The new definition of sport is hybrid in Lexus lexicon with the 2021 IS model range due for release in the first of April all hybrid drives.
The revised range will feature three models – IS 300h EX, IS 300h SE and IS 300 F Sport.
Features that become standard on the Lexus IS for the first time include 18-inch alloy wheels for the EX and SE (19-inch for the F Sport), an electric park brake (replacing foot-operated), new 10,3-inch touch-display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a pre-collision system for the SE grade and F Sport featuring daytime/night-time pedestrian detection plus daytime cyclist detection, all-speed active cruise control (SE and F Sport), lane tracing assist (SE and F Sport), blind-spot monitor (SE and F Sport), rear cross-traffic alert+brake, as well as a panoramic view monitor for the SE and F Sport when reversing.
This is an addition to smart entry and start, heated and power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker audio for the EX grade and 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound for SE and F Sport grades. The top-spec models also come standard with satellite navigation, voice control and LED headlamps with automatic high-beam.
The models achieve a total system output of 164 kW. The IS has a combined-cycle fuel consumption from as low as 5,2 l/100 km. The 0-100 sprint is dispatched in 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 200 km/h. The IS boasts a petrol-hybrid 2,5 litre CVT engine that achieves a maximum power of 133 kW at 6 000 r/min and maximum torque of 221 Nm from 4 200 r/min.
The front grille features the mesh pattern that has been used on all F Sport models, complementing the brand’s sporty image. The lower grille construction incorporates RC-F inspired air intakes, also strengthening its sporty image.
The Automatic High Beam (AHB) Headlamps on the F Sport grade also features the new slim design, along with three newly-designed high-beam projector lamps and integrated L-shaped DRLs.
Lexus South Africa Vice President of Sale and Marketing, Glenn Crompton says the new Lexus IS will re-invigorate the medium sedan class with its stunning focus on three key attributes: “An intense focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics, will help ensure a new generation of Lexus customers are welcomed into IS sports sedan ownership.
“The hybrid direction and sports focus of the new IS, alongside the luxurious ES, deliver two distinct personalities for Lexus customers to select from in this segment.”
The new Lexus IS matches or exceeds the active safety technology featured in the current flagship Lexus LS.
Standard on the SE and F Sport grades, the new Lexus Safety System+ supports pre-collision warning (from approximately 10 to 180 km/h), pre-collision brake assist (from approximately 30 to 80 km/h with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, or approximately 30 to 180 km/h with a detected preceding or stopped vehicle), and pre-collision braking (from approximately 10 to 80 km/h with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, or approximately 10 to 180km/h with a detected preceding or stopped vehicle).
These systems are designed to work with both daytime and night-time pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection.
At an intersection, the pre-collision system is designed to provide a warning alert, then braking, if a driver is turning in front of a detected oncoming vehicle in the opposite lane or pedestrian in the opposite direction. It is also the first Lexus to offer emergency steering assist (ESA), which is designed to automatically apply additional steering torque to assist the driver in manoeuvring within its lane around an unforeseen pedestrian (for example) walking ahead.
Substantial chassis changes include a 45 mm wider front and 50 m wider rear track for greater vehicle turn-in and stability. Body rigidity has been improved, including the addition of bracing connecting the front-pillar section and apron member, contributing to the enhanced steering response and cornering ability.
The double-wishbone front suspension now features lighter and stronger components. This includes a new high-stress material for the coil springs (20% weight reduction), an upper control arm material change from steel to aluminium (18% weight reduction), a reshaped and re-engineered bound stopper to reduce shock, and wheel bolt fasteners for improved axle rigidity and reduced unsprung mass.
The multi-link rear suspension also includes a coil spring material change (20% weight reduction), second control arm material change from steel to aluminium (20% weight reduction) and a new rear stabiliser bar (17% weight reduction).
The Lexus IS models retail from R841 300 for the EX grade, R899 800 for the SE grade and
R916 100 for the F Sport. The entire IS range boasts a 7-year/105 000 km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle service intervals are pegged at every 15 000 km, alternatively once a year.