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Automotive Industry News : Auto Shows Last Updated: Aug 28th, 2006 - 01:36:21


Lexus IS Takes Another Stab at the BMW 3-Series
By Mike Cervantes
Mar 7, 2005, 21:30

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Courtesy: Lexus
For Lexus, the IS300 is something of an anomaly, a vehicle that has not been a screaming sales success right out of the gate. As of late, the IS300 has had quite the level of incentives placed on the hood to move them out of dealer showrooms. The Infiniti G35 outsells the IS, for Christís sake. Whenís the last time ANY Infiniti has outsold a Lexus?

 

Thatís not to say that the IS300 is a bad car, quite the opposite. Itís got great road manners, killer steering, and edgy looks. And if Lexusí goal was to attract younger buyers (and it was), by all accounts theyíve succeeded. But overall, the IS is an also-ran. The cheaply trimmed, cramped interior and mediocre power output of the 3.0L inline six-cylinder conspired together to doom the IS almost immediately. BMW venerable 3 Series continued to outclass the IS, and hot competitors from Infiniti and even Cadillac sealed the ISís fate.

 

Toyota, however, is never one to back down from a fight. They might not enter the ring with the right equipment to cause a round-one knockout, but they quickly learn the ropes and generally come out on top in the end. Thatís precisely why the second-generation IS is so important.

 

One look at the new design and itís clear Lexus is trying to become its own animal, rather than cribbing the competitionís sketchpad. The look takes hints from the new GS, and a couple of recent Lexus concept vehicles, and the end result is design that is much more aggressive and adventurous than anything seen in the firmís past. The front clipís presence, low and menacing, is sure to scare any number of blue-hairs hogging the left lane when it comes up on them from behind at 90mph.

 

Courtesy: Lexus
The interior, like most recent Lexus models, is pure luxury. Simply put, it is one million times better than the current IS design Ė a look seemingly inspired by early Ď90ís era Japanese sports cars, with the cheap plastic to boot.

 

Details about the US-spec IS are cloudy at this time, but we should see a 2.5L six-cylinder and a 3.5L six-cylinder option available around the time this vehicle goes on sale in early fall. Rumor has it the 2.5L V6 should be good for about 205hp while speculation states the 3.5L V6 could have power figures ranging anywhere from 245hp to well over 300hp. Weíll see - just remember the Infiniti G35 sedan now has 298hp.

 

With this new IS, the ever-competitive Infiniti G35, a revised Audi A4, and a new BMW 3 Series all on sale at about the same time, the near-luxury sport-sedan market just got even more interesting. Stick around folks, this should be fun.

 

New IS World Premiere

Source: Lexus Europe

 

On 1st March the Lexus Stand at the Geneva Motor Show revealed the New IS Sedan. This new model, so important for Lexus in Europe, is also the first ever Lexus fitted with diesel technology.

 

'We have been obsessed by attention to detail. As a Lexus, the new IS cannot simply adopt new technologies. Everything has to touch perfection, and work together beautifully.'Suguya Fukasato, Chief Engineer, Lexus IS.

 

Courtesy: Lexus
Setting new class standards in driving dynamics, on-board luxury and ergonomic excellence, the new IS - the next generation of Lexus' compact sports sedan - makes its world debut at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Building on the success of the first IS, the new model range offers an exclusive, highly sophisticated experience within the premium D segment.

 

The next generation IS also marks the introduction of the first ever Lexus diesel engine. The most powerful unit in its displacement category, the new, all aluminum, 2.2 litre power plant fulfils the most exacting standards of Lexus performance and refinement. It combines exceptionally quiet, ultra-smooth operating characteristics with class-leading torque availability and power.

 

The introduction of a diesel engine within the Lexus model range will have a fundamental impact on the strength of the brand throughout Europe. 'Diesel is critical to any brand's success in Europe' considers Karl Schlicht, Vice President of Lexus Europe. 'Our first diesel engine will open the market to us and it will put Lexus on a level playing field.'

 

Representing a radical new design direction initially explored through the LF-A, LF-C and LF-S concept vehicles and implemented for the first time in the next generation GS, the new IS sports sedan is the second road-going iteration of the new Lexus design philosophy.

 

Courtesy: Lexus
Integral to Lexus' ceaseless quest for perfection, the Lexus design philosophy is a ground-breaking design rationale deeply rooted in Japanese culture, with references drawn from the timeless heritage of true Japanese design iconography, both ancient and modern. The new design direction expresses three fundamental elements: 'Incisive Simplicity' - perhaps best explained as purity, 'Intriguing Elegance' - a sense of depth that appeals to the emotions, and 'Seamless Anticipation' - part and parcel of traditional Japanese hospitality wherein the anticipation of an event is fundamental to its ultimate enjoyment.

 

This new design philosophy informs every aspect of the next generation IS. An ongoing evolution of a complex rationale first successfully realized in the latest GS, the new philosophy develops an even stronger visual synergy between the interior and exterior design of the new IS.

 

The next generation IS marries the elegance of powerful, sweeping coachwork lines with an intriguing contrast of convex and concave surfacing to reinforce the central tenets of the L-Finesse philosophy. The resultant incisive purity of overall form is complimented by the painstaking crafting of individual components, reflecting a fascination with even the smallest detail; a hallmark of traditional Japanese design aesthetics.

 

The next generation IS also marks the introduction of the first ever Lexus diesel engine. The most powerful unit in its displacement category, the new, all aluminum, 2.2 litre power plant fulfils the most exacting standards of Lexus performance and refinement. It combines exceptionally quiet, ultra-smooth operating characteristics with class-leading torque availability and power.


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