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Lexus IS evolving with sportier cues

Tweaks inside and out add power, refinement to entry-level sedan

Published: May 2, 2016, 10:30 PM
Updated: May 11, 2016, 3:36 PM

2017 Lexus IS 200t Side View. - Lexus IS 200t

2017 Lexus IS 350 Back View. - Lexus IS 350

Toyota has shown off what its Lexus vehicles are likely to look like in coming years, starting with the entry-level IS compact sedan that was unveiled at the recent Beijing Auto Show.

The new design is evolutionary primarily because the look of its predecessor was so popular, but it still has an entirely new front fascia featuring larger air intakes both in the size and look of the spindle grille (with the pinch higher up to change the proportions and reshape the hood) and bumper openings.

The headlights are reshaped to extend inward more, with the arrowhead “L” LED running lights still the eye-catching feature, and their presentation adds to a more aggressive front end look. The mesh pattern on the F-Sport grille is 3D and coated in a jet black metallic coating.

Around the side, there is a full length character line that adds a sense of movement to the profile, with the car riding on 10-spoke 17-inch wheels that show off new designs and coatings. And the rear features a new design to the LED lights that another layer of depth to their projection. New rectangular chrome exhaust tips add to the exotic sportiness of the new body, which adds two new colours — Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake.

2017 Lexus IS Interior View. - Lexus IS interior

The inside also features evolutionary design, such as a high-resolution multimedia display screen that grows to 10.3 inches (from 7), and an “Enter” button added to the Remote Touch Interface “mouse” on the centre console. The entire centre console also provides boundaries for the audio and heating/ventilation systems, for a clean and organized presentation.

The instrument display features new graphics for speedometer and odometer, and the interior also gets two new colours — Nuance Black and Noble Brown — while eliminating both Ivory and Moonstone in favour a light-grey Chateau. New cupholders, new look analog clock and new accent stitching are also on board.

Power continues to be supplied by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 3.5-litre V-6, though it is not yet known if the latter will again be available in two variations as in the current car (to create IS 300 and IS 350 models). The current engines use automatic transmissions as their standard powertrain partners — 8-speed with the turbo; 6-speed with the 3.5.