First pictures of the all-new 3-series rivaling Lexus IS that will make its debut in Detroit
9 January 2013

These are the first official pictures of the new Lexus IS , which will be unveiled at the Detroit motor show. The new car, which goes on sale later this year, has remained true to the Lexus LF-CC concept car seen at the Paris motor show.

The IS is longer and wider than the outgoing car, with a longer wheelbase, and delivers what is claimed as best in class knee room for rear passengers. The sharp exterior styling retains the concept’s full height grille and large air intakes. IS F Sport models get their own front bumper and grill designs.

The cabin, too, is very similar to the concept’s with its high centre console that splits the cabin, analogue clock and off-set gearshifter. The switches on the centre console are touch sensitive.

In the UK, the IS will be offered with two drivetrains, both using a 2.5-litre petrol V6. The standard car will be badged IS250, while the hybrid IS300h should be capable of emitting under 100g/km of CO2. The diesel will be dropped in favour of the hybrid.

Our Verdict

The Lexus IS is a sleek junior exec that makes for an interesting alternative but lacks a decent diesel option

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Comments
32

9 January 2013

Whilst some people dislike diesel powered cars, Toyota and Lexus will suffer in Europe without a diesel option. 

Never have been a fan of Japanese products especially with the GT86 being a bit over rated. 

9 January 2013

BenC30 wrote:

Whilst some people dislike diesel powered cars, Toyota and Lexus will suffer in Europe without a diesel option.  

I prefer petrol over diesel. However I do agree with your opinion that Lexus will continue suffering in Europe without a diesel option.

If Lexus makes a hybrid offering zero VED it would attract company buyers. BMW 3-Series and Mazda 6 - both fall in VED Band B and both are diesels.

9 January 2013

Considering the potential swing away from diesel power caused by the increased cost and complexity of the new Euro 6 diesel regulations, the hybrid IS300 could be a master stroke for Lexus.

It is a mentality that will still take some changing but ultimately if the figures work then company car drivers could be convinced.

Personally, depending on how it drove, if I were in the market for a small exec such as the IS or 3 series, I would consider the IS300 not only for the efficient petrol drive train but for the reliability.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 January 2013

TegTypeR wrote:

Considering the potential swing away from diesel power caused by the increased cost and complexity of the new Euro 6 diesel regulations, the hybrid IS300 could be a master stroke for Lexus.

It is a mentality that will still take some changing but ultimately if the figures work then company car drivers could be convinced.

Personally, depending on how it drove, if I were in the market for a small exec such as the IS or 3 series, I would consider the IS300 not only for the efficient petrol drive train but for the reliability.

Have you personally ever owned a diesel car Teg? 

Petrol cars can have just as much complexity nowadays with turbocharging, dual mass flywheels, cylinder deactivation, etc. Foe example the Mercedes diesels are already ready for Euro 6, the additive they add to the fuel when regeneration is required just needs tweaking. It is direct injection petrol cars that are having trouble meeting the proposed Euro 6 limits on particulates for example.

A sister of mine runs a 12 month old BMW 118d coupe for half a mile to work and back twice a day with no problem from the particuale filter. I suspect these tales of diesel doom are just like the scares about catalytic converters in the 90's. They said, it will cost hundreds to replace every three years, if the car is parked upon grass it will all catch fire because the converter gets so hot, every time you hit a pothole etc the shock will break up the ceramic matrix costing hundreds, etc, etc. Funnily it turned out just alarmist talk, automotive engineers actually do know what they are doing when developing new car systems.

I do actually have a relative with a Lexus IS 25, as its a few years old I believe it is in the highest tax bracket for VED over £400 per year judging by the moaning from my relative. NIce car but very thirsty, 25 to 30 mpg.  

maxecat

10 January 2013

Maxecat wrote:

 

Have you personally ever owned a diesel car Teg? 

Petrol cars can have just as much complexity nowadays with turbocharging, dual mass flywheels, cylinder deactivation, etc. Foe example the Mercedes diesels are already ready for Euro 6, the additive they add to the fuel when regeneration is required just needs tweaking. It is direct injection petrol cars that are having trouble meeting the proposed Euro 6 limits on particulates for example.

A sister of mine runs a 12 month old BMW 118d coupe for half a mile to work and back twice a day with no problem from the particuale filter. I suspect these tales of diesel doom are just like the scares about catalytic converters in the 90's. They said, it will cost hundreds to replace every three years, if the car is parked upon grass it will all catch fire because the converter gets so hot, every time you hit a pothole etc the shock will break up the ceramic matrix costing hundreds, etc, etc. Funnily it turned out just alarmist talk, automotive engineers actually do know what they are doing when developing new car systems. 

Yes, I have.  I've owned three now as well as the company vans I run.  I have tried them on a long term but I just don't like them and that is a personal point.

As I get to talk to a lot of people who run diesels there seems to be a pattern (and I admit it is what I have seen, so you could only call it anecdotal).  Diesels are no good on around town and short journey uses because the DPF's do get blocked.  Secondly, higher mileage diesels, because of their wear and tear start to cause more problems than their equivalent petrol models when they fall in to the hands of the private user.  It shows it is far from alarmist.

With regards to the Lexus, if they do nail the CO2 output, which according to the report they appear to be doing, then this could be a genuine alternative for both the fleet and private market to the diesel powered vehicle.

People I have spoken to various people within the car industry are suggeting that Euro 6 compliance will add about £1000 cost to each vehicle, as well as the extra complexity.  Then there is the ADblue additive that will need to be purchased too.  I don't think the complexity will be an issue - as you said petrol engines are now just as complex in some areas but the cost will be to some.

If Lexus can be careful and pitch their cars at the right price, then from a taxation point of view, a low CO2 rating and decent list price will be attractive to users.  From a fleet point of view, if the reliability rates are better then they will be able to offer preferntial rate.

I don't think the Lexus is going to change the executive carscape but I think some of the other manufacturers (BMW in particular) will sit up and take notice.

Personally, I would choose an efficient petrol over a diesel any day and I know I am not the only one out there.

 

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 January 2013

Personally, I would choose an efficient petrol over a diesel any day and I know I am not the only one out there.

No you are not +1 here
 
As for this brew IS, I like it - except for the fact it has a massive Hitler moustache 

9 January 2013

If they do an estate version as is rumoured, it will replace my Prius.  I have no desire to return to diesel, especially as they get ever more complicated.  A simple hybrid drivetrain devoid of complex transmissions,clutches, turbos etc. will be just the ticket.

Myk

9 January 2013

I really, really, REALLY loathe the current Lexus grille.  It's completely wrong and just seems like an over-reaction to Audi's gaping maw.  In this instance it looks like it's pushing the headlights out to the extremes of the car - the proportions are all wrong.  Absolutely hideous.

The rest of it appears ok, although the rear lights are also completely the wrong size.

Looks nice inside again though, which was always a strong point of the original IS.

9 January 2013

Don't they do a model without the garish bolt-on plastic bits from Halford's? 

jer

9 January 2013

Don't they do a model without the garish bolt-on plastic bits from Halford's? 

Yes it does have a look of the old one with a Tim Westwood inspired bodykit.

I do like the interior tho and it is sure to be a whole lot more refined than a diesel.

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