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

Article by Christian A., 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.

New Lexus IS has a driver-focused cockpit whose design was inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. The F Sport models have inherited the innovative TFT instrumentation, complete with the LFA’s moving center ring.

Moreover, the 2014 Lexus IS offers improved seating position as well as more headroom. Meanwhile, the rear seat offers much better roominess, ingress, and egress. And when the shocks are separated from the springs, it results to a larger trunk.

Additionally, the 2014 Lexus IS is packed with many new luxuries. For one, the high-efficiency two-zone climate control system now features electrostatic temperature switches that are touch-sensitive. Then there are two multimedia system options: the standard high-resolution LDA or Lexus Display Audio with controller and the Lexus navigation system.

The Lexus navigation system is operated through a 2nd-generation Lexus RTI or Remote Touch Interface multi-function control device. This device also allows you to control of the audio, climate, and phone controls, among others.

Meanwhile, the car’s available premium surround system (Mark Levinson) uses new 835-watt loudspeaker technology equipped with 15 speakers for more life-like sound.

Ten Supplemental Restraint System airbags also come as standard with the car. The IS models use the innovative VDIM or Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system, which integrates Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brakes, and Vehicle Stability Control active safety systems complete with Electronic Power Steering. For the IS 350 F Sport, however, it is Variable Gear Ratio Steering.

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