Japanese 3-series rival will have an estate variant - and be hybrid-only
12 March 2010

Lexus is likely to introduce an estate variant on the next generation of its Lexus IS - and make the model range hybrid-only.

The Japanese firm's BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class rival is in its second generation, and a third edition is due in 2011. But while the original model did offer an estate variant, called SportCross, the current car - introduced in 2005 - has never been available in a wagon.

Lexus insiders now admit that this policy has hurt sales of the car in Europe, where it must face the 3-series Touring and A4 Avant.

The next IS is also likely to only be available as a hybrid, fitting in with the firm's current push towards this technology. It already has two standalone hybrid models, the HS250h and the CT200h.

It is unclear how this switch could affect the prospects of a successor to the V8-engined IS F.

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Comments
10

12 March 2010

The old Sport cross was never a big seller either as it was mainly lumbered with a not particulartly powerful and heavy 3 litre engine. The idea of making it hybrid only is probably the right move. Lets face it, Mercedes are hinting at going down the route of hybrid and fuel cells for the next C Class (see F 800 concept) and no doubt the others have something similar up their sleeve so it is logical for Lexus to be Hybrid only. Also, Americans don't buy diesels so whats the point in engineering one for europe when the volumes are so low. A hybrid has global appeal and would see in any market.

The current IS 22d is bit of a contradiction in the current Lexus range. It's the only diesel (shared with the RAV4 and Avensis I think) and has no Auto option which is a big miss for an executive car and certainly not in keeping with the refinement and quality associated with Lexus as a brand. Not only that, but as diesels are penalised in the company car tax scheme, potentially a very low co2 petrol hybrid makes a lot of sense in this class of car.

12 March 2010

My wife drives an IS220d and it is a car that seems to have been compromised by some of the strangest decisions I've ever seen by Toyota:

- The gearing is bizarre - you have to be doing 90 before you can comfortably change up to 6th

- The steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable - but the reach only has a travel of about an inch or two, so getting comfortable is a struggle

- The dashboard is really well made and designed but it has a horrible LED clock that looks like it cost 99p set right in the middle set next to an airbag lamp that looks like something off a 1970s Chevy

These stupid faults are all the more frustrating because it is fundamentally a really well made and engineered car and, for my money, the best looking in its class.

12 March 2010

Doesn't make sense. Introduce an estate to increase sales and then only make hybrid, which is sure to decrease sales down to nothing.

12 March 2010

[quote SF695]

Doesn't make sense. Introduce an estate to increase sales and then only make hybrid, which is sure to decrease sales down to nothing.

[/quote]

I agree, to a point. I have no problems with the introduction of a hybrid, sounds like a good idea in fact but to only have a hybrid is sure to hit sales.

12 March 2010

[quote Lee23404]

[quote SF695]

Doesn't make sense. Introduce an estate to increase sales and then only make hybrid, which is sure to decrease sales down to nothing.

[/quote]

I agree, to a point. I have no problems with the introduction of a hybrid, sounds like a good idea in fact but to only have a hybrid is sure to hit sales.

[/quote]Sure, bring on the hybrid, But the intire range? The ones to benifit from that will be BMW and Audi. This has to be some journalists joke or guessing. Except from that, i don't see why we can't get the 350 in Europe. And a manual version.

12 March 2010

[quote SF695]Doesn't make sense. Introduce an estate to increase sales and then only make hybrid, which is sure to decrease sales down to nothing.[/quote]

I have to disagree. I'm guessing most people who will getting these cars will be company car people who's big concern will be the tax effect. Petrol = 3% less tax and hybrid means lower CO2, which = less tax. So this could be a really good move for Lexus.

Great build and reliability (well normally)

Decent handling

A slightly left field choice from BMW/Audi/Merc

Low CO2

It could be a winner. Now if only they'd start selling the IS350 over here as well...

12 March 2010

I've just read a road test on the 250D and it gets a right showing up!, to expensive, no real improvements, small boot the wagon might go some ways to sorting this but Audi did this with the liftback A3,and the final nail in the coffin is it's main rival in diesel form does ten more miles to the gallon, not exactly going to get people rushing to buy one , is it?,oh, incase your wondering its a BMW!

Peter Cavellini.

12 March 2010

Maybe i didn't understand this article right, but i got the impression that the intire IS range, estate as well as sedan and eventual coupés would be hybrid only. Now that may, as you say be attractive to companies, that want to make a good impression, but it would totally put me and a lot of other off.

12 March 2010

It's just that if your going to improve a car,at least correct all the cars failings and the way to do that is to go back too the drawingboard and come up with something new which Lexus clearly doesn't want to do i think because it thinks it a premium brand.

Peter Cavellini.

12 March 2010

There is no such thing as the perfect car for everyone. Personally i like the IS. I just miss the option of the 350 in Europe. And a manual. Let lazy and female drivers keep the auto. The 250 is kind of pointless in my point of view. It's not much faster than an Avensis, partially because of it's auto transmission, but will cost you a lot more. Why not drop it, put the 2.5 in the Avensis and let us have the 350?

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