The Lexus IS has been around in the US and European markets for almost two decades but never has it looked so sharp and appealing. Of course the credit goes to the brand's latest design language which has done wonders to its new models and all of them turn heads. By all means it looks like a baby LS, so much so that one could easily get confused between both models. You get to see common boomerang shaped treatment in the Daylight Running Light (DRLs) integrated into the LED headlamps and similar element in the profile and rear as well.
The brands signature spindle grille has been revised with a three-dimensional effect and gets a larger lower intake along with two sharp looking air curtains on either ends. The razor-sharp creases on the hood flow towards the grille and goes very well with the sleek headlamps. The profile remains almost similar to the predecessor, save for the slight tweak in the C-Pillar making it look a bit smoother while the rear particularly looks aggressive sporting sleek tail lamps with boomerang motifs that are conjoined by a light bar and slim lip spoiler.
The Lexus IS F-Sport variant looks even sportier with blacked grilled and vents, blacked out rear lip spoiler and a massive black rear diffuser with two exhaust pipers at both ends. Moreover, the F-Sport trim also gets 19-inch BBS alloy wheels while 18-inchers are standard on other variants.
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The cabin of the new Lexus IS has been refreshed as well and now offers a bit more advanced features. There's an 8.0-inch touchscreen that comes standard while customers can also upgrade to a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen unit by spending a bit extra. The infotainment system is alos compatible to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa and you alos get the touchpad controller that is seen in almost every Lexus model of late.
Moreover, it is also equipped with the latest Lexus safety equipment called "Lexus Safety System+ 2.5," which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection and a pre-collision warning system as standard. Things like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, road-sign assist and lane-departure alert with lane-centering technology are optional.
Under the hood, there is a choice of two engine options. First up is the IS 300 with rear-wheel drive which gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 239 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive IS 300 is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 motor that churns out 258 bhp and 320 Nm of peak torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. The top-of-the-line IS 350 which is offered with both RWD and AWD gets the same 3.5-liter V6 engine that is tuned to belt out 309 bhp and 380 Nm of peak torque and is mated with the six-speed automatic transmission in the RWD version while the AWD variant gets the eight-speed automatic transmission.
The IS 350 with RWD can clock triple digit speeds in 5.6 seconds, while the AWD IS 350 does the same sprint in 5.7 seconds. Also, the 2021 Lexus IS gets new coil springs that are 20 percent lighter than those in the outgoing model and the new A-arms are 18 percent lighter with 17 percent lighter stabiliser bar. In terms of dimensions, it is 30 mm longer and wider while is 6 mm lower than its predecessor. The Lexus IS rivals the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Volvo S60.