2014 - 2016 Lexus IS

2014 - 2016 Lexus IS Exterior
- image 531817
  • Lexus IS
  • Year:
    2014- 2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
    36100
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

“Change” has been a staple for the IS throughout its 18-year history. That was the case then and it remains so today.

The Lexus IS first came into the auto scene back in 1998 as the company was keen to enter the entry-level luxury sedan segment. It took until the year 2000 for the IS to enter the U.S., but once it was here, the IS has been a staple in the market.

Since its arrival, the IS has evolved into more than just a cheaper alternative to the ES sedan. The first generation IS only came in sedan and wagon variants, but all that changed when the second generation model arrived in 2005 with a high-performance V-8 sedan (the IS F) and two hardtop convertible versions (the IS 250 C and the IS 350 C) being added into the model range. That generation lasted for eight years before Lexus unveiled the third generation IS in 2013. Not surprisingly, the latest - and current - iteration of the IS also came with an expanded menu of new variants, namely the IS 300h hybrid and the performance-tuned F Sport package.

To be clear, the IS hasn’t been perfect. There have been some missteps throughout its journey to relevancy. Questionable engine choices have been made, specifically the lackluster 2.5-liter V-6 that used on the 2014 IS 250 AWD. For the most, part, though, the entry-level luxury sedan has proven its worth against the institutions of the segment.

Lexus has just unveiled the 2016 IS], and to no one’s surprise, it’s arriving with some notable changes, including the addition of the IS 300 AWD and 200t models, and the discontinuation of the IS 200 AWD and IS 250 AWD.
The question now is: can it finally make the leap to challenge the same institutions?

Continue reading to read more about the 2016 Lexus IS.

 

Latest Lexus IS news and reviews:

Two More Sedans Could Head to the Chopping Block as Lexus Contemplates its Future

Two More Sedans Could Head to the Chopping Block as Lexus Contemplates its Future

Spoiler Alert – It’s the IS and the GS!

We cannot stress enough on the fact that sedans are on their way to extinction. After Ford and Chevrolet, the trend seems to be making its way into the premium automakers’ category as well. This time, it’s Lexus with the IS and the GS sedans. Is this a smart move by a company whose sales figures are controlled by loyalists?

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The 2017 Lexus IS Interior's Big Annoyance: Form over Function

The 2017 Lexus IS Interior’s Big Annoyance: Form over Function

Sometimes pretty doesn’t equal usable

Form and function are two concepts often competing for the same space. Form, the beauty and style of an object, can prove hard to retain when adding functionality, the ingrained usability of an object. The 2017 Lexus IS sedan is a perfect example of an automotive battleground where these two concepts duke it out. And in the Lexus’ case, form is winning.

Let’s back up a bit. I’m driving the revised 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport sedan this week – the 2.0-liter turbo-four-powered, RWD sports sedan from Toyota’s luxury brand. This compact 3 Series competitor offers a taught suspension with summer performance tires, sexy bodylines, and a beautifully designed interior, all powered by 241 horsepower. There are negatives about the IS, but they relatively few and far between. The biggest complaint, however, is the lack of functionality within its center console.

Lexus designers did an amazing job sketching out the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console. Sadly, they seemed to forget how Americans use their cars. There is simply a lack of handy storage space and usable cup holders.

The two cup holders are placed too far rearward, making it hard to reach for drinks. Even worse, the presence of cups renders the passenger’s left arm an orphan, consuming all the armrest space afforded to the shotgun rider. The cup holders are also too small for larger drink containers. Secondly, there is no space for cell phones, wallets, or other odds and ends people tend to store in a console cubby hole. Yes, there’s the under-armrest storage compartment, but it’s not the handiest place for such items.

The remedy for this form over function layout is simple – though it doesn’t change anything: think of the IS as a driver’s car. Sure, the vast majority of American IS buyers use the car as daily transportation, but the designers apparently thought coin trays, storage bins, and convenient cup holders weren’t necessary to the task of driving. And while they’re right in the purest sense of a sports car, the lack of everyday usability is unwelcomely compromised.

The faux pas doesn’t diminish my appreciation for the IS sedan, but would make ownership a bit more challenging. Let’s hope Lexus finds a way to inject functionality into the cockpit of the next generation.

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Lexus unveils LIT IS; aka an IS wrapped in almost 42k LEDs

Lexus unveils LIT IS; aka an IS wrapped in almost 42k LEDs

Does this make up for the weird Sriracha IS? Maybe....

After the internet chewed up and spit out the Lexus Sriracha IS, Lexus has to do something to stop the trolls from cannibalizing anything else with a crooked “L” badge on it. So what did it do? It took another Lexus IS and wrapped that sucker with 41,999 (don’t even try to ask why they didn’t just do 42,000) LEDs to make it one of the largest digital rolling distractions that we’ve ever seen. The car was designed in collaboration between Lexus and Vevo to “send a bold signal,” and is featured in Dua Lipa’s “Be the One” music video.

According to Lexus, each of the 41,999 LEDs were applied to the vehicle by hand and, when working together, can broadcast graphics and display animations in response to music and human gestures. When speaking of the car’s debut in Lipa’s music video, Brian Bolain – the General Manager of Product and Consumer Marketing for Lexus – said, “A car as visually striking as the LIT IS required an equally dramatic debut,” said Brian Bolain, Lexus general manager of product and consumer marketing. A music video was a perfect place to launch the LIT IS and working with Dua Lipa allowed the concept to come to life, putting a spotlight on the Lexus IS in an entirely new way.”

The entire car can produce a total of 175,000 lumens when full animated and the LED strips would stretch the length of a half mile, should they be laid out end to end. Say what you want about the Sriracha IS, but this is a far more interesting taking on the IS.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Lexus Sriracha IS

2017 Lexus Sriracha IS

Care for some hot sauce on this special edition Lexus IS?

Special edition cars can go in a variety of different ways depending on the person who’s looking at them. There are some models like the 2013 BMW 760Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition that inspired universal acclaim. On the flip side, some special edition versions like the DS3 Givenchy Le MakeUp were panned for one reason or another. Somewhere in the middle of this vast expanse of special edition models sits the Lexus Sriracha IS, a unique iteration of the Japanese automaker’s luxury sedan that’s inspired by the Sriracha sauce made famous by the California-based hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods.

Yep, hell has frozen over now that cars are being inspired by food condiments.

To be fair, the Sriracha IS doesn’t look too bad. It actually has some appeal to it if you’re the type who appreciates a red car with green accents on it. At the very least, it is eye-catching, which I suppose is the reaction West Coast Customs was looking for when it was enlisted by Lexus to work on the IS and give it the Sriracha treatment in time for its debut, which occurred at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Give West Coast Customs this much; the custom features on the IS are really something else. The paint job itself took some time to plan and execute and the accompanying green accents are both bold and consistent with the color scheme of the hot sauce company. Even the interior is dressed up to be completely in tune with the hot sauce company’s identity, something I never thought I’d get to write, let alone see in my lifetime.

About the only thing disappointing about the Lexus Sriracha IS is that West Coast Customs didn’t do something to spice up the sedan’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It still packs 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on account of the IS 300 AWD badge on the sedan. I just would’ve preferred it if Lexus instead based the Sriracha IS on the range-topping IS 350. At least that has 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque on tap. Or, you know, Lexus could just bring back the IS F. Speaking of which, what’s the word on that, Lexus?

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus Sriracha IS.

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Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

A chili-inspired sedan turns up the heat in L.A.

