The Lexus IS compact sedan arrives in Singapore

The Lexus IS compact sedan arrives in Singapore
Lexus IS 350 F-Sport.
PHOTO: Autoblog

The new Lexus IS has been launched in Singapore. An online presentation was delivered via a livestream that featured Singaporean Racing Driver Andrew Tang presenting the car alongside Kiss 92's D.J. Divian Nair and Actress Carla Dunareanu along Singapore's infamous South Buona Vista Road.

The new car has grown by 30mm in length and width, while retaining the same 2,800mm wheelbase as its predecessor.

Extensive development work on the new Lexus IS at the Toyota Technical Centre Shimoyama sees the car receiving a host of performance enhancements.

These include a strengthening of its chassis by the reinforcement of radiator side supports, an increase in the number of front-side-member weld points, and an optimising of the structures from the C-pillars to the sides of the roof.

Lexus claims the changes have resulted in improved ride comfort and cabin noise isolation, on top of improved responsiveness to steering inputs.

The new car also has had its suspension extensively revised. New swing-valve shock absorbers are now able to better manage oil flow in response to the most minor of road irregularities, with the end result being improved ride quality across a variety of road surfaces. The F-Sport model will be fitted with a limited-slip differential and larger 19-inch wheels.

Identify the new Lexus IS from its new slender headlamp design, which now houses compact and lightweight lamp units. A new design for the Spindle Grille also adds to the car's newfound aggressive design.

F-Sport models meanwhile, get their grilles in an F-model exclusive mesh pattern, alongside additional air intake elements at the bottom.

At the rear, the car gets straight-line-type rear combination lamps sporting an 'L' motif. F-Sport models additionally get a boot spoiler and a more aggressive rear diffuser design.

The enhancements to the cabin of the new car are more subtle. Singapore cars will all get the enhanced 10.3-inch touchscreen, which now sits nearly 150mm closer to the driver. The new infotainment is now compatible with SmartDeviceLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

F-Sport cars will get an additional Flare Red interior colour option, alongside an optional black geometry film finish for the climate control panel.

The Lexus IS will be available at launch in two variants. The first, badged as an IS 300, utilises a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit with 241bhp and 350Nm of torque.

This variant also gets Adaptive Transmission Control, which constantly evaluates the driving environment in order to select the most appropriate gear for each driving situation for a more linear response to accelerator operation and driver intention.

The IS 350 F-Sport meanwhile will receive a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 with 311bhp and 380Nm of torque.

Both cars utilise an eight-speed automatic transmission. The century sprint is completed in 7.0 seconds in the IS 300, while the IS 350 F-Sport will accomplish the same in 5.9 seconds. A third hybrid variant, badged as an IS 300h, will be arriving in Singapore in 2021.

The new Lexus IS also gets Lexus Safety System+, which sees its Pre-Collision System's response range expanded. Lane Tracing Assist also now builds upon the old Lane Keep Assist to provide greater lane marker detection and lane centreing capability while adding preceding vehicle tracing ability to help centre the vehicle in its lane when lane marker visibility is poor or not available.

Prices for the IS 350 F-Sport are only indicative based on current COE prices, and pending homologation approval.

Watch a recording of the online premiere on Lexus' Facebook page here.

Car Model Price as of press time (inclusive of COE)
Lexus IS 300 2.0 (A) $198,800
Lexus IS 350 F-Sport 3.5 (A) $243,800 (indicative price)
This article was first published in sgCarMart.
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