New packages and a limited-slip diff are launched at Frankfurt for the IS
15 September 2009

Lexus has announced a range of changes to its IS range at the Frankfurt motor show.

The changes include a new F-Sport package for the IS 250 and 220d, as well as the addition of a limited-slip differential to the high-performance IS-F.

See the high-res Lexus IS-F sport package picture gallery

The engine and transmission of the IS-F remain unchanged, but Lexus claims that adding the new differential makes the car two seconds a lap quicker around the Fuji International Speedway, where its test drivers put it through its paces.

The new differential works by sending power to the rear wheel with the most grip, and Lexus says it gives the car much more traction as well as improving its stability in high-speed corners.

The new F-Sport package is available across the entire IS range and includes an IS-F-style front grille, rear spoiler and exclusive alloys. The seats, steering wheel and IS250's gearlever are similar to the IS F's, too.

New gadgets for the IS range include a new hard disc-based sat-nav system and a choice of three new DAB-ready audio systems, all with USB and MP3 player inputs and Bluetooth connectivity.

Our Verdict

Lexus IS 2005-2013

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

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The top-spec Mark Levinson audio unit also now offers a library function, which can store up to 10GB of music from CDs onto the sat-nav's hard disc.

Although full prices are yet to be confirmed, the revised cars are available to order now, with the first deliveries expected in December.

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Our Verdict

Lexus IS 2005-2013

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

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week