2021 Lexus IS Compact Luxury Sports Sedan
Lexus has unveiled the latest iteration of its most engaging sports sedan. Tested and developed at the new Toyota Technical Center in Shimoyama, Japan, the 2021 Lexus IS offers up a more dynamic driving experience through rigidity, chassis and suspension enhancements and will be the first Lexus to bear the new Lexus Driving Signature, a design philosophy keyed on a uniform feel across the entire Lexus lineup that is more balanced, refined in control and confident with optimized handling and exceptional ride quality. "What we had foremost in mind in developing the new IS was to make it a car that excelled in communicating with the driver regardless of the road conditions or driving situation," said Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi of Lexus International. "We aimed to make the new IS a Lexus compact sports sedan that provides high-quality riding comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control."
The 2021 IS will be available in both rear- and all-wheel drive options, and there are three distinct powertrain choices available. The rear-wheel drive IS 300 features an updated 2.0-liter, turbocharged and intercooled inline four-cylinder engine. Rated to deliver 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, it comes equipped with an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission with adaptive transmission control that helps determines the most appropriate gear for each driving situation based on driver input. For added traction in cold-weather climates, the IS 300 is also available with all-wheel drive. The IS 300 AWD is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 260 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is designed to help enhance traction and grip by automatically varying front-to-rear torque distribution. On dry roads it maintains a 30:70 front-to-rear torque split for maximum performance, but it's capable of sending as much as 50 percent of the power to the front wheels in certain conditions. For drivers who crave maximum power, there's the IS 350 in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The rear-wheel drive model uses the same eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the IS 300 RWD, while the AWD version sends power through a six-speed automatic. The IS 350 RWD covers the ground in 5.6 seconds while the IS 350 AWD goes from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The 2021 Lexus IS goes on sale this fall, and will be available for sale in approximately 40 countries around the world, including the US, Japan, and other countries in Asia.