2017 Lexus IS Preview – New Noses, Wilder F-Sport Upgrades and Quicker Sprint Pace

The new IS is half-way here!  The revised model just bowed in Beijing with fresh bumpers, lighting, transmissions and infotainment.

Why half-way?  We have only seen a partial look so far at the new US-market IS based on this debut.  The IS shown here in F Sport guise is wearing China-exclusive LEDs that are not the design we’ll see stateside.  The other show vehicle in China shows the base IS face, with new arrowhead LEDs, a slice of LED inside the lamp itself, and projector-beam main lights.  All good stuff — especially as these new lights have auto highbeams — a favorite feature around here.

So, behond the fresh lights up front are new grilles and sweeping new brake cooling intakes below each cheekbone.  It is an aggressive and very cool look for the base IS200t as shown here.  The F Sport IS gets even more aggressive and shapely in front, though a US-spec look is still forthcoming. We’re hoping for an LED multi-beam main lighting option, but that may wait for a 2018 IS…F!  Yes.

Until then though, the glasshouse looks like it stays the same, but with new door shapes down below and even sharper sill extensions.  This crisp upswept line makes the proportions of the IS incredibly cool from around back and the sides.

The 2017 IS cabin packs an updated dash design and 10.3-inch screen versus the 7-incher before. New controls, shortcuts and hardware/software redesigns bring the IS right up to date with its new GS and RX brothers.

The powertrain of the IS200t, plus the IS350 in the US, will upgrade to eight-speed automatics.  The IS300 AWD is TBD on this new gearbox, but very likely to make the change at the same time when the new IS models arrive stateside.  The eight-speed is up to a half-second quicker than the six-speed it replaces.  This may get the IS350 comfortably under 5.0-seconds to 60-mph…!  The IS200t itself is aiming for the mid to low 6’s.

That arrival timing is unknown as of now, but we’d estimate August or late July for the first arrivals.


2017 Lexus IS (US-spec IS200t, standard model)

New Lexus IS Debuts at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show

April 24, 2016

BEIJING (April 25, 2016) — A daring new styling direction, exciting performance and innovative technology defined the completely new Lexus IS that was introduced in 2013. Since then, sales of the luxury brand’s entry-level sedan have surpassed expectations, outselling the previous-generation model, which was very popular in its own right. At the Beijing Auto Show today, Lexus has taken the covers off the new IS, armed with a fresh new look and a number of important changes.

Because the original styling of the current IS has proved so popular, Lexus has kept the essence of car’s exterior appearance intact; however, the entire front fascia of the new model has undergone a transformation, highlighted by new headlamps, large air intakes in the front bumper and an evolution of Lexus’ spindle grille.

The bumpers, with incorporated air intakes, flow dynamically from the fenders, giving the new front end a high level of aggressiveness. The new grille folds back at a higher point, changing its top and bottom proportions that enhance its sporty feel with a visually lower center of gravity, while blending effortlessly into the reshaped hood. The sleeker profile of the IS, together with the enhanced character line that runs down the side of the car, makes the new IS seem as if it’s in constant motion even when sitting still. The F SPORT’s grille features an exclusive 3-dimentional F-mesh pattern, with jet-black metallic coating that incorporates functional brake ducts. These brake ducts provide a sense of continuity with the side garnishes that enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.

Adding to the IS’s dynamic flair are standard 10-spoke 17-in. wheels that boast new designs with bright machine finishes. Changes to the rear are highlighted by more pronounced “L”-shaped LED light guides that are now triple layered within the taillight housing and new rectangular chrome exhaust tips that accentuate the car’s sporting nature. Also, two new paint schemes—Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake—have been added to the IS’s exterior color palette.

In keeping with the same theme as the exterior, thoughtful improvements have been incorporated into the new IS’s cabin. The first thing that’s sure to catch your eye is the multimedia display screen that has grown from 7 inches to 10.3 inches. The new high-resolution monitor offers a larger and clearer image of the various functions of Lexus’ innovative multimedia system. Also, “Enter” buttons have been added to the sides of the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) on the center console, making the system easier to use. On the center dash the audio and ventilation-control panel has been refined to fit completely within the knee bolsters, with a new hairline-finish surface that provides both a high-quality feel and improved appearance. 

New stitching on top of the meter hood enhances the sporty feel of the IS cockpit, as do the refined speedometer and tachometer. For interior colors, Moonstone and Ivory have been replaced by Chateau, a new light shade that blends the elegance of Ivory with a more modern light-gray hue. Other changes to the new IS include new cup holders, a new larger leather-wrapped palm rest with stitching for the RTI and new markings on the in-dash analogue clock.

The new IS model lineup will remain unchanged with three engine offerings. The rear-wheel-drive IS 200t will be powered by the recently-added 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline-4 with intercooler, which comes mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine, first introduced on the NX crossover vehicle, features a number of innovative technologies including Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) that allows the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson cycles by varying the intake-valve opening angles, and the D-4ST direct injection system. It combines a high pressure fuel system for injection directly into the cylinders with a low pressure system for injection into the ports. Power is rated at 180kW at 5,800rpm or torque 350Nm at 1,650 to 4,400rpm.

The new IS’s safety equipment has been upgraded with the Lexus Safety System +. It combines Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Radar Cruise Control.

2017 Lexus IS200t F Sport (China-spec)

Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance.  With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers seven F SPORT models and two F performance models.  In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 236 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.
What do you think?