Created as a premium carmaker, Lexus has taken big steps into the high-performance realm in recent years with its F-badged models and the LFA sports car. The current IS is one of the few Lexus automobiles that has yet to receive the full-fledged F treatment, but the brand has come up with another way to offer a hot version of the sedan. It goes by the name IS Sriracha and it was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

If you’re not familiar with sriracha, you should know that it’s a type of hot sauce that originated from Thailand. Why would you name a car after a dipping sauce? Well, it turns out Lexus wanted to spice things up in the tuning segment and teamed up with Huy Fong Foods, a California-based manufacturer that produces the most famous sriracha sauce in the U.S. Built by the folks over at West Coast Customs, the IS Sriracha is quite the unique build and essentially a tribute to the hot dipping sauce.

As you’d expect from a chili-inspired vehicle, it is painted red. However, the hue is far from common. According to Lexus, the Sriracha Red paint was designed "to mimic Sriracha sauce inside the bottle and topped with a clear coating." The automaker also says it has experimented with a range of mixtures and methods, including... wait for it... adding sriracha sauce to the paint itself. Talk about innovation...

The sedan also features a large Huy Fong rooster logo on the front fenders and several details in green, the official signature color of Huy Fong Foods. These include the "Spindle" grille outline and brake calipers. Another crazy feature is the bespoke key fob that includes an emergency chili button that dispenses the sauce from a nozzle. Just in case drivers need more chili on their burgers.

Inside, the chili theme continues with a red steering wheel made by casting a Sriracha-like liquid in resin. The unit features a “Hot Handling” logo and chili-like flakes. There’s also leather seats with the Huy Fong rooster logo and green accents, green ambient lighting, and a special Sriracha Mode that tunes the powertrain for faster gear changes and more dynamic throttle mapping. Finally, the trunk is stocked with 43 bottles of Sriracha for "emergency condiment situations."

I’ve been there once, so yeah, that’s a good idea!

There’s no word as to what lurks under the hood, but the IS 300 AWD badge suggests that motivation comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It’s not the hottest IS out there, but it’s not slow either. The car also comes with two unique jackets that feature hand-embroidered images of the Sriracha IS and custom Sriracha IS patches, as well as custom... oven mitts.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Lexus IS

2017 Lexus IS

The IS got a nose job, new safety features, and some updated technology

When the Lexus IS debuted for the 2013 model year, it was a sporty sedan that sold much better than even Lexus had expected. Now that the model is a few years old, Lexus took it upon itself to give its sporty little entry-level sedan a refresh.

There isn’t a whole lot that changed, but the headlight units take on a different shape, and the front fascia is sportier than ever. There are also new taillight units, new wheel designs, and even a couple new colors. On the inside, the infotainment display screen has received an update, and there are a few other refinements within the cabin. The IS’ safety equipment even got a little love with this refresh.

All of that sounds pretty good for a refresh, doesn’t it? It’s not the most elaborate refresh – the same engines carry over from before – but there is enough newness to keep the little sedan fresh until the next-generation model comes to life. But, the real question is: Will the refresh be enough to keep sales of Lexus’ entry-level sedan soaring as they have for the last three years? Only time will tell, but now that the refreshed IS has debuted at the Beijing Auto Show, let’s take a closer look at what Lexus did in hopes of maintaining the car’s overwhelming success.

Updated 04/25/2016: Lexus unveiled the revised IS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Lexus IS.

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Latest Paris Motor Show:

2015 Lexus IS 350C - Driven

2015 Lexus IS 350C - Driven

The Lexus IS has been around since the year 2000, and has done quite well for itself. In fact, it has helped push the Lexus brand into the limelight, propelling the once fledgling luxury moniker into legitimate fights with Germany, Britain, and America’s best. But as the IS lineup enjoys its all-new redesign for 2014, the lone IS C continues unchanged, riding on the old IS platform and wearing the same IS design.

Now as 2015 comes to a close, Lexus has not official announced a replacement for the IS C, leaving it to serve as the brand’s only convertible. It’s tasked with competing against the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5 Cabriolet, and Mercedes C-Class Convertible – all of which are more up-to-date.

Of course, Lexus won’t leave the IS C out-gunned for much longer, or at least I hope. Though the updated IS Sedan could serve as the underpinnings for Lexus’ next convertible, I’ve got a sneaking hunch that there’s something new coming – something involving the new-for-2015 RC. The 2+2 coupe would make a fantastic foundation for hard-top convertible, and with its RC F derivative, could offer solid competition to the sportier models of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes’ convertible fleets. Only time will tell.

In the mean time, I had the chance to get behind the wheel of a 2015 IS 350C. I spent a week driving the drop-top around with the family in tow, doing everything from grabbing groceries to formal family functions.

How did it do? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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Lexus Unveils Drivable IS Full-Size Origami

Lexus Unveils Drivable IS Full-Size Origami

At first glance, this wild-looking Lexus might appear as though it was created via some breakthrough 3D-printing technique, but look more closely and you won’t see any plastic. It’s actually a one-off, life-sized origami model that expertly reconstructs the new IS sedan line for line. And believe it or not, you can sit in it and drive it around.

Lexus commissioned the project as a “celebration of the human craftsmanship skills” that go into each of its models, particularly from the workers on the production line. Also known as “takumi” (the Japanese word for “artisan”), Lexus asks these men and women to sharpen their dexterity by folding an origami cat using only their non-dominant hand.

The origami Lexus was constructed using 1,700 individual cardboard sheets, each laser-cut for exacting precision. You’ll also find working headlights and a frame made from steel and aluminum Nearly every other component, however, is recreated with cardboard, including the body, opening doors, rolling wheels, and a full interior. The car is also quite green – motive power is derived from an electric motor, and all of the cardboard is recyclable.

From start to finish, the project took three months to complete. U.K. residents can check out the origami Lexus in person when it makes its first public debut at the Grand Designs Live Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, October 8th.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2014 - 2016 Lexus IS

2014 - 2016 Lexus IS

“Change” has been a staple for the IS throughout its 18-year history. That was the case then and it remains so today.

The Lexus IS first came into the auto scene back in 1998 as the company was keen to enter the entry-level luxury sedan segment. It took until the year 2000 for the IS to enter the U.S., but once it was here, the IS has been a staple in the market.

Since its arrival, the IS has evolved into more than just a cheaper alternative to the ES sedan. The first generation IS only came in sedan and wagon variants, but all that changed when the second generation model arrived in 2005 with a high-performance V-8 sedan (the IS F) and two hardtop convertible versions (the IS 250 C and the IS 350 C) being added into the model range. That generation lasted for eight years before Lexus unveiled the third generation IS in 2013. Not surprisingly, the latest - and current - iteration of the IS also came with an expanded menu of new variants, namely the IS 300h hybrid and the performance-tuned F Sport package.

To be clear, the IS hasn’t been perfect. There have been some missteps throughout its journey to relevancy. Questionable engine choices have been made, specifically the lackluster 2.5-liter V-6 that used on the 2014 IS 250 AWD. For the most, part, though, the entry-level luxury sedan has proven its worth against the institutions of the segment.

Lexus has just unveiled the 2016 IS], and to no one’s surprise, it’s arriving with some notable changes, including the addition of the IS 300 AWD and 200t models, and the discontinuation of the IS 200 AWD and IS 250 AWD.
The question now is: can it finally make the leap to challenge the same institutions?

Continue reading to read more about the 2016 Lexus IS.

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2016 Lexus IS 200t

2016 Lexus IS 200t

Lexus always seems to be just a step behind the big boys in Germany, particularly in turbocharged, small-displacement engines. Today, however, it takes a step forward with the introduction of the turbocharged IS 200t.

Though it took some time, the boosted IS was a near certainty once Lexus introduced the 2015 Lexus NX 200t and its turbo four-cylinder. What made it even more obvious that the IS 200t was on its way was the fact that the aforementioned NX 200t had a pile more power than the base-level, V-6-powered IS 250.

