2017 LEXUS IS
2017 LEXUS IS
Because the styling of the current generation LEXUS IS has proved so popular, Lexus has kept the essence of the car’s exterior appearance intact. However, the front of the new model has undergone a transformation, with new headlamps, large air intakes in the bumper and a further evolution of the signature Lexus spindle grille design.
The reshaped headlamps – now full LED units – have a more pronounced look than before and extend inwards, creating an eye-catching shape that accentuates the "L" configuration of the daytime running lights. The bumper, with its smoothly integrated air intakes, flows from the front wings to generate a more powerful road presence.
The new spindle grille angles back at a higher point than before, changing the proportions of its upper and lower sections, producing a sportier appearance and giving the impression of a lower centre of gravity in the car, while blending smoothly into a reshaped bonnet.
The LEXUS IS’ profile has been rendered sleeker by a stronger character line that runs along the length of the car, and by a choice of 16, 17 and 18-in. wheel designs. These include two new choices: a 17-in. wheel with five sets of twin spokes and a bright machined finish; and a multi-spoke 18-in. rim.
The changes to the rear are highlighted by new triple-layered LED light guides and new rectangular, chrome-finished exhaust tips, further accentuating the LEXUS IS’ sporting nature.
Two new colours, Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black have been added to the choice of exterior paint finishes.
ENHANCED INTERIOR DESIGN AND HMI
Many carefully considered improvements have been made to the new LEXUS IS’ 2017 cabin that raise the levels of visual and tactile quality and improve the human-machine interface (HMI) qualities of displays and controls.
Multimedia systems, Remote Touch Interface and connectivity
The centrally mounted screen for the Lexus Premium Navigation multimedia system has been significantly increased in size, from 7 to 10.3 in. This new, high-resolution monitor presents larger and clearer images and a split-screen design so that different information displays can be presented simultaneously, making it easier for the driver to read at a glance and select functions, with least distraction from the job of driving.
All new LEXUS IS 2017 models are fitted with a multimedia system with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity. The Lexus Premium Navigation package also includes the latest iteration of the Remote Touch Interface control and in-car WiFi as an option. It can also be operated using voice commands. The Remote Touch Interface control on the centre console also benefits from improved HMI design with the addition of an "Enter" button on its side to make operation easier.
The standard Lexus Media Display has a seven-in. screen and content is controlled by means of a rotary dial in the centre console.
Revised cabin features with Takumi craftsmanship
In the centre of the dashboard, the audio and ventilation control panel has been adjusted so that it sits neatly between the knee bolsters; its surface has a fine new hairline finish.
Representative of the Takumi craftsmanship that distinguishes every Lexus model, new stitching is featured around the instrument binnacle hood, adding to the sporting feel of the cockpit, as do refinements made to the speedometer and tachometer. There are also new cup holders, a larger, leather-wrapped and stitched palm rest for the Remote Touch Interface, and new dial markings on the analogue clock positioned centrally on the dashboard.
New laser-etched dark wood trim inserts
The LEXUS IS is available for the first time with laser-etched dark wood trim inserts. Produced for Lexus by the skilled craftspeople at Yamaha Fine Technologies, they are made using a technique applied in the manufacture of some of the world’s finest musical instruments.
The process uses precise laser-etching to cut through the wood veneer to expose a layer of aluminium beneath, creating a striking design that draws on the contrast between the rich qualities of the wood and the cool appearance of the metal. The effect is heightened by a clear, protective top coat, polished to a high shine.
Improved Pioneer Premium Sound System
The Pioneer Premium Sound System featured in the LEXUS IS has been improved with the introduction of two additional 9cm speakers with a Coherent Source Transducer, positioned on each side of the instrument panel, integrating a tweeter and mid-range speaker. This takes the system’s full array to 10 speakers, ensuring an even higher sound reproduction quality.
The system includes a fully digital, Class-D, eight-channel amplifier capable of creating virtually distortion-free sound with minimal voltage losses. The natural sound dynamics and rich harmonies generated by the high definition amplification are faithfully reproduced by a 10-speaker layout, which includes a 55 millimeters wide-range tweeter.
The system’s functions include AM/FM/DAB radio tuner, DVD/CD player and Bluetooth.
