Lexus today unveiled the all-new 2014 IS sedan at the North American International Auto Show. The IS will be available in rear- and all-weather drive versions of the IS 250 and IS 350, a further evolution of F SPORT available across the entire model range, and for Europe, Japan, and select international markets, the IS 300h, the first IS to feature Lexus Hybrid Drive.
Driving performance is a key selling point in the sport sedan segment. In conjunction with a bold new design including the Lexus spindle grille, the all-new IS has been painstakingly engineered to have excellent dynamic capabilities to provide an exceptionaldriving experience.
“I adopted an entirely different approach to the development of the all-new IS,” said Junichi Furuyama, IS chief engineer. “Specifically, it was to make an entertaining driving experience a major premise behind all aspects of performance.
Incorporating several Lexus-first features and technical innovations, the IS showcases an interior design with all the refinement and quality expected of a Lexus, plus a focused driver’s environment, a significant improvement in rear seat comfort and spaciousness, and a larger, more convenient trunk.
Rear- and AWD versions of the IS 250 are powered by a 2.5 liter V6 gas engine. The IS 350 features a 3.5 liter V6 gas engine. The IS 300h, which will be available in Europe, Japan,and select international markets, will employ the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, based on a newly developed 2.5L Atkinson-cycle engine.
IS adopts the Drive Mode Select system which offers up to four switchable driving modes- ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT S+ (S+ available on IS 350 only) - to optimize vehicle systems to suit the driver’s preferred combination of fuel economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
The IS 350 RWD features the eight-speed, Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission from the IS F high performance sedan with quicker shifts, full torque converter lockup and throttle blips in manual mode. The new IS is the first Lexus model to adopt G force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) control in Sport mode. This system automatically selects the optimal gear and downshift pattern in response to G force, and maintains the selected gear through a corner.
IS F SPORT models not only benefit from exclusive, exterior and interior design features, but also genuine dynamic enhancements. Both the front and rear suspension systems and the Electric Power Steering (EPS) are exclusively tuned for F SPORT, enhancing handling performance. An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system is tuned for F SPORT models, while Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) is also available on IS 350.
F SPORT models announce their presence with an exclusive spindle grille that incorporates a bolder insert design. The bottom corners of the front bumpers feature aerodynamic detailing to provide enhanced brake cooling. Unique 18-inch wheels feature a Y-spoke design inspired by the LFA.
On board, drivers will receive vehicle information from an innovative driver’s meter cluster with a moving center ring, inspired by the LFA. Interior trim detailing includes an F SPORT steering wheel and shift knob, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates that include the Lexus logo.
Refined materials throughout the cabin are complimented by a high quality analog clock with surface-emitting illumination. The climate control system incorporates Lexus-first electrostatic switches, which enable vehicle occupants to adjust temperature settings with the touch of a finger.
All IS models are equipped with the next generation, Lexus Display Audio or Remote Touch-controlled Navigation multimedia systems. Both multimedia systems provide industry-first complimentary real-time traffic and weather information delivered without a subscription through HD™ Radio Technology. The new steering wheel is the first on a Lexus to coordinate multimedia system control with both the meter cluster and center console displays.
The 2014 IS has 10 airbags standard, including rear seat side airbags. Available safety and security features include an Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp system, a Lane Departure Alert (LDA) system, a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and a Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system.
The AHB headlamp system maximizes visibility at night by automatically switching to low beams when its camera detects the lights of either an oncoming or preceding vehicle.
An LDA system helps prevent unintended lane changes by alerting the driver when the vehicle deviates from its lane without the operation of the turn signal.
The BSM uses rear mounted radar to detect vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the outer door mirrors.
The RCTA system employs the BSM radar to alert the driver to approaching vehicles when backing out of a parking space.
The all-new Lexus IS will go on sale in mid-2013.