First seen in the NX200t SUV, the Japanese luxury brand’s new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine now makes its way into its mid-sized sedan, taking the place of the old 2.5-litre V6 in the IS250.
Differences in the IS200t’s exhaust layout and engine management system compared with the NX200t liberate an extra 5kW of power, taking the engine’s peak outputs to 180kW at 5800rpm and 350Nm between 1650-4400rpm. Those numbers represent increases of 27kW and 98Nm over the IS250.
In the IS200t, the turbocharged engine also pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission for the first time, with drive sent to the rear wheels.
The new powertrain makes the entry-level IS more than a second quicker from 0-100km/h, hitting the mark in 7.0sec, while it’s also close to 20 per cent more fuel efficient, using 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
The IS200t joins the carryover IS300h hybrid and IS350 V6 models in the revised line-up, with all gaining additional equipment as well as adjusted prices (entry pricing rises $1600 and top-end pricing down $1500, along with other tweaks). All three are available in Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury trim levels, with the IS300h Sports Luxury being new to the range.
The IS200t Luxury kicks off at $57,500 plus on-road costs, the IS300h Luxury at $60,000 and the IS350 Luxury at $63,500. In each case stepping up to the F Sport trim adds $8000, while the Sports Luxury trim adds another $9000, making the flagship IS350 Sports Luxury $82,500.
The IS200t introduces a host of new standard features, including Lexus’s pre-collision safety system, adaptive cruise control, clearance and reversing sonar, rain-sensing wipers and a power-adjustable steering column.
They join an already generous standard equipment list that features bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, smart entry key, satellite navigation, reverse-view camera, digital radio, touch-sensitive Lexus Remote Touch controller, heated and ventilated seats, and dual-zone climate control.
The Luxury grade is available with an optional moon roof for $2500.
The F Sport adds styling and performance upgrades including adaptive variable suspension, sports pedals, high-friction front brake pads, 18-inch F Sport alloy wheels, front sports seats, rear side airbags (for 10 in total), and unique instrumentation. A premium Mark Levinson audio system and a moon roof can be added for $4000, while another $2000 brings auto high beam and lane departure warning.
The high-grade Sports Luxury comes standard with the moon roof, auto high beam and lane departure warning, and also gets a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, wood grain trim, and an electric rear sunshade.
There are subtle specification differences between three trim grades of the three IS models. In addition to the features mentioned above, all IS300h and IS350 variants get 10 airbags; the IS300h and IS350 Luxury variants get a self-dimming rear-view mirror; the IS300h Sports Luxury gets LED headlamps and metallic scuff plates, and can be optioned with bamboo trim for no extra cost; and the IS350 F Sport gets an F Sport steering wheel, F Sport seats, variable gear ratio steering and driver’s seat memory settings.
2016 Lexus IS pricing (plus on-road costs):
IS200t Luxury $57,500 (+$1600)
IS200t F Sport $65,500 (+$600)
IS200t Sports Luxury $76,500 (-$1400)
IS300h Luxury $60,000 (+$1100)
IS300h F Sport $68,000 (+$100)
IS300h Sports Luxury $79,000 (new variant)
IS350 Luxury $63,500 (-$1500)
IS350 F Sport $71,500 (-$1500)
IS350 Sports Luxury $82,500 (-$1500)