Japan's premier luxury brand announces Australian details for its restyled, re-engineered alternative to the European luxury mid-sizers.
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  • 2021 Lexus IS starts from $61,500 (before on-road costs)
  • IS 300h Sports Luxury, 350 Luxury models discontinued
  • Enhancement Packs integrated into model pricing list
  • 19-inch wheels standard on F Sport hero models

Australian pricing for the 2021 Lexus IS range has been announced today, revealing a more streamlined line-up – albeit with the addition of pre-defined 'Enhancement Pack' models to the range.

Due in Lexus showrooms from November 6, the 2021 IS range kicks off from $61,500 (up $1500 on current MY20 Redbook-listed prices) and tops out at $78,100 before on-road costs.

For the money, buyers get an all-new exterior design, a subtly refreshed cabin, a massively re-engineered chassis and a host of new standard features.

Engineering

Arriving as a comprehensive makeover for the existing model, the 2021 IS sedan gets a completely new look and a host of chassis enhancements to deliver what should feel like a new-generation experience for most buyers – or so Lexus suggests.

Initially detailed in June, the refreshed IS is 30mm wider and longer for new totals of 4710 and 1840mm respectively. Its wheelbase remains unchanged, however, at 2800mm – compared to, for example, 2851mm in the new BMW 3 Series.

Despite riding on a reworked version of its existing architecture, the new Lexus IS gains a wider track, growing by 50mm at the rear and 45mm at the front end.

Engineering improvements include a more rigid structure, thanks mostly to reinforced radiator side supports, a greater number of front-side-member weld points and optimised structures between the rear-quarter pillars and sides of the roof – "among other areas".

These tweaks promise better ride comfort, reduced noise and vibration, and a more responsive steering experience (including, Lexus says, greater smoothness on returning to centre).

These changes have also resulted in a kerb weight reduced by up to 30kg (in the case of the IS 350 F Sport).

The 2021 Lexus IS also gets new swing-valve shock absorbers, with ultra-low-velocity valves.

Powertrains

Power in the IS range is provided by the Lexus brand's established trio of four-cylinder turbo petrol, V6 petrol, and combined 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated (non-turbo) petrol-electric hybrid system.

In the IS 300 models, that means a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 180kW and 350Nm, in a new Euro 6 emissions compliant configuration.

IS 300h models are powered by a hybrid system that pairs a 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. Combined power is listed at 164kW, and torque numbers are listed at 221Nm for the petrol engine and 300Nm for the electric motor.

Lexus describes individual peak outputs as 133kW from the petrol engine and 105kW from the electric motor, and while the torque figures would combine along the rev range depending on driving conditions, a specific combined torque figure is not offered.

Fuel consumption for the IS 300h is listed at 5.1 L/100km – up from 4.9L/100km in the previous model, related to the increase in wheel size.

Models with the IS 350 badge are driven by the company's 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V6, producing 232kW and 380Nm.

IS 300 and 350 models are equipped with a "reworked" response-focused eight-speed automatic transmission, while the IS 300h again gets a CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic.

Fuel consumption in the 2021 IS 300 and IS 350 models has not been listed yet, but the previous models listed 7.5L/100km and 9.5L/100km respectively.

Features

For this latest generation of IS, new standard features across the range include 18-inch alloy wheels (replacing 17s), an electric park brake (replacing foot-operated), a new 10.3-inch touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

New standard safety features include a pre-collision system with day and night pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, along with all-speed active cruise control, lane tracing assist, road sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, parking support brake and rear cross-traffic alert (with braking).

These features join existing standard kit that already included smart entry and start, heated and eight-way power adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker audio, digital radio, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic alerts, voice control, and LED headlights with automatic high-beam.

Above: overseas left-hand-drive configuration shown

Luxury models can be had with a $2000 Enhancement Pack that adds a moonroof, or the $5500 Enhancement Pack 2 which adds the moonroof and 19-inch alloy wheels, 'high-grade' LED headlights, leather-accented seat trim, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio and a powered rear sunshade.

F Sport models get 19-inch alloy wheels as standard for the first time, along with the requisite F Sport styling and adaptive variable sports suspension.

As always, F Sport models are no more powerful than their regular siblings – and, a pity, no full-bottle F hero model exists in the current IS range.

Other F Sport-specific kit includes Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes, F Sport leather-accented trim, sports pedals and seats (ventilated in the front row), and an 8.0-inch digital driver display inspired by the now legendary LFA supercar.

All three F Sport models can be had with a $3300 Enhancement Pack, adding a moonroof, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio, and a powered rear sunshade.

Above: overseas left-hand-drive configuration shown

The 2021 Lexus IS range is available to order now.


2021 Lexus IS pricing for Australia

IS 300 Luxury$61,500 (up $1500)
IS 300 Luxury with Enhancement Pack$63,500
IS 300 Luxury with Enhancement Pack 2$67,000
IS 300 F Sport$70,000 (up $1725)
IS 300 F Sport with Enhancement Pack$73,100
IS 300h Luxury$64,500 (up $1000)
IS 300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack$66,500
IS 300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack 2$70,000
IS 300h F Sport$73,000 (up $1000)
IS 300h F Sport with Enhancement Pack$76,100
IS 350 F Sport$75,000 (up $1360)
IS 350 F Sport with Enhancement Pack$78,100

Prices above exclude on-road costs.


Below: the current IS