The Lexus IS has always been a crowd-pleaser in the luxury car arena. With a daringly sporty styling direction and an aggressive engine to back up its looks, the IS is definitely the epitome of beauty on the inside and out. But ever since the introduction of the third generation, full model change IS last 2013, this entry-level sedan has surpassed Lexus’ expectations with the even greater popularity that it gained among people.
This 2016, Lexus has decided to take the IS up a notch and give the IS a new spin. Most prominent in the new IS is the transformation of its entire front fascia, which is highlighted by new headlamps, large air intakes in the front bumper, and an evolved spindle grille. The reshaped and more pronounced headlamps now extend inward, resulting in a sharply-designed look that punctuates the “L”-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The bumpers, incorporated with air intakes, flow from the fenders, giving its façade an image of aggressiveness. An evident change is also seen in Lexus’ iconic spindle grille, now with bigger top and bottom proportions. The new front grille folds back at a higher point, while seamlessly blending into the reshaped hood. This optically lower center of gravity gives the car sportier vibe. The F-Sport’s grille, on the other hand, features an exclusive 3-dimentional F-mesh pattern, with a jet-black metallic coating. Its grille is integrated with functional brake ducts that improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.
Looking at its profile, we are arrested by the IS’s sleek contours. Its enhanced character line running down the car’s side gives the latest IS an appearance of constant motion. Playing up the IS’s dynamic flair are its 10-spoke 17-inch wheels. To complete its new look, the IS is now highlighted by triple-layered “L”-shaped LED taillights. These commanding taillights paired with new rectangular chrome exhaust tips make for an even sportier-looking IS.
Keeping up with the exterior’s evolution, the same thoughtful improvements have been made inside the cabin. The first thing to certainly catch your eye is the larger multimedia display that upgraded from 7 inches to 10.3 inches. The new stitching on the meter hood enhances the sporty feel of the cockpit, as do its redesigned speedometer, tachometer, and analog clock. More changes include new cup-holders, and a new and bigger leather- wrapped palm rest with stitching for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). An “Enter” button has also been added to the RTI, providing ease-of-use of the system. The audio and ventilation-control panel on the center dash have been refined too to fit completely within the knee bolsters. Lined with a new hairline finish, it provides not just an improved appearance but a high-quality feel as well.
Two new paint schemes—Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake—have been added to the IS’s exterior color palate. A new interior color— Chateau— has replaced Moonstone and Ivory; Chateau is a new light shade that melds the elegance of Ivory with a contemporary light-gray tincture.
The new IS’s engine will remain as powerful as its predecessor, powered by a 3.5L engine that puts out 312Hp which comes with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. This makes the new IS the same high-performance sedan that people have come to love, but with a sportier look to match its fierce engine and exciting performance.
The Lexus IS350 is priced at PhP2,668,000 and the Lexus IS350 F-Sport is PhP3,198,000
Photos by Neil Pagulayan and LexusPH