Despite its healthy power ratings, the IS 200t is oddly slow in acceleration, as the 328i will beat it to 60 mph by a pretty wide margin. However, the world of luxury auto shopping isn’t always won at the drag strip. A lot of it depends on bang for the buck.

Does the Lexus IS 200t have what it takes to complete with the German powerhouse?

Continue reading my review to find out.

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Lexus Trademarks IS 300 and RC 300

Lexus Trademarks IS 300 and RC 300

Trademarks are often worth just about as much as the paper the company filed them on, but some stand out more than others. Two recent trademarks that stand out are the IS 300 and RC 300 by Lexus.

While it isn’t odd to see a “300” trailing the letters in a Lexus name, what is odd is the lack of an “h” after the “300.” This “h” is a signal that the model is a hybrid, and it follows the only other “300” model in Lexus’s lineup, the 2013 Lexys ES 300h. So what is Lexus doing here?

In all of Lexus’ non-hybrid models, the numbers in the name indicate the engine size; for example, the RC 350, ES 350, IS 350, and GS 350 all have a 3.5-liter V-6, while the GX 460 has a 4.6-liter V-8, and the LX 570 has a 5.7-liter V-8. Logic says that Lexus is working on a new 3.0-liter V-6 engine, right?

This may not be the case, as some reports are indicating that the IS 300 and RC 300 will use an updated version of the current 3.5-liter V-6. While I appreciate the report, I cannot find any logical reason for Lexus to completely mess up its naming scheme by installing a 3.5-liter V-6 engine in an IS 300 or RC 300. It simply doesn’t make sense.

I think the more obvious answer, and the correct one, is the initial thought that Lexus is working on a new 3.0-liter V-6 engine. This makes me wonder if a turbocharger or two may be in order too, helping the IS 300 and RC 300 better match up with the 340i and the 440i (if Bimmer releases one), which produce 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. This is 14 horsepower and 53 pound-feet more torque than the RC 350 and IS 350. Adding in a potent V-6 with a turbocharger seems like the logical move in the near future.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Lexus Looking for a Viable Solution for a New Convertible

Lexus Looking for a Viable Solution for a New Convertible

Reports suggest Lexus is struggling with what should replace its aging IS C convertible — an RC-based convertible like the recent 2015 LF-C2 concept or a more high-end convertible based on the LF-LC concept that debuted at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. As Automotive News reports, a Lexus insider says the automaker is pondering the decision, though Lexus says the LF-C2 was “purely a concept.”

Lexus’ general manager Jeff Bracken spoke with AN at the LA Auto Show last month saying, the LF-C2 is designed to appeal to “traditional luxury buyers” and an “exquisitely styled buyer group of younger folks.” This basically translates into any production version of the LF-C2 will be a higher-volume seller that has wide appeal to the Lexus customer base. (But we aren’t supposed to know the vehicle could move into production.)

A convertible version of the more high-end LF-LC would target those upper echelon customers looking to stand out regardless of vehicle price. The car would portray a classier image for the Lexus brand, serving more as a halo car than a sales leader.

As Lexus decides on its direction, the insider posed this: “The question is: Is the brand willing to support two convertibles?”

There certainly seems to be room for two, but with Lexus’ average customer age parked at 60, will the more “young” LF-C2 bring in more youthful buyers to the brand, or will its sales flounder like the IS C’s? “We definitely like our older customers," Bracken said. "It’s just that we need younger buyers in addition to that.” We’re hopeful Lexus can pull it off, but it will certainly be interesting to watch.

Click past the jump to read more about Lexus’ future convertible model.

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2015 Lexus IS Crafted Line Edition

2015 Lexus IS Crafted Line Edition

Lexus is famous for offering various special editions for its models. We’ve seen the LS400 Platinum Edition, the ES300 Coach Edition, and the SC430 Pebble Beach Edition in the past. It’s been a hot minute since the brand has had special packages such as these, and Lexus has announced that it will be offering a new, similar special edition for several of its models. The IS Crafted Line Edition, which will be offered on the 2015 IS 250 F Sport, is perhaps the most striking package yet, with gorgeous paint, contrasting trim, and a customized interior.

In usual fashion with these Special Edition Lexus models, all mechanics remain the same, but it’s the little bits and pieces that all come together to make these cars truly one-of-a-kind.

To ensure the highest level of exclusivity, Lexus is officially unveiling its Crafted Line Edition models at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Auto Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS Crafted Line Edition.

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2016 Lexus IS C

2016 Lexus IS C

Lexus’ IS line is very popular and a hot seller. The recently redesigned sedan combines futuristic, swoopy looks with typical Lexus luxury and build quality. It also has proven to be a legitimate sports sedan, besting both a BMW 335i and Cadillac ATS in independent testing. We recently reported on a possible coupe variant, and now we have a rendering of the IS C convertible update. The current IS C, while competent and classy, is a bit long in the tooth. It has been around since 2009 and, as of July 2014, hasn’t enjoyed the redesign the rest of the IS line received.

Our own Mark McNabb tested a 2014 IS 350 C F-Sport, and came away impressed with the drivetrain, luxurious interior, and power-folding hardtop. However, there is no denying the car’s age. Five years is an eternity in the automotive world, so Lexus needs to up its game and redesign

Click past the jump to see more about our rendering of the IS C and see what we expect it to bring to the table.

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Lexus IS-F Officially Discontinued

Lexus IS-F Officially Discontinued

It seems having a powerful, V-8 engine under the hood and impressive performance credentials aren’t always enough for a sports sedan to survive. Sales are equally important, and at least one such vehicle has failed to make an impact and is now facing the axe. We’re talking about the Lexus IS-F, which will no longer be supplied to the company’s dealerships, Telegraaf reports.

So what’s wrong with a high-performance sedan that comes with a 5.0-liter, V-8 engine rated at 416 horsepower and 371 pound-feet of torque? Well, let’s say that the 11,000 units sold since its introduction in 2007 weren’t good enough for company executives. Then there’s also the fact that the IS-F gained very few updates for 2014, while the regular IS got a complete makeover. Tough competition from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac didn’t help either.

Considering the aforementioned facts, Lexus’ decision to discontinue the IS-F is not at all surprising. However, we can’t help but notice that this sporty sedan has yet to receive the love it deserves in its seven years on the market. Will Lexus bring forth a brand-new IS-F? It’s a bit too early to speculate on that, but the RC-F is coming to carry the performance label further, albeit in a coupe body style.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS-F.

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2015 Lexus IS C

2015 Lexus IS C

The Lexus IS series has been around since 2000 as was Lexus’ attempt at making a proper sports sedan. The Japanese automaker did a respectable job with the IS, as it produced 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque form its 3.0-liter V-6. A five-speed automatic sent that power rearward. The IS’ design was a striking one, even propelling the aftermarket and a few other automakers into the whole clear-lens taillight fad. Things changed in 2006, as the IS lineup received an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. Lexus offered two levels of power in the IS 250 and IS 350 versions. Then in 2007, Lexus gave us the IS F; the 5.0-liter, V-8-powered BMW M3 rival. Though the IS lineup has moved to a new design theme for 2015, the IS C — Lexus’ hardtop convertible — remains looking as it did for 2013.

A redesigned ‘organ-type’ accelerator pedal, the addition of Slacker Radio to the Lexus Enform system, and updates to iHeartRadio 4.0 are all that’s new with the IS C for 2015. While it is disappointing Lexus hasn’t updated the car’s internal and external appearance, it’s also disappointing that the powertrain remains unchanged as well.

However, if a luxury hardtop convertible is on your wish list, the IS C still offers plenty to love, including a 20-second fold time for the top operation and plenty of power for motivation down the road.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus IS C.

