2014 Lexus IS250 Images: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Deep in the heart of Texas, automotive writers from around the world are getting their first shots at driving the third-generation Lexus IS. We’ve had time with the IS350, the IS350 F Sport, and the IS250, but mum’s the word. We can’t share our impressions or concerns with you for another 10 days or so—although we have driven a prototype IS—but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you at least a visual preview. To step back a bit—to the Detroit auto show, perhaps—here’s what we’ve known about the new IS thus far. Visually, the exterior design is evolutionary, the IS shape we know has been honed to a finer cut. Its lines are sharper, and it now features a full incorporation of the brand’s signature spindle grille. The beltline has been raised, while below it another line sweeps up from the sill to the taillights. Those rear lights, which formerly swept up, now angle downward.
A pair of V-6s—a 204-hp 2.5-liter or a 306-hp 3.5—carry over, but the IS300h hybrid won’t make it to American dealers. The manual transmission is done away with, as the six-speed automatic is standard in every version but the rear-drive IS350, which now has the eight-speed auto. A Drive Mode Select knob offers a choice of several levels of throttle response, transmission settings, and chassis characteristics. If that’s not enough, there are F Sport versions of both the IS250 and IS350 with sportier suspension and steering tuning, LFA-inspired 18-inch aluminum wheels, and a unique instrument cluster.
- Feature: Dissected—All-New 2014 Lexus IS
- Long-Term Road Test: 2008 Lexus IS F
- Comparison Test: 2012 BMW 328i vs. 2012 Audi A4 2.0T, 2012 Infiniti G25, 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sport, 2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
The new IS’s steering wheel, dash, and center console all are influenced by the LFA. As well And as is becoming more common in the luxury league, the climate controls are touch sensitive. On the assist list are lane departure, blind spot, and—when in reverse—rear cross-traffic warnings.
If the new IS is on your wish list, hold your horses, because they won’t be in dealerships until the middle of the year, and while prices won’t be announced for some time, we’re guessing they won’t be far off today’s stickers. As far as the availability or existence of a new IS F or another convertible IS C no news is, well, no news. The pair will continue as they are for the time being and their future is little more than a guess at this point.
By John Lamm