‘Sportier and dynamic’: 2021 Lexus IS breaks cover

Marco Green
June 17, 2020

Now, we've gotten a first look at the entire package, and it's obvious that IS designers looked to the Lexus LC sports vehicle for inspiration, starting with the more aggressive version of the Lexus spindle grille. To strengthen this driving performance, IS claims to have been thoroughly tested and honed at various places throughout the world, including the new Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama which opened in 2019.

The base IS 300 and IS F Sport.

It appears that driver appeal is very much at the heart of the new IS, as "Lexus values the dialogue between the driver and (the) auto", said chief engineer Naoki Kobayashi, emphasising the point with terms like "sense of unity" and "exhilaration".

The covers have come off a refreshed 2021 Lexus IS sedan this morning, making official the images that leaked online this week. New coil springs are 20 per cent lighter than before, new A-arms are 18 per cent lighter and the anti-roll bar up front is 17 per cent lighter. Even the stabilizer bars saw a 17% weight reduction.

Inside the 2021 Lexus IS F Sport.

The IS' suspension components, for example, aid in that objective with reduced unsprung weight, while dampers of a new design aim to better harness body movements for improved ride and handling.

The base IS 300 and IS F Sport
The base IS 300 and IS F Sport

In terms of dimensions, the 2021 Lexus IS gains about 1.2 inches in length, an equal amount in width, and about 0.2 inches in height. Wheelbase, on the other hand, remains the same at 2800mm. The Lexus IS comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the same 241 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque as before, and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission only.

All non-hybrid engines get an eight-speed auto while the electrified engines get a CVT.

For those who want serious performance numbers, however, there's the 2021 Lexus IS F Sport.

The IS 300 is also available with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 260 hp. This means that the Philippine market might get it in the middle of next year. The model also sports a new bumper and restyled taillights which are now connected by a thin illuminated strip. In early photos, the rear bumper appears larger than before with a large black sill between the exhausts. Furthermore, the IS features the assertive application of advanced safety technologies, including an evolved version of Lexus Safety System+. This expands the suite to include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection and a pre-collision warning system.

Other intelligent safety kits present in LSS+ 2.5 include dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. An 8.0-inch touchscreen comes standard and has been moved three inches closer to the driver while a larger 10.3-inch screen is an optional extra. Each wheel is understood to be almost 2kg lighter than the standard 19-inch wheel option.

Lastly, the IS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 311 hp (231 kW / 315 PS) and 280 lb-ft (379 Nm) of torque. The new IS also integrates the Amazon Alexa personal voice assistant which not only can control in-vehicle systems but smart home devices including lighting and thermostat. NuLuxe-trimmed seats, power-adjustable front seats (with memory function for the driver), along with dual-zone automatic climate control are available as well. The F Sport gets a unique, embossed graphic pattern and distinctive accent details, including ashwood ornamentation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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