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2014 Lexus IS 350C F Sport - Driven

2014 Lexus IS 350C F Sport - Driven

The Lexus IS has been roaming the streets of America since 2000. That IS 300 came powered by a 3.0-liter, inline-six-cylinder engine making 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The IS’ first generation was a groundbreaking one, setting plenty of design standards and even setting a few trends with its clear taillight housings. Then for 2006, the second-generation IS launched with an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. The car came in IS 250 and 350 guises until Lexus launched the IS F, a high-performance variant powered by a 5.0-liter V-8, in 2007. A clean sweep came across the IS lineup in 2008, along with the addition of a hardtop convertible. Still utilizing the second-generation platform and styling, the 2014 IS 350C soldiers on as the rest IS lineup gets a whole new look.

I just recently spent a week behind the wheel of Lexus’ 2014 IS 350C, complete with the F Sport package. Despite its exclusion from the redesign, the IS 350C is still a lovely car to look at and drive. Of course, the main focus surrounds that aluminum-alloy folding hardtop, and with good cause. A short, 20-second transformation makes the two door coupe into a 2+2 drop-top perfect for boulevard cruising and back-road burning.

Click past the jump for the full review

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2014 Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition

2014 Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition

Back in 2001, the Lexus IS 300 debuted to give the Japanese automaker a competitor for the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The IS 350 took its place in 2006 with a revised body and a new, 3.5-liter engine. The IS 350 received yet another redesign in 2014, giving it a more modern design to better handle the growing and changing luxury sedan realm. Markets other than the U.S. received a hybrid IS 300h for the 2013 model year (same as the U.S.-Spec 2014 model year) and at the tail end of 2014, the UK earns a new trim for the IS 300h dubbed the Executive Edition.

The Lexus IS 300h is the kind of car that already speaks for itself. It looks good, and it has an impressive and efficient powertrain. But every so often, a highly regarded car like the IS 300h is still subject to more improvements. Not that any of us are complaining because an even better equipped IS 300h means a more attractive model for customers. That’s what happened here after Lexus introduced a new Executive Edition model to the IS 300h range. The changes aren’t significant enough to completely change the model’s aesthetics, but it’s still significant enough to warrant our applause.

With all these add-ons, the IS 300h Executive Edition only costs £33,385, which is about $57,000 based on exchange rates (7/1/2014). That represents an increase of just £3,390 ($5,780), which is affordable enough for some new digs.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition.

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2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

There are few things in this country more American than a NASCAR race. Sure, apple pie and baseball might outrank it, but neither of those can compete with stock cars thundering around a track at 200 mph while continually riding on the brink of catastrophe as they race just inches away from a concrete wall and other drivers gunning to win. So when the opportunity arose to become deeply immersed in the culture during the recent All-Star race, I jumped at the chance.

It all started a few months ago with an email invite from Toyota. It read something along the lines of, “how about joining us at the NASCAR All-Star race and tours of the Joe Gibbs Racing Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame?” My reply went something like, “Heck yeah, I’ll be there!”

I decided to skip the crowded airports for a 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and a seven-hour drive through the heart of the eastern seaboard. I viewed this almost like a pilgrimage; setting out on a roadtrip for a destination of racing importance located in the rolling hills of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Once on the road, my choice of chariot was immediately affirmed. Unlike my last Lexus experience, the front seat was perfectly molded, padded, and bolstered. The more I drove, the more the car seemed to shrink around me, making tight maneuvering a thing of ease. The stout 3.5-liter V-6 offered plenty of grunt while the tight steering and sport-tuned suspension made each corner a memorable event.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and about my time spent at Joe Gibbs Racing Center

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Is This The Future Lexus IS-F?

Is This The Future Lexus IS-F?

Although the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 got a brand-new design for the 2014 model year, when the third-generation model arrived on U.S. shores, the brawnier IS-F version carried into the new year unchanged, with its much-deserved update to show up in 2015. Naturally, Lexus’ decision to keep the IS-F the same poured more gas on the already heated up rumor mill, with everyone trying to guess the way the company will bend the new design into an aggressive high-performance sedan.

Spanish website Autonocion is the latest to stir the IS-F waters and did so by posting a photo of an IS wearing a black roof, a fancier rear bumper and a small spoiler placed atop the trunk, while the vehicles badges are covered by... duct tape.

The source doesn’t say anything about the photo’s origin, it does ask whether the Lexus depicted above is the next IS-F or not. What’s more, the picture quickly made it onto Lexus Spain’s Facebook page, becoming viral among brand enthusiasts and fueling the rumor even more.

Well, no need to panic folks, this is NOT the next-generation IS-F, but only a new IS 350 fitted with a fancy TRD body kit that adds all of the rear features mentioned above. Moreover, as a Facebook user pointed out on Lexus Spain’s post, the vehicle was photographed at the Circuit of Jarama, where the owner was probably testing his aerodynamically improved car. Not to mention that the exhaust pipe configuration is far off the expected IS-F setup, which will resemble the staggered setup on the RC-F.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Lexus IS-F.

Thanks to our tipster Luis for the image.

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World Car of the Year Candidates Officially Announced

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show. Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf.

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

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Lexus may Reveal the New IS F Next Year

Last year, rumors swirled about Lexus eliminating the IS F sedan and focusing only on the development of the RC F coupe and the GS F sedan. New reports now suggest that Lexus is currently testing the next IS F, and that it could be unveiled sometime next year.

The same rumors suggest that the next IS F will be heavily influenced by the new RC F coupe, including its aggressive body kit, the sport-tuned suspension and the torque vectoring differential with three different modes.

What’s remains unknown is whether the V-8 engine will remain a part of the IS F. There were rumors suggesting that the next IS F could drop the V-8 engine because it would be impossible for the engine to meet the Euro 6 emission standards. The rumors suggested that Lexus would instead offer a naturally aspirated or turbocharged engine with pretty much the same output, but with improved fuel consumption and lowered CO2 emissions.

Now, we’re not too sure if this will indeed happen with the new IS F, especially if you consider that the new RC F uses the old 5.0-liter, V-8 engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS F.

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Lexus F-Range to Spawn Hybrid Sports Cars

Autocar recently had the opportunity to chat with a lead engineer from Lexus and according to the ex-development lead of the Lexus LF-A project, there are a few new high-performance models lined up for the future. The interaction with Haruhiko Tanahashi also raised rumors about a V-8 powered RC F coupe that could be headed for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

So, although an LF-A replacement won’t happen in the near future, a couple of F models may provide some excitement. That is until a more reasonably priced LF-A enters the fray.

The new ’F products’ would form the Japanese car maker’s premium high-performance range, starting with the RC F, GS-F and IS F. Lexus is gearing-up to introduce the second-generation IS F sedan for a later date, while the RC Coupe could get a V-8 engine transplant soon.

On top of all of these in-the-works goodies, Lexus officials also hint of performance hybrids being a part of the F-product lineup. That is sure to get anybody amped up — gratuitous electricity pun very much intended.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus’ F lineup

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2014 Lexus IS350 F-Sport by Vossen Wheels

2014 Lexus IS350 F-Sport by Vossen Wheels

Lexus offered its fans the chance to design their dream 2014 IS, and the seven best of the bunch were bought to life and put on display at the 2013 SEMA Show. One of the models that became a reality features a Tommy Kaira body kit and sits on Vossen wheels. It is on displayed at booth No. 46119.

This concept is based on the IS350 F-Sport and is one of the coolest IS models you will ever see. The concept features a special Pearl Yellow paint specially created by Platinum Motorsport for the Lexus LFA supercar.

