model. The colours, as well as textures and trims offered in the interior has been expanded. Safety has always been paramount in Lexus endeavors and much is still the same with the new IS boasting a new version of the Lexus Safety System+ which has further evolved through the introduction of advanced safety technologies, including added functions such as Emergency Steering Assist which improves the systems lane recognition. Pre-Collision system has been improved to give the car a much more earlier detection period, as well as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist which allows semi-autonomous driving in cruise control.
Overall this new package from Lexus really looks the part and ticks all the right boxes to match up with it's rivals. One key factor will be pricing for the model and with the launch edition looks set to be the IS350 which will be powered by a 3.5L V6, Lexus SA say three variants will be coming through early next year, so we suspect the 2L turbo-petrol and probably a hybrid model.