New Lexus IS officially debutedJune 16, 2020
The third-generation Lexus IS returns by 2013, but receives a substantial update for the 2021 model.
Although the model is not entirely new, the car has been significantly redesigned and looks much better than its predecessor. Starting from the front panel, a new grille with a “three-dimensional, multifaceted structure” has appeared. It is surrounded by new headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, which gives the car a much more modern and upscale look.
The style changes do not end there, as the designers gave the IS a fresh silhouette complete with restyled side skirts, a revised door with downward curved terrain and large 18-inch alloy wheels. The rear has a more curved trunk, a new bumper and upgraded taillights, which are now connected by a thin backlit strip.
In terms of size, the new IS is slightly larger than its predecessor, as it is 30 mm longer, 30 mm wider and 5 mm higher. The only measurement that does not change is the wheelbase of the car 2,800 mm.
Although the exterior changes in style are quite significant, interior updates are barely noticeable. However, there is a modestly redesigned dashboard with new round air vents. The glove box trim has also been removed, and the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system moves 76 mm closer to the driver for better access.
The model also received a new 10.3-inch display infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as integration with Amazon Alexa. A larger display is available in cars with a navigation package, and can be paired with an upgraded premium Mark Levinson audio system, which now boasts 17 speakers and 1800 watts.
While a number of internal components carry over, the new IS is equipped with electric front seats that are trimmed with NuLuxe upholstery. Customers will also find dual-zone automatic climate control and a SmartAccess system with an ignition button.
Lexus IS F Sport returns to the line with unique styling inside and out. As for the exterior, the model is equipped with sports bumpers, a unique radiator grill, a rear spoiler, a sports exhaust system, a diffuser and 19-inch alloy wheels.
F Sport customers can order the optional Dynamic Handling Package, which includes an adaptive suspension, carbon fiber rear spoiler, and 19-inch BBS forged wheels with carbon fiber caps and matte black trim. The latter are intended not only for appearance, since each disk weighs about 1.8 kg less than the standard one.
Inside, F Sport drivers will find heated / ventilated sports seats, a heated leather steering wheel, a perforated leather shift lever, alloy pedals, stainless steel trim and special intersecting-line embossed door panels.
Under the hood of the rear-wheel drive IS 300 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 241 hp. and torque of 349 Nm. It is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is equipped with an “advanced G-force artificial intelligence system that controls several performance parameters to determine the optimal gear selection”.
Despite a similar name, the all-wheel drive IS 300 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 with 260 hp. and a torque of 320 Nm. It is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission that transfers power to the rear-wheel drive all-wheel drive system.
Lastly, the IS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 311 hp. and 379 Nm of torque. The rear-wheel drive option has an 8-speed automatic transmission and can accelerate to 96 km / h in 5.6 seconds. The all-wheel drive IS 350 combines with a 6-speed automatic transmission and accelerates to 96 km / h in 5.7 seconds.
Although the 2021 IS is not new, this does not mean that the chassis is portable. In particular, the model was tested and developed in the Toyota Shimoyama technical center and is the first car with the new Lexus Driving Signature. Engineers focused on increasing body stiffness by “reinforcing the side supports of the radiator, increasing the number of weld points on the front side member and optimizing reinforcement structures from C-pillars to the sides of the roof.” Lexus claims that the changes help reduce noise and vibration, while also improving driving comfort and driving performance.
The car was also equipped with a carefully redesigned suspension, which received forged aluminum A-shaped levers, 18% lighter than its predecessors, as well as a stabilizing bar and new coil springs, 17% and 20% lighter than old components. The model is also equipped with hub bolts that improve braking and handling, as well as eliminate about 0.9 kg of unsprung weight. Among other important features are new shock absorbers with rotary ultra-high-speed valves, which can “respond to the most minor bumps in the road.”
In terms of safety, the new one gets an updated Lexus + system with an improved camera and millimeter-wave radar, which allows the car to better see cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles. The model also has an improved Lane Tracing Assist feature. In addition, new safety systems include frontal collision warning and automatic emergency braking, emergency steering system, dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beam, traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic warning and blind spot monitoring.
In the fall, Lexus IS 2021 model year will go to dealerships in the United States, and prices will be announced closer to launch. The model will also be available in approximately 39 other countries.
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