This new paint suits the Tommy Kaira full aero package, which includes new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a discreet spoiler. The front bumper features additional air intakes for a better engine cooling, while additional LED lights give it a sinister glare at nighttime.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS350 F-Sport by Vossen Wheels.

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Latest Wallpapers:

2014 Lexus IS F-Sport by Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo

2014 Lexus IS F-Sport by Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo

For this year’s SEMA Show, Lexus challenged its fans to design the 2014 IS of their dreams. You can imagine that hundreds of designs rolled in, but only seven of them — the best of the best, of course — will become reality.

One of these seven cars was designed by Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo. Their design is based on an IS 250 equipped with the F-Sport package, and it features a combination of BASF Glasurit Orange Mercury and Galaxy Root Beer paint. The car received an aggressive, all-metal wide-body kit, and the design duo dropped it closer to the ground with an Air Runner Systems air ride.

There is also a new set of Wheel Works USA Emotion CR Kiwami wheels sized 19-by-9.5 inches up front and 19-by-10.5 inches on the rear. Bringing the concept to a halt is a Rotara brake system, featuring six-piston calipers squeezing 355-by-32 mm (13.97-by-1.25-inch) discs on both the front and rear.

Rounding out the mods is a custom exhaust and intake that helps improve the rumble of the 2.5-liter, V-6 engine.

Once the show opens up in Vegas, you can see is in the Outside Central Hall.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Lexus IS F-Sport.

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2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD

2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD

How does the latest Lexus style look in the flesh? Pretty darn sexy, if you ask us.

Wearing almost the exact shame shade of maroon paint as the 2012 LF-CC concept, and headlights to match as well, the 2014 IS is quickly becoming one of the best-looking compact luxury models available.

The IS 350 AWD is priced from $41,700 and is the top version of the IS lineup, except of course the F Sport variants.

Lexus brought the IS onto the market in 1998 as an entry level model placed under the more powerful ES luxury sedan.

The second generation arrived in 2005 and the third one was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and went on sale in mid-2013 in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions.

The IS 350 AWD comes loaded with tons of standard features, but customers interested in updating it even further have a lot of packages and options to choose from. The only problem is that these options are quite expensive and you can end up paying up to $60k for a highly equipped version.

The entire IS lineup was heavily updated for the new generation, and, just like with the GS and LS models it will feature an inverted trapezoidal upper grille, slanted lower grille and new headlights with LED technology.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD.

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Top-Ten Best Performance Sedans

Top-Ten Best Performance Sedans

What is the appeal of a really hardcore performance sedan? There are a dozen valid reasons, and most car guys will not need much persuading to get on-board. Killer pace starts from the new Panamera Turbo’s projected 3.2-second blastoff to 60 mph.

The ingredients for the recipe are deceptively simple: big power all over the rev dial, rear-drive bias strongly preferred, and a manual box unless the automatic is absolutely state of the art.

The last and least important part? Those rear doors. Buyers of the hottest full-size performance sedans typically do not mind a tiny back seat. After all, the best possible passengers back there will probably be adoring ladies in thousand-dollar outfits.

So, megalux atmosphere back there is more important than true comfort and versatility. After all, you cannot take three beautiful and giggling best friends for a windows-down, radio-up spin in the hills without a swanky coupe-like sedan.

Even better is a stomping acceleration soundtrack and real panache outside the hottest bars and restaurants. No longer just Euro exclusives: all the cars on this list can be bought or ordered right here in the U.S. for 2013 or 2014.

Representatives from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Jaguar, Audi and Cadillac are also proudly represented in this market for $50,000-plus super sedans.

Click past the jump for the current Top Ten Best Performance Sedans, with a few in there you might not have expected.

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2014 Lexus IS F

2014 Lexus IS F

The Lexus IS F hit the market in the 2008 model year as Lexus’ answer to the M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. With its more aggressive look and fire-breathing 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that produced 416 horsepower and 371 pound-feet of torque. It’s power was certainly enough to put it in the M3’s class, but it simply didn’t have the following of the legendary M3.

We were all hoping to see the IS F receive the same redesign that the other models within the IS lineup — IS 250 and IS 350 — but oddly enough, Lexus chose to carry the IS F into 2014 with the same design as 2013.

Fortunately, Lexus did add in a few minor updates to the 2014 IS F, but this is limited to just revised standard features, a new spoiler and a better-equipped interior.

Are these updates enough to retain the attention of buyers, or will they simply overlook the old-looking IS F?

Click past the jump to find out.

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2014 Lexus IS Sport Sedan DeviantART by Rob Evans

2014 Lexus IS Sport Sedan DeviantART by Rob Evans

The auto show season is quickly approaching and this means that we have to start thinking about the upcoming SEMA show. Apparently, Lexus has been thinking about SEMA for far longer than we have, as it and DeviantART held a contest that put some of the best design artist in the nation head-to-head in an attempt to create a bad-ass concept based on the 2014 IS Sport Sedan for the 2013 SEMA show.

Lexus whittled the contest down to 25 finalists and finally announced a winner and his creation today. Above, you can see Rob Evans’ first-place-winning rendition of the IS Sport Sedan. His mods are subtle and extreme at the same time — if that’s possible. Up front, you can see a mesh spindle grille, an extended front apron with massive air vents and a front splitter for some added downforce.

Down the side, he added in wider fenders that look to add at least 5 inches to the car’s stance, a set of side skirts that look like they were formed by the wind and a large rear vent to help keep the rear brakes cool. And we certainly cannot miss those monstrous concave wheels that are coated in a deep bronze or gold.

From the rear three-quarters shot, you can see fender flares cut off abruptly, adding a futuristic touch to this already stylish sedan. He also added a large rear bumper insert and diffuser with integrated trapezoidal tailpipes to cap off the design.

The real-life version of this Lexus IS will be in Lexus’s SEMA stand in the front of Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center between November 5th and 8th.

Click past the jump to see the second- and third-place entries.

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Lexus Teases a New Concept for the Frankfurt Auto Show

Lexus Teases a New Concept for the Frankfurt Auto Show

With the secondary shows out of the way, we are all set to start looking ahead to the main stretch of auto shows that kick off next month in Frankfurt. It looks as if Lexus is all set too, as it is in full tease mode on its media site and on Facebook. Today, it teased a rather sexy-looking headlight that is underscored by a lighted check.

All that Lexus had to say about the concept it that it will "stage the world premiere of a new concept vehicle at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA)." This leads us to wonder is maybe — just maybe — this could be the RC F Coupe (AKA IS F Coupe) that we have seen testing in the last few months.

The chances of this being the RC Coupe or RC F are slim, considering just how futuristic looking that headlight is. With all of the times that we have seen the RC F (IS F Coupe) out testing, we assume the design process is well beyond this too-advanced-for-production styling. But it could be a wildly designed concept to throw us off the scent a little.

We’ll just take a wait-and-see approach instead of wildly speculating, but we will admit that this image is rather intriguing.

Click past the jump to read more on the RC F.

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Latest spy shots:

Lexus Asks for Your Help Designing an IS 350 F-Sport for SEMA

In the past few years, automakers have made quite a habit of asking their customers to help them design the car of their dreams. The latest request comes from Lexus, which needs your help to design the best IS350 F-Sport for the 2013 SEMA Show.

Artists interested have from now through August 12th to submit their designs for the sedan. The winning design will be brought to life and showcased at the prestigious SEMA car show in November. Along with seeing his idea brought to life, the winner will also win a one-year lease on a 2014 Lexus IS along with other prizes. The second- and third-place winners, along with 22 additional semi-finalists, will also receive prize packages for their efforts.

If you are interested you can read all the rules of the contest by going online to deviantART.com/Lexus.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS F-Sport.

