Lexus IS is a compact luxury and executive sedan manufactured by Lexus. Lexus released the IS series in 1998 as a competitor in the luxury compact sedan class in the United States, and it was later marketed in Europe. The company made three generations for this model and currently offers a 2022 model in the automotive world.
History of Lexus IS
Lexus IS First Generation XE10 (1998 - 2005)
The Lexus IS 200's introduction in 1998 marks the beginning of the car's history as a Lexus model. The sporty four-door was aimed to take on established European rivals such the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3-Series, and Audi A4 in the compact executive category below the GS. Lexus sold these first-generation models with a straight-six engine as sedan and wagon variants. Following the company's founding in 1989, Lexus had to reinforce the brand's reputation as a premium car manufacturer with a unique Japanese perspective. It was impossible to miss that Lexus' marketing staff had studied the BMW 3-Series (E36) extensively and chose to create a rival for it. As a result of this effort, the design team came up with something that looked nothing like a BMW. From 1994 until 1998, the AE86 project was managed by engineer Nobuaki Katayama, working underneath the 038T program code. Tomoyasu Nishi's development work was frozen in 1996 and registered with the Japan Patent Office under registration number 1030135 on 5 December 1996. One of Lexus' most important models was the original generation IS, which lasted until 2005. Even at lower price points, the brand's core values were alive.
Lexus IS Second Generation XE20 (2005 - 2013)
Lexus launched the second-generation of the Lexus IS in March 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show. The company completely revamped the aesthetic and technological aspects of the model. Longer and broader than its predecessors, the new model adhered to Lexus' new L-finesse design concept, putting it on par with Lexus' other big sedans, the GS and LS. Even with a 50-kilogram increase in strength and stiffness, aluminum in the body's construction allowed for a manageable weight rise. Despite the improvements, the combination of somewhat compact size, excellent rear-wheel-drive performance, and immaculate durable construction set this out as more of the same. And there were many of them. The model represented a turning point in the brand's evolution in marketing strategy since they now offered this generation worldwide under the Lexus label. Lexus designed this second generation to compete with luxury sedans like the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The IS attempted to get a competitive advantage over its competitors with the 2005 model. Even the cheapest model of Toyota's premium brand comes with a vast list of standard equipment.
Lexus IS Third Generation XE30 (2013 - Present)
The third-generation Lexus IS debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2013, six months ahead of its UK debut. In addition to the new model's more unique design, Lexus engineers used a new strategy to develop this vehicle. The Lexus IS' driving prowess has always been a major selling point. Therefore, this continued to be an essential factor in the decision-making process. Lexus-first innovations and technological improvements, the best-in-class backseat, and a bigger, more user-friendly trunk resulted from this. Following a successful introduction at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, production models of the IS were on display in Shanghai the following month.
- 2013 - International models went on sale
- Early models are IS 250 AWD, IS 250 RWD, IS 300h, and IS 350 RWD
- Hybrid IS 300h - Sold in Japan, Europe, and select international markets
- US models - Sold on 28 June 2013 as 2014 model year cars
In September 2015, a new IS 200t variant with a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine replaced the 2.5L V6. It was coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox from the RC F coupe. Because more than 90% of IS purchasers picked the IS 300h variant, they discontinued the slower-selling IS 200t model two years later. A minor adjustment in 2017 fine-tuned the IS and updated it with the newest safety features. Its active safety features prevent or lessen crashes in various traffic circumstances. In August 2016, Lexus IS sales in Europe accounted for about 20% of global sales, which surpassed the million-unit milestone. For more than twenty years, the IS was Lexus' best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom, and it remained so until the Lexus CT debuted with a lower starting price. As luxury car purchasers began shifting from saloons to SUVs, sales of small- to mid-size vehicles turned toward the NX and, more notably, the UX. As a result, the Lexus IS was discontinued in the United Kingdom in 2021, after they sold 88,837 vehicles.
Lexus IS (2022)
The reintroduction of a V8 option for the Lexus IS in 2022 is a piece of big news for the company. The new Lexus IS 500 F Sport is a powerful sport sedan with a 5.0L V8 engine. It also has a sporty aesthetic package that makes it possible to travel quickly with comfort and elegance.
Lexus sold the first-generation 2001 Lexus IS300 with a base price of $31,000 ($49,662 for the 2022 exchange rate). For the latest generation, Lexus priced the 2022 Lexus IS depending on the trim levels, and they are the following:
- IS300 - $39,850
- IS350 F Sport - $44,275
- IS500 F Sport Performance - $57,575
- IS500 F Sport Performance Premium - $62,075
- IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition - $68,475
Lexus IS First Generation (Exterior)
The IS has to keep the corporate inverted trapezoidal grille with four slats and the logo in the center at the front. Its large headlights were similar to those on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W-202) but with higher ends than straight and dropped versions. The taillights had an original design with spherical bulbs with transparent lenses and a set of round red fog lights on the rear hatch at the back.
Lexus IS First Generation (Interior)
The IS has one of the most appealing instrument panels in the industry on the inside. The automatic gear selector's comfortable design and step-like layout demonstrated meticulous attention to detail. A sports chronograph watch influenced it with a speedo in the middle and three additional gauges within the display, with space on the left for a broad tachometer and a fuel gauge on the side. Because of the high transmission tunnel that extended from the motor to the back, there was enough space for two adults in the back.
Lexus IS 2022 (Exterior)
The IS' broad and low profile relate to the car's natural high driving capability. Still, the elegant lines are also matched by blatantly sharp crispness cut into the side and shoulder character dynamic lines. 2022 IS' aggressive exterior styling strives for a daring look, with solid fenders that expand to complement and fit the optional 19-inch wheels. On the IS, slim headlights with daytime running lights with a distinctive L-shape trademark run across the lateral axis slightly above the lightweight and compact lighting units are installed.
Additional exterior features for the 2022 Lexus IS include:
- Triple-beam LED headlights
- Rocker panels accent
- Colors: Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Atomic Silver, Cloudburst Gray, Iridium, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Infrared, Grecian Water, and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0.
While not as large or luxurious as Lexus' flagship LS vehicle, the compact IS car provides a touch of luxury. Dual-zone automatic temperature control, power front seats, and push-button start are standard, while leatherette seats and a power sunroof are available as options. Lexus updated the interior of the Lexus IS for this model year, but a legit Lexus enthusiast will detect spherical air vents, repositioned cupholders, and an infotainment unit that's been placed closer to the dashboard's edge.
Additional interior features for the 2022 Lexus IS include:
- Dynamic Handling Package
- Standard 8-inch touchscreen
- 10.3-inch touchscreen (optional together with Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package)
- Apple CarPlay
- Android Auto
- Amazon Alexa integration
The 2022 Lexus IS engine delivers 472 hp (347 kW) at 7,100 rpm and 395 lb-ft (536 Nm) at 4,800 rpm of torque. The Lexus IS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph (240 kph) and a curb weight of 3,969 lb (1,800 kg). Lexus sold the IS as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle powered by a DOHC 32-valve V8 engine.
The company released the first-generation model in different areas of the world, including:
- Japan as the first-generation Altezza (XE10) - October 1998
- Europe as the Lexus IS 200 (GXE10) in Europe - 1999
- North America as the IS 300 (JCE10) - 2000
The manufacturer released the 2022 Lexus IS in December 2021.