The revised 2017 Lexus IS model range makes its European debut at the Paris motor show, featuring revised styling, new exterior and interior colours, an improved driving experience and upgraded safety specification.
With more than one million units sold over three generations, the IS remains a key element in Lexus’s worldwide model range. It is marketed in more than 70 countries and achieves more than 6,000 sales every month.
Revised exterior design
Because the styling of the current IS has proved so popular, Lexus has kept the essence of the car’s exterior appearance intact. However, the front has undergone a transformation, with new headlamps, large front air intakes and an evolution of the Lexus spindle grille design.
The reshaped headlamps are more pronounced and extend inwards, creating an eye-catching shape that accentuates the L-shape daytime running lights. The bumper, with integrated air intakes, flows from the front wings to generate a more powerful road presence.
The new spindle grille folds back at a higher point, creating a change in the proportions between the upper and lower sections. This gives the impression of a lower centre of gravity while still blending smoothly into the reshaped bonnet.
In profile, a stronger character line runs along the width of the car, and there is a choice of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheel designs. A 17-inch design with five sets of twin spokes and a bright machined finish, and multi-spoke 18-inch wheel are both new to the range.
Changes to the rear are highlighted by new triple-layered LED light guides and new rectangular, chrome-finished exhaust tips.
Finally, two new colours – Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black – have been added to the exterior paint palette.
Enhanced interior design and HMI
Many carefully considered improvements have been made to the new IS’s cabin, including increasing the multimedia display to 10.25 inches and adding a useful ‘Enter’ button to the side of the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) on the centre console.
Within the dashboard the audio and ventilation control panel has been adjusted to fit neatly between the knee bolsters, while a new hairline surface finish improves its appearance.
New stitching can be found on top of the instrument binnacle, and the speedometer and tachometer have been refined. There are new cup holders, a larger, leather-trimmed palm rest for the RTI and new dial markings for the analogue clock.
Selected markets will receive two new interior colour schemes – Nuance Black (exclusive to Sport) and Noble Brown – while an elegant new Sandstone shade replaces previous Moonstone and Ivory colour schemes.
Choice of powertrains
The new IS model line-up retains its established powertrains, with a choice of IS 300h full hybrid petrol or IS 200t 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
Class-leading safety technology
In line with Lexus’s commitment to offering state-of-the-art technology to a wider audience at an attractive price, the new IS adopts Lexus Safety System+. This is a suite of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions in a wide range of traffic situations.
Improved driving dynamics
The dynamic performance of Lexus IS has been improved through revisions to the front and rear suspension and steering.
The front double wishbone suspension has a new forged aluminium lower arm assembly which delivers a 49 per cent increase in rigidity compared to the steel member it replaces. Together with new bushes, revised spring rates, new shock absorber components and damper settings, these elements offer marked dynamic enhancements.
Ride quality, body control, rear traction, straight-line stability, and steering response and feedback have all been improved. To match these measures, the electric power steering system’s ECU has also been revised.