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Spy Shots: Lexus IS F Coupe (AKA RC F) Hits Nurburgring

For the second time in consecutive days, our spy shooters managed to catch this Lexus performance coupe out and about. There is a little confusion as to whether this is a production version of the RC F that Lexus filed a patent for earlier this year or a 2015 IS F Coupe.

Regardless of its name, it is very clear by the images that Lexus test drivers were pushing this coupe hard, which is evident by the amount of body lean the sporty coupe shows in the corner. There are no new details reveled in these new spy shots, but they are confirmation that the model is nearing production and is undergoing some intense training.

The powerplant driving the IS F is still a relative mystery, but rumors are pointing toward the deletion of the 5.0-liter V-8. The likely replacement would be a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with power reaching nearly 450 horsepower. This would put it right in line with its key competitor: the BMW M4.

Whether its named the RC F or IS F Coupe is up for argument, but what’s not up for debate is just how bad-ass this new coupe will be...

Click past the jump to see more spy shots.

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The Next Lexus IS F Could Arrive Without a V-8 Engine

A few months ago, it was rumored that Lexus could drop the IS F sports sedan for the next-generation IS. Apparently, Lexus made that decision due to the low sales reported last year - only 486 units.

New reports now suggest that Lexus IS chief engineer Junichi Furuyama hinted that a new-generation IS F could, in fact, happen.

While this may be good news, here comes the bad news: the next IS F could drop the current 5.0-liter V-8 engine because it will be impossible for the engine to meet the Euro 6 emissions standards. Furuyama said nothing else on the subject, but he revealed that the company will "probably need a new engine for the F model," with the most likely choices being a naturally aspirated or turbocharged engine. Another possibilities is a hybrid powertrain, but most likely this won’t happen for the current generation.

Expect the new generation IS F to be unveiled in the next 2 or 3 years.

Click past the jump to read more about the current IS-F.

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Lexus IS-F CCS-R will Compete in the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Last year, Lexus unveiled the IS-F CCS-R - the production version of theIS- F Club Circuit Sports Racer Concept - as the company’s special entry at the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year, the race car will return to the race, except that now it will feature a special, fan-based decal developed by Lexus in cooperation with Tony Hawk Foundation.

From June 3rd to June 20th, Lexus fans are invited to enter their names via a response to a Lexus Facebook post, a comment to a Lexus YouTube IS F CCS-R video or through Twitter and Instagram using #Lexus14K. 14,000 lucky fans will see their names posted on this special decal.

Once again, the IS-F CCS-R will be driven by professional driver Ken Gushi, who will attempt to take on the 12.42-mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak.

After the race, Lexus will donate a 2014 IS sedan to the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS-F CCS-R.

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2016 Lexus IS Coupe

2016 Lexus IS Coupe

After much teasing and prodding, Lexus finally unveiled the third-generation IS sedan earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. But, it looks like the Japanese automaker isn’t done with its IS lineup just yet. According to What Car, Lexus is expected to launch a coupe version of the IS in 2015, which will be based on the IS sedan.

As far as styling goes, the IS Coupe will take inspiration from the 2012 LF-CC Concept that we first saw at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Should that be the case, you can expect the IS Coupe to carry some of the concept’s design elements, including the large trapezoidal front grille, the contoured and aggressive looking profile, and the expansive use of LED lights.

As far as powertrain is concerned, the thinking within Lexus is to outfit the IS Coupe with the same 2.5-liter hybrid engine, which would only be available in Europe, Japan and other markets, if the coupe model stays consistent with the sedan. In this case, U.S.-bound IS Coupe models would likely arrive with the same 2.5 and 3.5-liter engines as the American sedan, which produce 204 horsepower and 306 horsepower, respectively.

Updated 05/30/2013: Today we have prepared a pretty cool rendering for the upcoming Lexus IS Coupe. We have started with a IS sedan and added a revised roofline and proportions inspired by the LF-CC Concept.

Click past the jump read about the Lexus LF-CC Concept and the upcoming IS Coupe

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2014 Lexus IS by TRD

2014 Lexus IS by TRD

When it comes to updating Toyota or Lexus models, the best work comes from in-house tuner: Toyota Racing Developments (TRD). In the past, TRD has rolled out some awesome work and the upgrades offered for the new-generation Lexus IS are no exception.

As usual, TRD is offering nothing big, but just enough aerodynamic and chassis improvements to set itself apart from standard models. For ¥437,700 (about $4,300) customers get new side skirts, front spoiler, rear bumper with integrated diffuser, trunk-mounted spoiler and twin tailpipes for the sport exhaust system.

TRD also offers an updated suspension system with performance dampers and braces for an additional ¥288,750 ($2,900). For another ¥527,625 ($5,200), you can also get a set of 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels.

Up to this point, these updates are only available in Japan, but they might make their way to the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS.

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Lexus Will Drop the IS-F Sports Sedan

Now that Lexus has officially unveiled the new-generation IS luxury sedan everyone was expecting an "F" version to follow. Well, not anymore!

Due to low sales - only 486 units last year - Lexus decided that there is no point offering a high-performance version anymore. Instead, the new IS will receive new sports versions, but none of them will wear the F nomenclature.

There is a combination of reasons why the IS-F is selling so badly, despite its incredible performance. First of course is its huge price ($61,750) that put it out of the reach of most Lexus buyers. Then there is its low fuel economy rating of 18 mpg, while the BMW M3 delivers 20 mpg.

Those of you who still want the IS-F, you still have the 2013 model year to buy one. After the 2013 model year sells out, it appears that Lexus is going to look for another alternative to challenge models like BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

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Video: Another Example of How Not to Drift

Video: Another Example of How Not to Drift

About a week ago, we showed you a video of a mentally fried dude doing his best Need for Speed impersonation: carelessly drifting on public roads with not a care in the world. We emphasized the dangers of being that reckless, no matter how cool it looks.

Turns out, another one of those videos has appeared on the ’Net, only this time, the perp can be seen driving a Lexus IS-F. The situations are different, but the dangers certainly aren’t. In this case, the driver successfully pulls off the high-speed drive in the middle of traffic, narrowly escaping crashing while doing his dangerous stunt.

Technically speaking, he pulls off an impressive drift. – added brownie points for the degree of difficulty but in all sense and sensibilities, this is the kind of drift we don’t encourage. We said it before, if you’re going to drift, make sure it’s in the appropriate environment where won’t risk your life and the lives of those around you.

The shorthand version: don’t be an idiot when you drift.

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2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

Lexus will unveil Show the new IS sedan next week at the 2013 Detroit Auto and, as no surprise to anyone, alongside the standard sedan, we will also see the F Sport version. To wet our whistles a little, Lexus has dropped the first official images on the new generation IS and, surprisingly, they reveal the F-Sport version.

When compared to a standard version, the F-Sport variant will add a more aggressive look, featuring special grille and front bumper design, an enhanced three-dimensional mesh grille, larger cooling openings, a black grille surround and, of course, an exclusive set of wheels. The model will also be equipped with a tuned chassis, a lowered suspension and a sportier interior with sports seats made using an integrated foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling.

Under the hood, the IS F-Sport will keep the same engines found in the standard IS, meaning a choice of 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines.

Full details will be unveiled during the car’s official debut in Detroit.

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2013 Lexus IS-F Race Cars by Mauer Racing

2013 Lexus IS-F Race Cars by Mauer Racing

Lexus of Brisbane recently made a pretty important purchase to bolster its standing as one of the premier Lexus dealerships in Australia. This all-important purchase was three IS-F race cars built by Mauer Racing of Switzerland.

Bought initially to become demonstrators and customer experience racers, Lexus of Brisbane is also thinking of unleashing these three bad boys out on a race track in the future. And why not, especially when you consider that Mauer Racing built these cars to serve that sole function.

