Since the debut of the first generation in 1999, the Lexus IS has pursued the appeal of driving unique compact rear-wheel-drive sports sedans. The all-new IS takes high-level driving performance further to new extremes. More than a million IS units have sold over more than two decades..
The new IS was honed at various facilities throughout the world, including the new Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama that opened last year. Uncompromising attention to detail will allow drivers to enjoy a comfortable driving sensation in everyday road conditions.
The aggressive styling design creates a wide and low form characterised by sharpness, while the IS features advanced safety technologies, including an evolved version of Lexus Safety System+.
Lexus International Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi says, ‘What we had foremost in mind in developing the new IS was to create a car that excelled in communicating with the driver. A car with wide latitude for providing such feedback, would never fail in doing so, regardless of the road conditions or driving status. We retained the compact body and aimed to make the this a Lexus compact sports sedan that provides high-quality ride comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control.’
In addition to slender headlamps with new lightweight lamp units, a low centre of gravity is expressed through low-positioned areas around the grille matched by lowered side character lines and the shape of the rear extremity of the trunk. Muscular fenders, straight-line-type rear combination lamps sporting an ‘L’ motif, and three-dimensional bumper garnishes add to the aggressive look. In addition, new-design 19-inch tyres and wide proportions based on a wide track evoke a sporty image.
There are now two new exterior colours developed for IS. These include Sonic Iridium, which accentuates the shape of the vehicle, as well as Sonic Chrome, which exhibits a metallic quality in a high-gloss finish. The F Sport version boasts an exclusive ‘F’ mesh pattern as well as a grille-bottom air intake; special 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and the F Sport-exclusive Radiant Red Contrast Layering external panel colour.
Inside, a new multimedia system features a new touchscreen while available chromatic colours are used on the upper instrument panel.
This new IS features a new version of 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 system’s lane recognition performance. These advances are part of Lexus’ continuing efforts to develop driver-assist systems that provide a more natural and safer driving experience.
Also featured are functions such as Emergency Steering Assist, which assists steering within the vehicle’s lane as cued by the driver.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) combine to help the driver stay on course. In the new IS, lane recognition performance has been improved. When LTA is activated, AI technologies are applied to camera-actuated, white-line recognition for advanced deceleration of the vehicle in line with the size of the curve. Keeping lateral g-forces constant while driving through curves contributes to stable and comfortable driving and makes driving assist more continuous.
Other new technologies include Automatic High Beam which detects preceding or oncoming vehicles. Various other forms of advanced safety equipment are featured on the new IS, including parking support brakes, and the Panoramic View Monitor, which supports periphery safety checks.
The new Lexus IS will be available for sale in South Africa early in 2021. The range will comprise three model derivatives, which Lexus SA will announce at launch. Lexus’ industry-leading 7 Year Warranty and Maintenance Plan will come as standard for IS drivers.