2014 - 2015 Lexus IS

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After teasing it for quite some time now, Lexus has finally unveiled the third generation IS sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The new model will be put on sale in mid-2013 in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions, and in 250 and 350 trim levels. There will also be an F-Sport variant, and Europe and Japan will get an IS 300h version featuring the new Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine combined with a high-torque motor.

The 2014 Lexus IS features the same design language we have already seen in models like GS and LS , including an inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille. Unlike the previous models, which featured a three-projector LED headlamp unit, the new IS receives Lexus’ new powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.

Both models will be offered with a V-6 engine, one in a 2.5-liter displacement and the other one in 3.5-liter displacement.

Updated 04/29/2013: Lexus announced today prices for the 2014 IS luxury sedan set to arrive at dealerships this summer. Click past the jump to learn more about it.

Updated 11/08/2013: Lexus came with its entire 2014 lineup at the Miami International Auto Show that opens its doors today. The new generation IS luxury sedan is of course included, so, if you happen to be in the neighborhood then you should definitely take a ride at the show.

Updated 06/27/2014: Lexus announced today a series of upgrades for the 2015 IS sedan which will be put on sale later in the summer. For the 2015 model year, IS gains a new pair of LED fog lights for the exterior, while the interior gets numerous cabin enhancements. Check them out after the jump.

Hit the jump to find out more details on the third generation Lexus IS.

Exterior

Lexus IS

The third-generation Lexus IS features a powerful stance with design elements shared with the previous sedan models launched by Lexus. It gets an inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille, new powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below and wide flare of the wheel arches.

Lexus is also offering an F-Sport package that adds in an exclusive spindle grille that incorporates a bolder-insert design, aerodynamic detailing on the bottom corners of the front bumpers and a unique set of 18-inch wheels in a Y-spoke design, which are inspired by the LFA.

New for 2015

  • new LED fog lights

Interior

Lexus IS
Lexus IS
Lexus IS

The interior features a clean, horizontal theme, combining refined materials with all the latest technologies offered by Lexus. The driver’s seat has been redesigned so it now offers greater comfort and better lateral support. There is also an LFA-inspired steering wheel and a high-quality analog clock with surface-emitting illumination.

The wheelbase is now 3 inches longer and ensures a more comfortable cabin and increased trunk capacity. The list of standard features is quite long and includes: a climate-control system that incorporates Lexus-first electrostatic switches, and Lexus Display Audio or Remote Touch-controlled Navigation multimedia systems.

New for 2015

  • heated steering wheel
  • F SPORT package now includes heated/ventilated front seats
  • the standard backup monitor adds dynamic gridlines
  • the in-demand Siri® Eyes Free mode, with technology licensed from Apple®
  • advanced Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included)

The Engine

Lexus IS

The 2014 Lexus IS is offered in two trim versions: IS 250 and IS 350. The base version is powered by a 2.5-liter V-6 gas engine and the IS 350 version gets a 3.5-liter V-6 gas engine.

The new IS will be offered with a new Drive Mode Select system that features four switchable driving modes – ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT S+.

For the top version — the IS 350 RWD — Lexus serves up an 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.

Up front, the new IS features a revised double-wishbone front suspension system and at the rear it gets a new multilink suspension system from the GS.

Prices

ModelDrive TypeEngineTransmissionMSRP
IS 250RWD2.5L V66AT$35,950
IS 250AWD2.5L V66AT$38,485
IS 350RWD3.5L V68AT$39,465
IS 350AWD3.5L V66AT$41,700

Available Packages:

PackageIS 250 RWDIS 250 AWDIS 350 RWDIS 350 AWD
Premium Package$1,050$610$1,050$610
Luxury Package$3,665$3,225$3,665$3,225
F SPORT Package$3,115$2,675$3,620$3,180

Optional Equipment

Navigation System$2,085
Navigation System with Mark Levinson$3,225
Backup Monitor$350
Power Rear Sunshade$210
18” Wheel Package with All-season tires$935
18” Wheel Package with Summer tires$935
Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS)$400
Intuitive Park Assist$500

The Competition

2014 Infiniti Q50

Infiniti Q50

The new Q50 - the replacement for the previous G sedan - was unveiled on the same floor in Detroit. It comes with an updated 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers a total of 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.

2013 BMW 3-Series

BMW 3 Series Sedan

The 3-series recently entered its new generation and it comes with an updated design and a new engine lineup. Customers can choose between a new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine with an impressive output of 245 horsepower and a 3.0 liter six-in-line unit that delivers a total of 306 horsepower.

All three models deliver an incredible level of equipment and all of them have entered a new generation, but which one is the best? Up to this point is pretty difficult to offer an answer, because the 3-Series is the only one with real production experience, while both the IS and Q50 are just a few days old.

LOVE IT
  • Improved appearance
  • Two engine
  • Highly equipped interior
LEAVE IT
  • No hybrid
  • No prices

Press Release

Lexus IS

Lexus today unveiled the all-new 2014 IS sedan at the North American International Auto Show. 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 exceptional driving 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.

“The conventional approach involves developing each individual aspect in the hope that they will combine to offer an engaging driving experience. By contrast, development of the new IS flipped this process on its head, first establishing the pleasurable driving experience owners desire, and then developing the individual performance elements to support it.”

Every aspect of the IS has been engineered with a renewed focus on engaging performance, agile handling, accurate response to driver input and highly communicative feedback.

“The IS has always been precise and fun to drive,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The all-new IS kicks it up a notch with true sport sedan driving dynamics, state of the art onboard technologies, and an all-new design that makes it look fast even when it’s standing still.”

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.

Engine/Transmission

Lexus IS

Rear- and all-weather drive 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.

Chassis/Body/Suspension/Brakes

Lexus IS

Driving enjoyment was at the heart of the new IS development program, and every aspect of the new Lexus sedan’s driving dynamics has been carefully engineered to that end.

New, laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding techniques, along with additional spot welding, have increased overall body rigidity. This enhances stability and also allows for a more comfortable ride without compromising handling agility.

The double wishbone front suspension system has been revised, offering a twenty percent increase in sway rigidity. The rear adopts a new multi-link suspension system from the GS. Fine tuning has resulted in outstanding grip performance and excellent response to steering inputs. Separate mounting of the spring and shock absorber maximizes trunk space.

Steering feel and feedback is key to an enjoyable driving experience, and the new IS benefits from a steering gear box based on that of the GS sedan, incorporating a variety of tuning techniques. The structure and rigidity of each gear box component has been revised to create a smoother and more accurate steering feel with enhanced input response and greater driver feedback.

F SPORT

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.

Exterior Design

Lexus IS

The overall dynamic shape of the body emphasizes the wide flare of the wheel arches to give the new IS a broad, powerful stance.

In profile, the strong horizontal beltline shows off the large rear tires and its low center of gravity. The exterior design includes a new, powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with Lexus’ trademark, L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.

Interior Design

The clean, horizontal theme of the interior is bisected by the strong upward sweep of the center console, creating an ergonomically ideal environment. The newly designed driver’s seat offers greater comfort and better lateral support. Both the seat hip point and the angle of the new, LFA-inspired steering wheel have been lowered and steering reach adjustment has been increased, creating a driver focused seating position.

To better accommodate passengers, the new IS wheelbase is nearly three inches longer, providing a more comfortable cabin and increased trunk capacity. The extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design results in three inches more knee room for rear passengers. New to the IS are standard, lockable 60:40 split/folding rear seats.

Refined materials throughout the cabin are complemented 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.

Safety/Security

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.


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