Frankfurt Auto Show: Lexus IS
The answer is given, of course, by Lexus: two seconds a lap around the Fuji International Speedway. The compact Torsen LSD is the main change in the new Lexus, allowing it to handle the 500 Nm produced by the V8 engine.
"The unit uses low viscosity multigrade oil to reduce bearing rolling resistance and oil agitation resistance when the oil temperature is low, and a friction adjuster has been added to suppress the stick-slip phenomenon when sliding the car and to improve quietness," Lexus said in a release.
And that's about all the chages made to the IS. The car is still powered by the 5.0l V8 engine, developing 417 bhp at 6,600 and 505 Nm at 5,200 rpm. The engine is paired with an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission, allowing the IS to accelerate from naught to sixty in 4.8 seconds. Top speed is rated at 168 mph (270 km/h).
The IS will be offered to customers with the F-Sport package, available in all body colors. It comes with IS F-style front grille, rear spoiler and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels on the outside, while on the inside IS F-style seats, steering wheel and automatic gear lever.
The new Lexus IS will be available in the UK starting December.
❐ Check out the Frankfurt Auto Show: Lexus IS photo gallery
comments written so far
But, it's somewhat regrettable for me, the IS350 has never been released officially to EU market. The IS250(208bhp) and the IS200d(150bhp) are only offerings for EU market by Lexus.
Such model policy is difficult to understand, just avoiding direct match toward C-Class/3-Series/A4 troika, thus in Europe, the IS-series(except IS-F) seems little more than an alternative for the likes of Ford Mondeo, Volvo S40, and Renault Laguna.
To be differentiated from such "minicab-favorite" choices, she should have a new lithium-ion hybrid as powerful as current IS350 and more economical than current IS200d, in next generation guise.
On the other hand, there has been considerable amount of IS350s laid in US in EU market for years, imported by parallel-importing dealers. Such gray-import guises have some handycap in resale value here(So are Mustangs and Camaros), hence hardly an alternative to officially released choices. If EU-version of IS350 and IS300h?(high performance hybrid) are introduced to EU market, they would open the next phase to whole Lexus brand, as a potent alternative brand for Mercedes and BMW, armed with sheer environmental friendliness and reliability.