November 23, 2017

NEW LEXUS IS REVEALED

By: Chris Walsh

Twitter @cwalsh_uk

The first official pictures of the all-new Lexus IS have been released and they reveal, what can only be described as, a fairly robust new design. Presumably, a slight reaction to the commonly accepted notion that the old Lexus IS may have been a little bit dull.

However, we knew these revolutionary changes were on their way, as the new irregular trapezium designed grill remains extraordinarily faithful to the LF-CC concept car that first sported its design at last year’s Paris motor show.

The image precedes the new model’s world debut at January’s Detroit motor show and its introduction in the UK later this year. As mentioned, the new IS is inspired by the Lexus’s LF-CC concept, which displays its own interpretation of the unique front grille arrangement that will become a hallmark of all new Lexus models over the next decade. The overriding impression is one of strong intention combined with a fresh new brand identity.

LexusIS_writeonmotoring_automotive_newsViewed in profile, the new IS shows a cabin concentrated towards the rear of the car, with a rising line flowing from the lower body into the rear lamp clusters, adding a bit of elegance and dynamism. There is also a very articulated headlamp cluster design, with Lexus’s signature L-shaped daytime running lights presented independently below.         The cabin design is clean and elegant (as you would expect), with an ergonomically ideal environment created for the driver. The new IS’s increased width and longer wheelbase allows for significantly more comfort for rear seat passengers and greater luggage capacity too, which is always welcome. The combination of the extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design deliver best-in-class knee-room and access to the rear. The new back seats also have a 60:40 split-folding function.

The new driver’s seat provides better all-round support, and presumably, increased comfort as the seat hip point and the angle of the new steering wheel – inspired by the LFA supercar– are both lower. The steering wheel’s reach adjustment has also been increased, promoting a more sporting driving position.

Advances in HMI technology complement the refinement of the cabin materials, trims and finishes. What is this, I heard you say, well, it’s all about the new centre console controls that feature a Lexus first: electrostatic switches that need just a finger touch to adjust the air conditioning and temperature for example.

The new IS F Sport models can be distinguished thanks to their slightly different grille. The ‘waistline’ is set higher than on the standard models, creating a larger lower grille that can draw in the greater volume of cooling air needed for extra engine cooling.

The IS F Sport also has an exclusive new seat design that is made using an integrated foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling, giving both excellent comfort and extra lateral holding. And another, slightly intriguing reference to the LFA supercar, is that the IS F Sport features a driver’s meter with a moving centre ring.