When Lexus first introduced the IS sport sedan for the
2001 model year, the automaker had the BMW 3-Series in its sights. It seems
appropriate that within hours of BMW debuting its next-generation 3-Series
at the New York Auto Show, Lexus would show the next version of the IS, too.
The new IS is the second example of styling that Lexus refers to as
L-Finesse. The first was the new GS, which just went on sale this month.
L-Finesse is represented by simplicity in design with a look of understated
At the top of the IS lineup will be the IS 350.
Powered by an all-new 3.5-liter V6, the new sport sedan will have more than
300 horsepower. A 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters will
be standard. The IS 350 will also feature a revised version of teh Lexus
VDIM stability control system that was introduced in the new GS.
The IS lineup will also include an IS 250, which will
get a new 2.5-liter engine expected to produce more than 200 horsepower,
teamed with a 6-speed sequential manual transmission. The IS 250 will be
available with either rear-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive. The
automaker expects the IS 250 will make up around half of annual IS sales.
Sales of the new IS will begin this fall. Pricing
information will be made available closer to the vehicle's on-sale date.t