15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System
For a true live concert-quality in-car audio experience, the LEXUS IS offers the option of a 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System. Designed specifically for the IS’ interior, the package produces 5.1-channel digital surround sound, delivered through a speaker array that uses GreenEdgeTM technology to produce twice the sound for the same level of energy consumption as a conventional system. An Auto Volume System automatically adjusts performance between different artists and recordings to ensure the best sound delivery.
New interior colour options
For selected markets two new shades – Nuance Black (exclusive to Sport grade models) and Noble Brown – have been added to the choice of interior colour schemes. Also, the previous Moonstone and Ivory options have been replaced by Sandstone, a new, light shade that blends the elegance of Ivory with a more modern, light tone.
The new LEXUS IS 2017 range includes F Sport versions of both the IS 300h and IS 200t, offering a sportier dimension in both styling and performance.
In design terms, the F Sport models make an even stronger visual statement, with the new spindle grille having a dark chrome finish and an exclusive three-dimensional "F" mesh pattern. The lower grille section also incorporates functioning cooling ducts for the brakes; these share a continuity of style with the car’s side garnishes and are designed to contribute to the car’s improved aerodynamics. Larger, new-design 18-in. multi-spoke alloy wheels are provided as standard.
In the cabin the details include a three-spoke F Sport steering wheel, supportive sports front seats, LFA-style instrumentation, Naguri machined aluminium-effect trim inlays and an aluminium pedal set. Adaptive Variable Suspension and specially tuned steering ensure the car’s handling lives up to the promise of its emphatic looks.
FOCUS ON AERODYNAMIC EXCELLENCE
Lexus has spared no effort in ensuring the new LEXUS IS 2017 achieves the best possible performance, This enabled many detailed adjustments to be made, even down to adding an area of aluminium tape behind the rear bumper to achieve a smooth airflow.
Revised suspension and steering for improved dynamic performance
The LEXUS IS’ dynamic performance has been improved through precisely calculated revisions to the front and rear suspension and steering.
The front double wishbone suspension has a new forged aluminium lower arm assembly which delivers a 49% increase in rigidity compared to the steel member it replaces. It also benefits from a new No1 bush that is 29% more rigid than before. By using alloy material in this way, Lexus has been able to increase rigidity without incurring any weight penalty.
Together these elements offer a marked improvement in steering response at cruising speeds. The front system also has a new upper support bush, a revised coil spring rate for better roll control, new shock absorber components and revised damper settings, helping achieve improved yaw response.
The rear multi-link suspension has also gained a new No1 bush for the upper arm, new shock absorber components, a new stabiliser bar and revised damper settings.
Changes to the shock absorbers ensure that damping force can be generated from very low vehicle speeds, helping maintain stability and ride comfort.
The electric power steering’s ECU settings have been reassessed and revised in order to achieve better steering control.
As a result of these comprehensive measures, both the standard and F Sport IS models demonstrate better ride quality, body control, rear wheel traction and straight-line stability, as well as better steering response and feedback.
Before the dynamic changes to the new LEXUS IS were sanctioned for production, they underwent stringent assessment with extensive testing on-road and on test tracks to pinpoint where final tuning could be made to gain the ideal results from the package of dynamic improvements.
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management
Lexus’ unique VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) is featured on all LEXUS IS models, improving the car’s performance, traction control and stability. It uses comprehensive status data from sensors throughout the vehicle to co-ordinate operation of the ABS, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), TRC (Traction Control), EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and with the EPS (electric power steering).
Through this integration of the all the elements related to vehicle movement, including motor torque, braking and steering, VDIM not only optimises the activation of the braking, stability and traction control systems, it can also further improve the vehicle’s kinetic performance.
Control systems are usually activated immediately after a vehicle reaches the limits of its dynamic envelope; VDIM operates before that limit is reached. This means the LEXUS IS’ dynamic limits are expanded, while vehicle behaviour becomes smoother at the limit, thanks to less obtrusive intervention by the active safety systems, securing a more enjoyable driving experience.
When braking in a corner, for example, a loss of rear tyre grip can provoke understeer. Through the car’s EBD function, the use of linear brake actuators makes it possible to initiate control before the car’s limit has been reached. VDIM apportions the appropriate braking force to each wheel, ensuring the vehicle remains stable by pre-emptively restraining the spinning tendency and, at the same time, delivering superior braking performance.
