Lexus IS gets added boost

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 20, 2015

Having made its debut in 2013, Lexus has given its compact IS luxury sedan a mid-life overhaul with the most notable addition being a move to forced induction engines.

Slotting below the range topping IS 350, the IS 200t uses the same engine that debuted in the NX SUV eight months ago, and replaces the outdated 2.5-litre V6 as the first small capacity turbocharged engine used in a Lexus sedan.

Available in base E and mid-range EX spec, the unit has been given a five kilowatt increase over the NX, with power now rated at 180 kW and torque unchanged at 350 N.m of torque.

A sports programmed eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters sends power to the rear wheels with Lexus claiming 0-100 km/h sprint of 7.0 secs and top speed of 230 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.5 L/100 km and emissions at 175 g/km.

Borrowing from the RC sports coupe, the IS features the same Drive Mode Select system which allows to driver to choose from three settings; Eco, Normal and Sport depending on preference. In a first, the 200t also boasts a downshift lock-up control feature for the gearbox, and performance dampers, developed in corporation with Yamaha, to minimise body roll.

Standard kit is typical Lexus fare with the E including cruise control, ventilated electric front seats, eight-speaker Premium sound system with Bluetooth and dual USB, telescopic steering adjustment, heated and retractable electric mirrors, auto-levelling headlights with washers, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight airbags, Hill Start Control, front and rear parking sensors, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control.

Moving one up, the EX adds satellite navigation, eight-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, reverse camera and auto on/off wipers.

A four year / 100 000 km warranty is standard on all models.

 

PRICING

MODEL POWER PRICE
200t E 180 kW / 350 N.m R518 800
200t EX 180 kW / 350 N.m R570 300
350 F-Sport 233 kW / 378 N.m R627 900