Lexus IS line-up announced

Lexus IS lands in SA with an all-hybrid powertrain model range

Reuben Van Niekerk
Lexus IS
Lexus hybrid

The South African line-up for the re-imagined Lexus IS sports sedan has been unveiled, delivering a new level of luxury as standard in addition to a core focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics.


What’s new for South Africa is that Lexus has decided to launch IS as a hybrid-only model. They hybrid market has shown immense growth globally in the past five-years and the shift from diesel to alternative-propulsion vehicles is expected to keep growing at a rapid rate. Lexus will position hybrids as performance and technology-rich vehicles with three model grades in hybrid: IS 300h EX, IS 300h SE and IS 300 F Sport.


Standard features include 18-inch wheels for the EX and SE, with 19-inch for the F-Sport, an electric park brake, new 10.3-inch touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a pre-collision system for the SE grade and F Sport featuring daytime/night-time pedestrian detection plus daytime cyclist detection, all-speed active cruise control, lane tracing assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and brake as well as panoramic view monitor for the SE and F Sport when reversing.


Inside story

Interior features include smart entry and start, heated and power adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker audio for the EX grade and 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system for the SE and F Sport grades. Top spec models also come standard with satellite navigation, voice control and LED headlamps with automatic high-beam.

Materials and ornamentation have been updated inside to complement the new 10.3-inch touch display. Elegant ochre interior trim complements a choice of black or dark rose on the SE and EX grades, while the F-Sport is available in black, white and flare red.


Performance credentials

The IS boasts a 2.5 litre, petrol-hybrid engine paired with a CVT gearbox that offers 133kW at 6000rpm and 221Nm at 4200rpm. In conjunction with the hybrid system the power figure totals 164kW allowing the IS to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200km/h. IS models are said to use just 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres.


Beautiful design

Lexus designers didn't hold back when giving the range its coupé-like silhouette and dramatic rendition of the signature spindle grille that shows even greater intricacy in the design. The front grille features the iconic mesh pattern that has been used on all F Sport models, while the lower grille construction incorporates RC-F inspired air intakes, also strengthening its sporty image.


The IS reimagines the sports sedan concept with a low and wide stance, the sleek proportions of a four-door coupe, slimmer headlights and a lower, sharper side character line that combines to express a centre of gravity closer to the ground.

Gently sloped rear-quarter pillars, which help form a sleek cabin silhouette, wrap around from the sides, contrasting with muscular rear fenders to create a fast and aggressive look.

This is further emphasised by single-blade rear combination lights sporting an L motif and a sharper overall contour created by the character line around the boot lid.


A true driver’s car

For the first time on an IS F Sport, 19-inch alloy wheels are standard, in addition to an F Sport body kit and spoiler, F Sport scuff plates and ornamentation, high-grade LED headlamps, five mode Drive Select, Adaptive Variable suspension, F Sport leather-accented trim, sports pedals and seats with driver memory settings.


When will it be available?

The Lexus IS models retail from R841 300 for the EX grade, R899 800 for the SE grade and R916 100 for the F Sport and are available to pre-order from the beginning of April.