- MPG City/Highway
- Top speed
- Fuel Capacity
- Curb Weight
- Horse Power
- Torque lb-ft
- Aero drag Cd
- Compression ratio
- Wheel base
- Wheels optional
- 2.5l VVTi
- 3.5l V6 VVTi
- 5.0 V8
In 2001 Lexus released it's first entry level luxury sedan the IS300, the pure aim was to go head to head against the BMW 3 series and try taking over it's unrivalled success in this vehicle class. The IS300 was available with manual and automatic transmission, in fact it was one of the first on the market to have the in it's class enabling the driver to select gears with steering wheel mounted buttons for the auto transmission. The IS300 had one of the catchiest contemporary design on the instrument cluster.
The Lexus IS300 never lived up to the expectations of taking over the crown from BMW, neither in performance or handling, regardless, the vehicle created a lot of fans for the brand, helping it making it's name stronger in the US automotive market.
The second generation of the IS class from Lexus debuted in the US with the 2006 model year. The new IS went through a major redesign, Lexus has created a completely new car that is much more appealing than it's predecessor. The new LEXUS IS offers many industry first in the entry level luxury class that are only offered in high dollar vehicles by it's competitors.- such as direct fuel injection, radar cruise control and ventilated seats.
There are two engine variations the so called IS250 a 2.5l V6 and the IS350 as a 3.5l V6.
The 2.5 liter engine is well fitted for everyday driving with good fuel economy, with 200 plus horsepower the IS250 is a good all around car if you are not looking for power just the usual Lexus luxury and equipment. Options are virtually the same as in the IS350, and only the IS250 models available in four wheel drive form.
The Lexus IS350 shows more enthusiasm than the 250 model, equipped with a 306 horsepower 3.5 liter engine with dual VVTi "variable valve timing intelligence" . The V6 engine is setup on 60 degrees, it comes with aluminum block and heads. All of the current LEXUS IS models are ULEV II ultra low emission vehicles save for the F model.
The IS350 is a nice upgrade from the older models, although driving it it still not quite at BMW performance level, neither in handling or power. A big minus for sport oriented drivers that it is basically impossible to completely disable all safety driving systems such as the VDIM -"vehicle dynamics integrated management" system. It's possible to turn of traction control but it will re-engage as soon as the VDIM detects wheel spin.
The second and probably most concerning for drivers that anticipated the arrival of the 350 that there is no manual transmission available like in the IS250, the Lexus IS350 is only available with a six speed automatic with paddle shifters that somewhat help the situation, however still far from a true manual. The auto tranny itself is a great unit with good gearing and it's ability to hold between shifts entering and exiting corners.
However once you get to the interior of the vehicle you understand right away why so many prefers the Lexus against it's competitors, - there is just an endless array of luxury features, including probably the best navigation system, I pod hookup, Blue tooth, heated/ventilated seats, radar cruise control and much more. In the safety department the Lexus IS is again ends up on top with knee airbags, full length side curtain airbags and many new safety features.
LEXUS IS-F probably the most anticipated model, this is the first time LEXUS is trying to brake into the performance market in the brands history. Lexus found this a necessary step, as many enthusiasts were impatiently wasting for years, and the segment is getting bigger and bigger, the LEXUS IS F is designed to give competition to the Mercedes Benz AMG and BMW motorsport models namely the M3.
Equipped with a 5.0 V8 engine with over 400 horsepower and 371 ft-lbs torque the F model should be a great performance machine. The new 8 speed transmission is an other first in a road car, similarly designed to BMW's SMG technology, Lexus claims this SDS "Sport Direct Shift" transmission is going to be able to provide one of the fastest shift times in a road car on the market. Equipped with high performance Brembo brakes and BBS 19 inch forged aluminum wheels the Lexus IS F is sure to impress.
The quad exhaust system makes the Lexus IS F immediately recognizable on the road.