A Brief Look at the Lexus IS

Lexus IS Picture

When it comes to the luxury automobiles, Lexus has always been a prominent name, and its IS vehicle model is a perfect example of its success in the automotive world. The Lexus IS has managed to carve a niche for itself and has garnered a loyal fan following globally. The car is originally designed to compete with the likes of BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4.

First Generation: 1999-2005

Lexus introduced the IS in 1999 as a compact executive car. The first generation model featured striking and sharp lines and was sportier than the flagship Lexus LS. It was powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine generating 156 horsepower, as well as a six-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic transmission.

In 2001, Lexus expanded the lineup and introduced the IS 300 with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The IS 300 produced 215 horsepower and had the option for a five-speed E-shift automatic transmission. The car was marketed towards the young and affluent buyers who wanted a sporty and stylish vehicle.

Second Generation: 2006-2013

In 2006, Lexus unveiled its second generation of the IS model, which featured a complete redesign. The new model was larger and sportier than its predecessor. It featured a new front-end design, updated interior, and an improved ride quality. Additionally, this model featured improved handling, reduced road noise, and an increase in horsepower.

The second-generation models featured the same engine configurations as the previous generation, except for the upgraded 306 horsepower V6 engine. Moreover, Lexus introduced an IS F that flaunted a 416 horsepower V8 engine that made it a whole different animal in the Lexus lineup.

Third Generation: 2014-2020

In 2014, Lexus released the third generation of the IS model, which featured a modernized design for the exteriors and interiors. This model included a new front grille, sleeker headlights, smoother lines, and an LFA-inspired LFA digital instrument cluster. The IS 250 and IS 350 models were unchanged in terms of their powertrains, but Lexus added IS 300 models that featured a 3.5-liter V6 turbocharged engine, which delivered 241 horsepower.

The F Sport package was also introduced for the third-generation Lexus IS, offering improved handling and unique styling characteristics like aggressive bumper designs and larger wheels.

Fourth Generation: 2021-Present

The fourth-generation Lexus IS was redesigned yet again in 2021 with a new design, updated interior, and improved handling. This model features a much sharper, more aggressive design, particularly on the front. The grille has been enlarged and features a sporty pattern, and the headlights now merge into the grille.

Under the hood, the Lexus IS now features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 241 horsepower and a peak torque of 258 lb-ft. There’s also a larger 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers a horsepower rating of 311. The car can be equipped with either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

The Lexus IS: A Summary

The Lexus IS has evolved through four generations, each one better than the previous one. The latest version of the car features a modern design, updated interior, and futuristic technology. The incorporation of turbocharged engines and advanced transmission systems have provided drivers with more responsive vehicles. The IS continues to be a popular choice for car enthusiasts looking for luxury, sporty performance, and reliability.


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