Even stronger braking in a corner can result in front-wheel lock-up and a loss of grip that causes the car to understeer, Once again, by independently controlling the braking force to all four wheels via the EBD, VDIM helps to prevent front-wheel lock-up and regain vehicle balance, offering seamless control until the ABS and VSC functions take over.
Furthermore, VDIM can augment operation of the VSC, via the electric power steering actuator, providing steering assistance to reduce torque steer when braking on surfaces with varying levels of grip. It can also introduce steering torque assistance in understeer and oversteer conditions, helping the driver optimise the front wheel steering angle and keep the car stable with the least input.
The new LEXUS IS 2017 range retains the model’s established choice of powertrains, the IS 300h full hybrid petrol and the IS 200t 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
FULL HYBRID LEXUS IS 300h
The LEXUS IS 300h, which accounts for the great majority of European IS sales, delivers exceptional smoothness and efficiency while preserving the driver rewards that are fundamental to the IS’ traditional appeal. The full hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a compact, powerful electric motor to provide smooth, responsive performance, supported by Dual VVT-i intelligent variable valve timing, Lexus’ D-4S fuel injection technology and a high-efficiency exhaust gas recirculation system.
The powertrain features an E-CVT (electronic continuously variable transmission) with a sequential shift mode, operated using fingertip paddle controls on the steering wheel.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive’s advanced engineering delivers low exhaust emissions and fuel economy, with official combined cycle test figures from just 97g/kilometers and 4.3 l/100kilometers respectively, strengthening the car’s appeal in markets where environmental performance and ownership costs are key customer considerations.
LEXUS IS 200t TURBO PETROL
The LEXUS IS 200t is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, twin-scroll turbocharged petrol engine, matched to the smooth-shifting eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission that Lexus originally developed for the IS F and which is also featured in the RC F performance coupe.
The engine benefits from a number of innovative technologies, including D-4ST direct fuel injection and VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) which allows the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson cycle operation by varying the opening angle of the intake valves. The unit uses direct, high-pressure fuel injection into the cylinders and a low-pressure system for injection into the ports. Power is rated at 245 DIN hp/180 kW at 5,800rpm, with maximum torque of 350Nm delivered between 1,650 and 4,400rpm.
DRIVE MODE SELECT WITH NEW "CUSTOMISE" FUNCTION
The LEXUS IS’ Drive Mode Select system features up to five switchable driving modes, engaged using a rotary control on the centre console: Eco, Normal, Sport and, on models equipped with Adaptive Variable Suspension, Sport S and Sport S+. The new IS extends the system’s functionality with a new "customised" option that lets the driver adjust the control of chassis settings, throttle response and air conditioning operation to suit their personal preference.
Switches immediately below the rotary control are used for engaging all-electric EV (LEXUS IS 300h hybrid models) and Snow modes.
CLASS-LEADING SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
In line with Lexus’ commitment to offering state-of-the-art technology to a wider audience, at an attractive price, the new LEXUS IS 2017 adopts Lexus Safety System+, a set of active safety features designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions in a wide range of traffic situations.
The new LEXUS IS 2017 is equipped with a PCS (Pre-Crash System) that can help the driver avoid a collision, or lessen the consequences of an impact, even at high speed.
PCS features a windshield-mounted camera and a front-mounted millimetre-wave radar which scans the road ahead to detect obstacles, effective not just when driving straight ahead, but also when cornering. The PCS computes data from sensors on factors such as vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw rate inputs to help determine the risk of a rear-end collision with a vehicle ahead. If it recognises a high risk, it will trigger a warning buzzer and illuminate a "BRAKE" command in the multi-information display to alert the driver to take action.
The moment the brake pedal is pressed the system initiates Pre-Crash Brake Assist to provide optimum braking force. This can achieve deceleration of up to 60 kilometers/h, slowing the vehicle to reduce the severity of any impact, or potentially bringing the vehicle to a stop before an impact occurs.
If the driver does not respond to the alerts and does not apply the brakes, the Pre-Crash Brake will automatically operate to reduce the vehicle’s speed.
The Pre-Crash Safety system also features pedestrian protection. If a pedestrian is detected in front of the IS, automatic braking will be activated when the car is travelling between about 30 and 80 kilometers/h.
