2013 Detroit: 2014 Lexus IS Sedan will get hybrid model, F Sport across the range

Today Lexus unveiled the completely redesigned 2014 IS Sport Sedan to the public at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Inspired in part by the LFA, the new IS was developed in reverse, as IS chief engineer Junichi Furuvama explains:

“The conventional approach involves developing each individual aspect in the hope that they will combine to offer an engaging driving experience. By contrast, development of the new IS flipped this process on its head, first establishing the pleasurable driving experience owners desire, and then developing the individual performance elements to support it.”

Three different engines power the all-new IS. Both the rear and all-weather variants of the IS 250 are powered by a 2.5-liter V6 petrol motor, while the 350 gets its go from a 3.5-liter V6 petrol motor. The IS 300h, which will reach European and other international markets, is powered by the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and features the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, a first for the series.

Drive Mode Select was implemented for the IS with this update, which allows drivers Eco, Normal and Sport modes to switch between to better suit their driving needs, and the IS 350 also provides a Sport +.

Lexus’ eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission is also featured for the IS 350 RWD, and is the first to get G force Artificial Intelligence control for Sport mode, which automatically responds to G force and selects gears for the best performance.

Other performance enhancements include a revised front double wishbone suspension, an updated multi-link suspension system borrowed from the GS and improved rigidity from new welding and bonding techniques. Lexus also borrowed the steering gear box from the GS sedan.

As for the aesthetic end of things, Lexus’ new design is highlighted by its wide-flared wheel arches, horizontal beltline, spindle grille, and pronounced headlamp and fog lamp design.

The model is close to three inches longer then its predecessor, offering up more trunk and passenger space, while the seats have been designed to be more thin, allowing for an additional three inches of knee room in the rear.

Refreshed design elements for the interior include improved materials, an illuminated analog clock, touch controls for the climate control system, Lexus Display Audio or Remote Touch-controlled Navigation systems which both come with complimentary real-time traffic and weather information through HD Radio subscription. A new steering wheel provides control for all multi-media systems, including the center console and gauge cluster.

The F Sport model gets some special treatments with exclusive design touches both inside and out, as well as performance upgrades. Electric Power Steering and front and rear suspension components, and Adaptive Variable Suspension have all been tuned specifically for this variant.

A few select design enhancements are also featured exclusively for the Sport model, and they include a bolder insert design on the grille, improved break cooling through front bumper modification, a set of LFA-inspired 18-inch wheels, a unique instrument cluster with a moving center ring, a sport shift knob and steering wheel, and badged aluminum pedals and scuff plates.

All Photos Copyright egmCarTech © Omar Rana.

-By: Alexandra Koken