Lexus today pulled the covers off a refreshed IS sedan wearing a “transformed” front end that frames an evolution of the brand’s spindle grille between new headlights and a bumper that visually lowers the car’s centre of gravity.
The new front lighting accentuates the L-shaped daytime running lights, the updated grille better blends into the hood and air intakes in that new front bumper give the car a more aggressive look. Other new cues include a character line that runs along the side of the bodywork.
F-Sport models get a trim-specific grille in a three-dimensional pattern that incorporates functional brake cooling ducts.
At the rear, taillights sport bolder L-shaped elements and there are rectangular chrome exhaust tips highlight the car’s “sporting nature.”
Inside, the IS’ multimedia display screen has been upsized to 10.3 inches from last year’s seven-inch display, and remote touch interface has been revised to make it easier to use, new centre stack materials give the car a better-looking, higher-quality appearance and a stitched cover on the gauge cluster hood.
Mechanically, the IS is unchanged. It can be had with a choice of a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the rear-wheel drive IS 200t, and two models powered by a 3.5L V6: the IS 300 AWD and the IS 350 AWD. As before, the IS 200t boasts 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque while the IS 300 gets 255 hp and 236 lb-ft and the IS 350’s V6 is good for 306 hp and 277 lb-ft. Four-cylinder models use an eight-speed automatic transmission, and V6 cars get a six-speed.
Lexus doesn’t give an on-sale date, but we expect the redesigned IS to go on sale later this year as a 2017 model.
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