For one, these cars are powered by the same TRD-developed, 600-horsepower, 4.7-litre V-8 engines that powered several Daytona prototype race cars in the United States. In addition, the race cars have also been given a slew of new race-specific features, including Motec engine management systems, ZF Sachs dampers, H&R springs, AP racing clutches and AP airlocks.

Other design details of the IS-F Race Cars include a wide-body cage monocoque that significantly helps in cutting down the car’s weight to just 1,290 kg (2,843 pounds). A six-speed, rear-mounted Hewland transmission was also installed, as were a set of 18-inch BBS wheels – 11-by-18-inch center-lock fronts and 12.5-by-18-inch center-lock rears - wrapped in racing tires.

Considering the history of how Lexus Brisbane purchased these three cars — a customer made the suggestion, and it went out and sealed the deal — there’s no telling what the plans are for it, apart from what it’s already mentioned.

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Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Obtaining exclusive access to test mules is an opportunity that manufacturers grant once in a blue moon. Some would consider it for the lucky few while some would simply snare at the idea. Lexus, however, was kind enough to let celebrity car collector, Jay Leno, take a look at the unannounced 2013 Lexus IS. Looks like beat every other journalist to it...

Though the car is wrapped in camouflage, it does show some elements of the final design that were inspired by the LF-CC concept. Jay also reveals some facts like the longer wheelbase and the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which was only available on the previous gen IS-F. Nothing more can be said. So we will have to stay mum just like the engineer in the video. At least until its 2013 unveil!

The mule Jay got to drive was powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 306 horsepower. What’s surprising is the noise it makes. For a modest V-6 engine, it sure sounds like a V-8 engine. Lexus used to be famous for completely deleting the engine noise, but now it’s the other way around. Lexus sure is going in the right direction when it comes to driver-oriented cars. Watch out BMW!

With the LF-CC concept in mind and a picture of this mule, you can render what it would look in full metal and wait to see if you’ve rendered it correctly when Lexus officially unveils it at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

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2013 Lexus IS F Twin Turbo "Black Mamba" by Fox Marketing

2013 Lexus IS F Twin Turbo "Black Mamba" by Fox Marketing

Fox Marketing knows how to put together aftermarket programs for Lexus vehicles. Apparently, it also knows how to develop a good nickname for it.

This program for the Lexus IS F Twin Turbo is dubbed the “Black Mamba,” an appropriate name given just how dark and foreboding the project is. For this program, which was commissioned by a customer, Fox Marketing gave it some extra character that belies the car’s sporty and aggressive nature.

To begin with, the aftermarket specialist gave the IS-F Turbo dual wastegates with dunk tubes, a pair of rear-mounted Turbonetics turbochargers and an intercooler. Hanging out of the back end are four stacked exhaust tips, bringing an end to the total of 114 feet of custom piping used in this customize IS-F.

On top of the performance upgrades, full sheet metal fender flares, a plastic welded rear bumper, side skirts, new headlights with daytime running lights, and smoked rear taillights painted in BASF Refinish R-M Oynx HD Waterborne Black paint all provide an improved look and feel to the sports sedan. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a set of 20-inch iForged Performance alloy wheels that have been reinforced with Alpine White bolts and wrapped in 20-inch T1R Toyo Tires.

As for the interior, Fox Marketing again went with the Alpine White treatment, dressing it up in such a way that not only contrasts the exterior look, but greatly complements it too.

The total output of this program has not been provided, but we expect Fox Marketing to release the information sometime soon, so stay tuned!

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Lexus offers up details on a "possible" IS-F Coupe

During the LF-CC’s North American at the 2012 SEMA Show, Lexus Marketing Boss Brian Bolain offered almost every possible detail on an upcoming performance two-door vehicle without necessarily confirming the production model. The new model will replace the outgoing SC and will most likely be offered with an IS-F Coupe nomenclature.

When talking about the sports car’s exterior design, Bolain said that the LF-CC Concept is a clear indication of what the future model will look like, especially when it comes to the monoform grille which will first be used in the upcoming 2014 IS F-Sport sedan. Also, the upcoming performance coupe will feature the company’s new signature Spindle Grille recently seen on the new GS sedan.

"Design is not something we’ve ever been given credit for. Design has got to become one of our hallmarks. With LF-LC and LF-CC we’re starting to prove to outsiders we can do it."

The future IS-F Coupe’s power source is still under consideration and Bolain confirmed that everything is possible, starting from a four-cylinder engine all the way up to a V8 engine.

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Spy Shots: 2014 Lexus IS Continues Testing

The second generation Lexus IS was unveiled in 2005 and has been on sale ever since with only a minor refresh in 2009. If Lexus wants to keep up with the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes C-Class, they really needed to offer a change for their luxury sedan. These spy images show that the change is well on its way as the third generation IS has been caught testing again somewhere in Europe. This time, though, the new prototype has been caught with less cammo than before.

The new Lexus IS will be built on a shortened version of the GS platform and, while its overall dimensions don’t appear to be changing, Lexus will focus on reducing the car’s total weight by as much as possible.

On the exterior, the new IS will follow the same direction as the new GS and LS models and will adopt the company’s new spindle grille.

The sedan version is set to be unveiled sometime in 2013. It will be followed by a convertible version and a high powered IS-F version one year later.

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Lexus is heading to Paris and Bringing a new Concept along

Car manufacturers love nothing more than to get us all talking about their latest concept. It makes them even more happy when there is an aura of mystery around it. Well, Toyota is one that loves pulling this stunt (See: over-dramatized 2013 Avalon release). This time around, Lexus, Toyota’s luxury arm, has chosen to remain even more secretive than its older cousin.

This new mystery for us to solve is the upcoming introduction of a new concept car at the Paris Motor Show. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait the full time to catch a glimpse of the new Lexus, as the luxury automaker has promised to release its first images on September 17th.

If Lexus is anything like its parent company, these images will likely be as nondescript as possible and not really reveal anything. Using our magical speculation meters, we are guessing that this will end up being the concept that the next-gen IS will be based off of. If so, we really can’t wait to find out what’s under the hood, as we are anticipating a nasty twin-boosted V-6 to grace the IS-F’s engine compartment.

Given the next-gen IS is about a year or two away, this makes sense for it to still be a concept car. We’ll definitely find out a lot more when Lexus decides to release some images. Hopefully they are enough to at least clue us in on whether it is the new IS lineup or not.

Stay tuned!

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Next-Gen Lexus IS-F may get a twin-turbo V6

With Lexus preparing to roll out the next generation IS, a lot of rumors have been circulating on the performance model of the car, the IS-F, particularly the kind of powertrain it’s expected to carry. The current IS-F is fitted with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 416 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 371 lb/ft of torque at 5,200 rpm.

Given that the car is Lexus’ answer to models ilke the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63, those numbers are pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves. But Lexus, who has become adept in ratcheting up its performance line, appears to be looking in a different direction regarding the powertrain for the next-gen IS-F.

Though no confirmations have been made on the matter, Autoblog is reporting that the next-generation IS-F could follow BMW’s approach - and seemingly everyone else’s approach - with the new M3 wherein the current V8 engine will be left out in favor of a more advanced, forced-induction, twin-turbo V6 engine that could, at least in estimates, provide ample power to produce around 450 horsepower and 450 lb/ft of torque. Taking into consideration the current model’s performance capabilities, that should equate to an improvement of 34 horsepower and 79 lb/ft of torque.

Lexus didn’t give any confirmation on this matter, but the company did prop up the benefits of having a smaller displacement engine under the hood of the new IS-F. Take that for what it’s worth for now.

