Lexus has bolstered its IS sedan range with an all-new turbocharged engine. This new IS 200t is partnered by the top-of-the-range IS 350 F-Sport which features a meaty 3.5-litre V6.
The all-new turbo engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit delivering 180kW and 350Nm. This is the same engine that does duty in the Lexus NX baby SUV, but in the IS 200t configuration, power is upped to 180kW thanks to alterations to the engine management system and exhaust. That torque figure of 350Nm only tells one story. The real strength of this motor is its tractibility as the engine comes fully on song from 1650 rpm up to 4400 rpm. The engine is mated to the Lexus eight-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic gearbox which features steering-wheel mounted shift paddles.
For added enthusiasm, the gearbox also has auto-blip downshifts. You have the option of switching between driving modes with the Drive Mode dial and you get three modes to choose from (Eco, Normal, Sport). The 0-100kph time is rated at 7 seconds and the car is claimed to consume just 7.5L/100km, while emissions are said to be 175g/km. The Lexus 200t E and EX models come with multi-spoke 17-inch wheels, while the interior has that typical Lexus generosity in terms of specification. The seats are heated and ventilated, and there's a 7-inch central colour display.
The interior features full leather trim, electric front seats, front and rear park distance control. The next trim up is the EX which gains satellite navigation, reverse camera and an electrochromatic mirror. Safety now includes 10 airbags. Lexus South Africa’s Glenn Crompton (Vice President of Marketing) said the new engine brings “more of the performance that customers are coming to expect from Lexus, along with quality and luxury. The 2.0-litre engine gained a lot of praise from customers and critics when fitted to the NX 200t, and its addition to the IS Line has made it an even stronger proposition for customers who want a blend of performance, economy and driveability."
We'll be at the local launch of the Lexus IS 200t this week, so check back soon for First Drive impressions.
Lexus IS 200t Price in South Africa
Lexus IS 200t E – R518 800 Lexus IS 200t EX – R570 300 Lexus IS 350 F Sport – R627 900