The new Lexus IS 300h full hybrid will debut in Europe next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The new model was first seen at the recently held Detroit Motor Show. It is equipped with a petrol-electric hybrid system and is due to go on sale in the UK in the summer. Lexus is expected to boost the sportier driving dynamics of the IS 300h, which will be available with a performance-orientated F Sport package.
A review of the rear-drive Lexus IS 300h in pre-production form was already submitted by Autocar. Powering the IS 300h is a combination of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and electric motor h. The Japanese market Toyota Crown uses this hybrid system, which delivers 163lb ft and 175bhp on this car. The motor is capable of producing 141bhp and 221lb ft. When combined, this system makes 217bhp.
For this vehicle, Lexus is targeting a fuel consumption of over 65mpg. The 300h is rear-wheel drive and features a CVT. The front double wishbone suspension is a modified version of the system that the last IS used. Meanwhile, the rear is a multi-link system borrowed from the Lexus GS. In addition, the IS uses the GS’s Drive Mode Select software. The F Sport models have been styled differently and have a new grille and bumper to make a distinction from the standard IS.
The suspension and steering have been retuned and F Sports is offered with optional Adaptive Variable Suspension. The Drive Mode system gets a fourth setting as well. Compared to the outgoing model, this new car is a bit taller, longer, and wider. It comes with a 70mm longer wheelbase. Lexus said that the IS offers bigger room for rear passengers and class-leading rear knee room while boot size has been expanded to 480 litres. The hybrid won’t anymore have the boot space of 30 litres.
New Lexus IS reveals sporting and tight proportions with a sleek surfacing and emotional design. This is proof that for its premium compact sedan, the brand has managed to implement some important enhancements to both the driving performance and the dynamic capabilities. In terms of dimensions, the new IS has a total length of 4,655 mm, which is 80 mm longer when compared to the previous version. The new generation is also wider by 10 mm. Further, the overhang in front is now longer by 10 mm with the wheelbase now measuring 2,800 mm, an additional 70 mm.
Much like the new versions of the ES, GS, and even the LS, the new IS showcases the class dynamism of the spindle grille on the front. This gives this compact sedan that good mix of having stronger brand identity, more powerful presence on the road, and aggressive elegance. The way the pop-up hood has been designed allowed for a front profile that is as low as possible, making sure that pedestrian impact protection is optimized.
Just below this, one can see the grille with the headlamps on both sides but placed on a higher position than the grille. Lexus is well-known for its LED DRL (Daytime Running Lights). This is present in the IS and independently positioned under cluster. This allows it to put emphasis on the stronger and more expressive headlamps while also allowing the IS to have a more unique visual signature.
On the sides, the use of the powerful horizontal beltline results in making the tires in the rear look larger as well as appearing to have a lower center of gravity. Further, the mass of the cabin gives an impression of being more focused towards the rear. This helps add to the weight of the rear tires, albeit visually, and also improves the perception of traction.