The new generation of Lexus’ IS sport sedan will be unveiled soon at the Detroit Auto Show and will qrrive to dealerships this summer. It will be offered with an initial choice of two gasoline engines, include a 3.5-liter V6 and a four-cylinder hybrid. Lexus says it put the emphasis on the car’s sportier styling and handling, while also improving cabin space for rear passengers and luggage capacity.
The exterior and interior designs of the new 2014 Lexus IS were both previewed by Lexus’s LF-CC concept car and are characterized by their sharper lines. Key exterior elements include the brand’s trademark spindle grille and the odd-looking headlamp clusters with “Nike” logo-shaped LED accents sitting on the bottom.
“We adopted an entirely different approach to the development of the new IS,” says the car’s Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama. “Rather than develop each individual aspect in the hope they will combine to offer an engaging driving experience, we first established the kind of driving experience owners desire. With this as our initial premise, we then developed the individual performance elements to support it.”
The new IS’ wider body (+10mm or 0.4 inches) and longer wheelbase (+70mm or 2.8-inches) improve space for rear seat passengers (+85mm or 3.3 inches more knee room over the current model) and luggage capacity. The new rear seats also have a 60:40 split-folding function.
The new 2014 Lexus IS gains a new Drive Mode Select system, with three switchable driving modes: Eco, Normal, & Sport.
Powertrain offerings in the U.S. at launch will include a 204hp 2.5-liter V6 for the IS 250 and a larger displacement 3.5-liter V6 for IS 350, both of which come with an 8-speed automatic transmission and will be available in rear- and all-wheel drive configurations.
In the F Sport models, the front and rear suspension and the electric power steering are tuned to enhance handling, without compromising ride quality, or at least that’ what Lexus claims.