The PCS radar unit is also used to provide Adaptive Cruise Control, which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Once the way ahead is clear, the LEXUS IS will automatically accelerate smoothly back to its pre-set cruising speed.
The system can be operated in two modes – constant speed control (like a conventional cruise control system), or vehicle-to-vehicle distance control. The driver can set long, medium or short vehicle-to-vehicle distances according to preference; the control settings are shown on the multi-function display.
The Lexus Safety System+ package also includes LDA (Lane Departure Alert), which uses a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror to track the vehicle’s course between lane markings painted on the road surface. If it detects that the vehicle is moving out of its lane without the turn indicators being used, it will light up a warning on the multi-information display and sound a buzzer alert, prompting the driver to steer the LEXUS IS back to its correct path.
The LEXUS IS’ AHB (Automatic High Beam) headlight system maximises night-time visibility by automatically switching to low beam when it detects the lights of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. This has the benefit of maximum, safe operation of high beam lighting, improving the driver’s field of vision without the risk of dazzling other road users.
The RSA (Road Sign Assist) system on the new LEXUS IS 2017 recognises traffic signs using the windscreen mounted camera, and provides information to the driver in the multi-information display. RSA can detect signs that are compliant with the Vienna Convention (including electroluminescent and flashing signs).
OTHER ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES
The new Lexus IS goes beyond the level of protection afforded by Lexus Safety System+ to make use of further advanced systems and controls to improve safety and vehicle control. The driver can make use of a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert for safe manoeuvres and all versions of LEXUS IS are fitted with an Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management continues to provide ideal co-ordination of the car’s braking, traction control and stability control functions with the electric power steering.
Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
The new LEXUS IS 2017 is available with a Blind Spot Monitor, which uses a rear-mounted radar to detect vehicles travelling in adjacent traffic lanes, outside the driver’s line of sight in the door mirrors. An indicator light is illuminated in the appropriate mirror to alert the driver when another vehicle is detected in the blind spot. If the turn indicator is operated while a vehicle is in the blind spot, the warning light in the mirror will flash on and off.
The same radar is used to provide the Rear Cross Traffic Alert function. This warns the driver of an approaching vehicle from either side when reversing out of a parking space, triggering a warning light in the corresponding door mirror and sounding a warning buzzer.
Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System
The AL-TPWS (Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System) works using data from individual sensors integrated into each tyre’s air valve assembly. This allows the air pressure values for each tyre to be shown on a display in the driver’s instrument binnacle. When low pressure is detected, the value of the affected tyre is shown in amber to alert the driver. This provides more precise information for the driver, compared to conventional systems which do not indicate which tyre requires attention.
The system is activated the moment the ignition is turned on, so the driver can check tyre pressures instantly, before driving off. Ensuring all tyres are at their recommended pressures contributes both to safer driving and optimum fuel economy.
The LEXUS IS’ passive safety performance is underpinned by its exceptionally strong and rigid body shell, engineered to provide essential protection to passenger and occupants in frontal, off-set, side-on and rear impacts. Its quality was duly reflected in the LEXUS IS registering a top five-star rating in independent Euro NCAP testing and, at the time of inspection, achieving the highest score in its class.
All LEXUS IS models are fitted as standard with eight airbags: front (dual-stage), side and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger and full-length curtain airbags. The front airbags have variable force operation, deploying in line with the severity of an impact, as measured by sensors.
Lexus’ measures to safeguard pedestrians from serious injury include a pop-up hood system for the LEXUS IS. This ensures excellent protection, while at the same time enabling the car’s designers to maintain an attractive low hood line. A sensor in the front bumper detects when a person is struck by the front of the vehicle, triggering actuators that immediately raise the hood by about 70 millimeters, creating extra space between the bonnet and the engine. The bonnet can then deform and absorb the impact with the person’s head. The system is designed so that it will not operate should the car hit a bollard, lamp post or other street furniture.
The new LEXUS IS’ full LED headlights offer higher intensity illumination at close distance. When measured at a point 15 metres in front of the car, light intensity shows a 10% improvement, compared to that from high-intensity discharge headlights. The breadth of illumination is also wider by one metre to the left and right, compared to HID headlights and fog lights working in combination. This shows how the performance of the LED lights on the LEXUS IS cover the functions of both headlights and fog lights.