Lexus has announced the 2016 IS sedan in the US, with a new model strategy and revised engine options. The IS 200t has been added to the line-up and will be available along with the new IS 300 AWD and the IS 350. The IS 250 and IS 250 AWD have been discontinued by the company owing to poor demand.
The Lexus IS is currently in its third generation and is a market competitor of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and the Cadillac ATS. Till now, the IS was the only car mentioned not to feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, but this has changed with the arrival of the IS 200t for MY2016.
The IS 200t is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that produces 241 hp and 350 Nm of torque. The power is transmitted to the rear wheels of the car via an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine that Lexus fitted in the 2015 NX crossover (hybrid) and has been modified for the IS 200t.
Meanwhile, with the interest for AWD vehicles increasing, Lexus has also added a new IS 300 AWD model to the IS range. The IS 300 AWD features a 2.5-liter V6 engine developing 255 hp and 320 Nm of torque, which comes paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It replaces the IS 250 AWD as the Lexus’ entry level AWD sedan.
Nonetheless, Lexus will continue to offer the IS 350 in both RWD and AWD layouts with the same engine. On the MY2016 IS 350 model, the 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 306 hp and 376 Nm of torque and will be mated to the Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission.
Other changes to the updated Lexus IS include a restyled design with an increased wheelbase. If the customers choose the Premium Plus Package, they will get a telescopic steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and 18-inch five-spoke wheels in the IS 350. The Lexus F Sport Package will be provided on all the models of the IS and Lexus promises that equipping the kit will ensure better handling and grip during performance driving.