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by Tim Beissmann

Lexus has revealed the 2011 model year updates for the 2011 Lexus IS range ahead of its official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in October.

A spokesperson for Lexus Australia today confirmed the refreshed IS 250 would arrive in Australia alongside the long-anticipated 228kW/375Nm IS 350, with sales to begin after the vehicles’ local debut at the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Sydney in October.

Lexus says the revisions to the IS are the most significant since the vehicle’s launch in 2005, with the biggest change being the introduction of the new IS 200d, which replaces the previous IS 220d in overseas markets.

The 110kW/340Nm 2.2-litre diesel has benefitted from a number of engineering enhancements and is now Euro V compliant. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 5.1 litres/100km and CO2 emissions are a tidy 134g/km (the old IS 220d achieved 5.6 litres/100km and 148g/km CO2).

The upgrades have not convinced Lexus Australia to add the diesel to the local line up however, with a spokesman admitting the IS 200d was not on the radar.

“Our chief executive Tony Cramb said a couple of months ago that there were no plans to bring it here. We’re not saying it will never happen but there are no plans to bring it here at this point in time,” he said.

The new IS 250 is now automatic-only to ensure it complies with emissions standards. Power and torque from the 2.5-litre V6 are unchanged at 153kW and 252Nm, although combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have improved to 8.4 litres/100km and 194g/km – down from 8.9 litres/100km and 209g/km.

The 2011 IS 250C also benefits from the engine refinements, with its figures dropping to 9.2 litres/100km and 213g/km CO2.

Visual updates are minor and follow the standard facelift template of revised headlight and tail light designs, LED daytime running lamps, restyled front grille, new exterior colours and fresh alloy wheel designs.

The new F-Sport packages for the IS 250 and IS 220d draw inspiration from the high-performance IS F model, adding a new deep front spoiler with fog lights, new grille design, rear spoiler with integrated stop light and 18in dark silver alloy wheels to the exterior and a revised steering wheel, gear level, sports pedals and front seats on the inside.

A Lexus Australia spokesman said the F-Sport option pack (currently available on IS 250 in Australia) was likely to expand to other IS models.

“We’ll reveal more about our local line up at AIMS, but you could assume that it’s at least available on 250 and we’d like to make sure it’s available on most if we can.”




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