Lexus has announced the most significant changes to its IS range since the model was launched in 2005.
To be officially unveiled at next months Paris motor show, the most major change is the introduction of the new diesel-engined IS200d to replace the IS220d. Averaging 55.4mpg and emitting 134g/km, the new car is more economical and cleaner than the old car (which had figures of 50.4mpg and 148g/km), which in turn leads to lower tax bills for company car users.
The price to pay comes in terms of performance. Whereas the old car had 175bhp and hit 60mph in 8.9 seconds, the new model has just 148bhp and takes just over 10 seconds to cover the same benchmark sprint.
At the same time, the petrol-engined IS250 models now become available exclusively with an automatic gearbox. Theres no change in power or torque from the current model, but its economy improves from 31.7 - to 33.6mpg, while CO2 emissions drop from 209- to 194g/km. As a result, its company car tax rating falls from 30%.
Styling changes, too
As well as these mechanical changes, there are also revisions to the way the car looks, particularly on the F-Sport model, which now looks even more like the high-performance IS-F.
These models now have a new deep front spoiler, a new grille and a rear spoiler with integrated stop light, as well as a new design of alloy wheels. Inside, the sports theme continues, with an F-Sport steering wheel, gearlever and sports pedals, as well as front seats finished in leather and Alcantara. Extra touches of titanium-effect trim and a dark, anthracite roof lining are also introduced.
Further revisions include SE-I specification gaining rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and new leather upholstery. Meanwhile, new wheel designs are available, and the choice of paint colours has been extended.
The revised cars are available to order now, and despite the changes, the list prices are unchanged.
New Lexus IS range