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Video: About as Close as You Will Get to Racing an IS F Around the `Ring

Video: About as Close as You Will Get to Racing an IS F Around the `Ring

Videos of people tackling the `Ring are becoming more and more precious, as we await the outcome of its bankruptcy proceeding and find out if the Nürburgring will continue to exist or not. In the above video, we get a great look at just how awesome this sacred track really is, as we watch Kazunori Yamauchi navigate a Lexus IS F racecar around this technical track.

It’s not necessarily the most intense video, as it is relatively event-free, but watching Yamauchi whip the steering wheel as he feathers the throttle is a thing of art. You also get a front-row seat at seeing what it’s like on the `Ring, a thing that none of us will likely ever experience.

What’s even better is that this video was taken during the 24 hours race, so this isn’t the short version of the Nürburgring. This race includes the GP circuit of the `Ring, which also adds significant time to his lap, which YouTube commenters left so much negative feedback on, the poster had to add a disclaimer to the video.

So, crank up the speakers, kick back, and enjoy a spot in the passenger’s seat as Kazunori Yamauchi and his Lexus IS F take us for a tour around the `Ring. It’s definitely worth the 10 minutes.

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TopSpeed Rendering: 2013 Lexus IS-F Convertible

Last week, we brought out the very first spy shots of the upcoming Lexus IS-F Convertible, and today we’re taking the next step by providing a clearer look at the next sports convertible with our very own rendering.

When compared to the prototype shown in the spy shots, our rendering has been stripped of the large rear wing simply because that element will only be used for testing purposes and won’t make it to the production model. The rest of the design elements for the open top IS-F were inspired by the sedan version, including the new front bumper, quad exhaust pipes set up, wider wheel arches, and wheels.

In terms of power, Lexus will utilize the same engine found in the sedan: a 5.0 liter V8 engine that will deliver at least 416 HP.

The new Lexus IS-F Convertible will be unveiled in 2013 as a competitor for the upcoming BMW M4 Convertible.

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2013 Lexus IS-F Convertible

2013 Lexus IS-F Convertible

Shortly after Lexus released the IS-F sedan on the market, people began talking about a possible IS-F convertible version. Unfortunately, that was back in 2009 and all of us have yet to see a convertible in action...until now. Our spy photographers have captured the IS-F Convertible during some quick laps on the famous Nürburgring.

True to coupe/convertible traits, the convertible version will borrow all of the design elements from the sedan version. It will get the same new front bumper, quad exhaust pipes set up, wider wheel arches, and wheels. The prototype also shows a huge rear wing, but we strongly hope Lexus has only placed it there for aerodynamic reasons while testing and that it doesn’t find its way into the production version.

There will also be a more powerful engine underneath the hood. Expect to see the same 5.0 liter V8 engine to deliver at least the same as in the sedan: an impressive 416 HP!

Expect to see the new Lexus IS-F launched sometime in 2013 and yes, the upcoming BMW M3 (oops M4) Convertible will have plenty of reasons to fear their place on the market!

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2012 Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car

2012 Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car

In 2011, Lexus unveiled the IS- F Club Circuit Sports Racer Concept at the Tokyo Auto Show. Today, the company has introduced the production version of that concept that will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8, 2012.

The Lexus IS-F CCS-R will be powered by a 5.0 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 416 HP at 6,600 rpm and a peak torque of 371 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm. The engine will send its power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode.

For improved aerodynamics, the IS-F CCS-R received a carbon fiber hood, door handles, front fender, front spoiler, front canard, rear spoiler, and ventilator. Painted in a very cool Orange mica color, the race car sits on a new set of 18" wheels combined with a high-performance brake cooling system. Since this is a race car, Lexus also added a racing brake kit, racing exhaust system, and, of course, a roll cage.

UPDATE 06/11/2012: The new Lexus IS-F CCS-R is
preparing for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8, 2012, so Brian Smith, VP Lexus Marketing, does his part by explaining the modifications made to the car’s engine and body. Check out the video by clicking on the image above!

UPDATE 10/31/12: A surprise appearance at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, the Lexus IS-F CCS-R Race Car sure knows how to make waves in the biggest aftermarket show in the US. Can’t say we saw this one coming.

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Spy Shots: 2014 Lexus IS caught testing for the first time

Rumors about Lexus working on a new generation IS sedan have been around for awhile, but this is the first time a mule of the next IS has been caught testing. The mule is still wearing a modified body of the current generation, but it sits on a new platform, a new drivetrain, and a new suspension.

This beginner mule was the first move towards keeping the new design language hidden from all of us camera-happy journalists, but it still can’t keep us from speculating a bit on the new model. The next IS will feature the same design language as the recently announced GS and LS. Under the hood, it has been rumored to feature a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and/or a 3.6-liter flat-6 engine. The 2014 Lexus IS F will continue with a high-powered V-8 with an output of more than 400 HP. The IS-F will sprint from 0 to 60 mph sprint in about 4.5 seconds and will hit a top speed of about 170 mph.

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Video: Lexus IS-F drift goes wrong even before it starts

Video: Lexus IS-F drift goes wrong even before it starts

Sometimes, explanations aren’t really needed; you just watch a video of inane dumbassery and you pretty much get the picture of how something goes horribly wrong.

In the case of the driver of this Lexus IS-F, drifting probably isn’t in his future. That or he just made a pretty silly mistake from the get go.

The scene is the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon and the IS-F was supposed to do a drifting demonstration in front of a gathered crowd. It starts well enough, but even before the first tire screams and the first smoke is emitted, the driver loses control of the IS-F and rides the cement barricade, obliterating a number of miniature traffic cones in the process.

We don’t know how it went wrong all of a sudden, but it is pretty embarrassing for the dude behind the wheel of the IS-F. Here you are expected to wow a crowd with your supposedly sick drifting skills, but instead, you end up being the butt of jokes and a permanent resident of You Tube’s crack list of "Fail!" videos.

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Lexus plans to offer nine new or updated products this year

2011 hasn’t been the best year for Lexus on the North American market. The world crisis combined with the massive earthquake that shook Japan to its core in March 2011 hurt the company’s sales and made it surrender its 11-year reign as the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. However, Lexus has plans to make a major comeback, announcing plans to offer nine new or updated products to hopefully increase their sales by about 21%. This translates to 240,000 units compared to 2011’s 198,552 units.

"We will grow more than any other luxury brand this year. Our base plan is 240,000. But we think we can exceed that by a pretty good margin," said Mark Templin, Lexus General Manager.

The list of new models includes the GS 350 and GS 450h sport sedans arriving in February, followed by reworked versions of the ES 350, the IS 250 and 350, the LS 460, and the 600h. The LX SUV will also be refreshed in 2012.

But the biggest news for 2012 is theLF-LC Hybrid Concept shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. This concept will be immediately followed by a production version priced somewhere between $100,000 and $130,000.

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2012 Lexus IS-F Circuit Club Sport

2012 Lexus IS-F Circuit Club Sport

After we have seen the IS-F Circuit Club Sport Concept last year, Lexus has announced today the production version that wants to be a competitor for the BMW M3 GTS. The car has been designed by Toyota Racing Development and seems to be heavily inspired by the concept.

The new IS-F Club Sport features a series of technological and aerodynamic upgrades, including a new front spoiler, rear diffuser and hood all made in carbon fiber. And because this is a car about sportiness at the rear it gets a huge rear wing and of course a new set of light forged alloys.

On the performance section the car has received a performance damper kit offering two separate settings that independently adjust the compression, a TRD limited-slip differential and a TRD big brake kit. Under the hood the 5.0-litre V8 engine remained intact, meaning it still delivers 423 HP, but thanks to the other upgrades the 0 to 60 mph sprint time and top speed will be significantly improved, although we don’t have the official numbers just yet.

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