Lexus has announced ‘extensive revisions’ to its executive sports saloon the IS - delivering wide-ranging quality and handling improvements.
Undergoing significant changes for 2017 that Lexus says 'embrace styling, quality, safety, handling and equipment features', the refreshed exterior includes new headlamps, larger and deeper air intakes integrated in the bumper and a further evolution of the Lexus spindle grille. The headlights, including new full LED units in a “triple-L” arrangement for the F Sport and Premier grade models, have a more pronounced look, extending inwards and adding ‘visual impact’ to the L-shaped daytime running lights.
On the F Sport models the grille has a new jet black finish and mesh design that moves from an L to an F-shape pattern between the upper and lower sections. The character line along the side of the car has been made ‘stronger’ and at the rear chrome detailing has been added to the lower bumper panel. The rear lights have also been redesigned, with LED lamps and new light guides that create an L-shape motif.
The range of alloy wheels includes a new 17-inch design with a contrasting silver and machined finish for Executive Edition, Advance and Luxury grade, and new multi-spoke 18-inch rims for the IS Premier models.
On the inside the high-resolution multi-information screen that accompanies the Lexus Premium Nav system has been increased from seven to 10.25 inches for larger, clearer images and provides a split-screen function so that different information can be presented at the same time. A new laser-etched dark wood trim finish is available on Premier grade models, and there are also new interior upholstery and colour choices.
Dynamic performance has been improved, according to Lexus through revisions to the front and rear suspension and steering. The front double wishbone suspension has a new, more rigid, forged aluminium lower arm assembly together. The rear multi-link suspension has also gained new bushing, a new anti-roll bar, new shock absorber components and revised damper settings. The electric power steering’s ECU settings have been reassessed and revised in order to achieve better steering control, all for a ‘better ride quality, body control, rear wheel traction and straight-line stability’.
The 2017 Lexus IS retains its existing grade line-up with the IS 300h hybrid available in SE, Executive Edition, Sport, Advance, Luxury, F Sport and Premier trims. The turbo petrol-powered IS 200t is available in Premier and F Sport spec, in the latter case with the IS Premier Pack included, which adds equipment features to match the range-topping grade. Powertrains and performance data remains unchanged.
Prices start at £29,995 OTR for the IS 300h SE to £38,995 OTR for the IS 300h Premier and the IS 200t F Sport + Premier Pack.