2013 NAIAS: 2014 Lexus IS ditches diesel engine, gets 300h hybrid version

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 16, 2013

The new Lexus IS, which was just presented at the Detroit Auto Show, will not be available with a diesel engine. Instead, this engine has been replaced with a petrol-electric hybrid that boasts of having a CO2 emissions level that’s less than 100g/km of CO2. This new car will start selling this summer in the UK.

Powering the IS is either a 2.5-litre petrol V6 in the IS 250 or a combination of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and electric motor in the IS 300h. This is the same hybrid system that’s found under the hood of the Japanese market Toyota Crown. In this car, the engine delivers 163lb ft and 175bhp, and the motor delivers 141bhp and 221lb ft. When combined, the system offers 217bhp and Lexus is hoping to attain a fuel consumption rating of more than 65mpg.

The IS 250 and 300h are both rear-wheel drive, with the 250 pushing the wheels with the use of a six-speed auto.

Meanwhile, the hybrid has a CVT. The front double wishbone suspension is a modified version of that of the last IS while the rear is a multi-link system that was used on the Lexus GS. Furthermore, the IS features the GS’s Drive Mode Select software.

A different styling is offered on the F Sport models to set it apart from the standard IS, with a different grille and bumper. The suspension and steering have been retuned while the F Sports is offered with optional Adaptive Variable Suspension. In addition, the Drive Mode system gets a fourth setting. When compared to the outgoing model, the car is a bit wider, longer and taller and comes with a 70mm longer wheelbase.

Lexus asserts that this gives the IS more space for rear passengers and a class-leading rear knee room. Meanwhile, the boot size is now bigger at 480 litres.

The hybrid’s boot space is 30 liters smaller. The cabin design shares many similarities with the LF CC concept car such as the high centre console, analogue clock, wide air vents and touch sensitive controls.

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