Lexus IS 25

Lexus Malaysia officially launched the all-new Lexus IS this evening at its Mutiara Damansara hub. The third-generation compact premium exec is available here in four variants, including F-Sport and Hybrid options. The full list reads IS 250, IS 250 Luxury, IS 250 F-Sport and the IS 300h.

The IS 250 variants are powered by a 2.5 litre V6 engine with 205 hp and 252 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. The naturally aspirated 4GR-FSE V6 comes with Dual-VVTi and D4 direct injection, and is mated to a six-speed automatic with steering paddles. 0-100 km/h is done in 8.1 seconds while top speed is 225 km/h.

By the way, the gearbox features a new “G force Artificial Intelligence” (A.I. Shift) control in Sport mode, which automatically selects the optimal gear and downshift pattern in response to G force, and maintains the selected gear through a corner.

Lexus IS 51

The IS 300h hybrid is powered by a Lexus Hybrid Drive system combining an electric motor and a new 178 hp 2AR-FSE 2.5 litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine. Max system output is 164 kW (220 hp), the engine makes 221 Nm from 4,200 to 5,400 rpm, and the electric motor has 300 Nm max.

Although it does the benchmark 0-100 km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h, slower than the IS 250, real world performance should be strong thanks to the electric motor’s low down push. There’s an all-electric EV mode for short distances.

The battery pack is a nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) unit containing 192 cells, with a max voltage of 650 V. The battery pack is located under the floor, so there’s no loss in boot space. Instead of a torque converter automatic, the IS 300h uses a CVT gearbox.

The rear-wheel drive IS is suspended by double wishbones up front and a multi-link setup at the back. The wishbones have been revised, giving a 20% increase in roll rigidity, while the new multi-link system is similar to that featured in the new GS. Exclusive to the IS 250 F-Sport is a Adaptive Variable Suspension System (AVS).

The current IS is very tight inside, something the new model addresses, thanks to increased width (+10 mm) and a longer wheelbase (+70 mm to 2,800 mm). Lexus says that the combination of the extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design delivers best-in-class knee-room (+85 mm compared to the current model) and rear seat access. The new rear seats also have a 60:40 split-folding function.

The F-Sport model gets some exclusive kit as the sporty variant. From the outside, the already aggressive IS is enhanced by a unique L-mesh grille and front bumper, with more visible chrome treatment. It’s all functional too, scooping in more air to the engine. The 18-inch wheels have a unique Y-shape spoke design inspired by the LFA supercar.

Lexus IS 4

There’s more. The F-Sport’s transmission has an extra fourth mode (Sport S+) and the cabin features sportier “body hugging” front seats, aluminium pedals, scuff plates, dimpled leather gear knob and F-Sport badging. But the cabin highlight will be the eight-inch TFT LCD instrument panel, which is once again inspired by the LFA.

Moving on to the hybrid, which has its own unique features. For one, the tailpipes are hidden from view, and there’s an Energy Monitor within the Electro Multi Vision Navigation (EVNM) panel. Here, the driver can observe the energy flow in real time. The headlamps are LED units (HID xenons for the rest).

Lexus has made a name for offering high-end Mark Levinson sound systems, and the IS has this for the IS 250 F-Sport and IS 300h. We’re talking about a 15-speaker ICE system wih DVD, MP3 and WMA. The IS 250 and IS 250 Luxury “makes do” with a Lexus Premium eight-speaker system. There are two USB points and one AUX jack for both systems.

Safety wise, it’s ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, TRC, Hill Start Assist and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) across the XE30 board. Also standard for all specs are eight airbags and ISOFIX child seat tethers.

The new IS is priced from RM269,900 for the IS 250, rising to RM299,900 for the IS 250 Luxury (adds on 18-inch rims, reverse camera, power rear sunshade, navi) and RM333,000 for the IS 250 F-Sport. The IS 300h is yours for RM383,000, all on-the-road without insurance.

Not that there’s alot of difference, but should you want to compare, we’ve previously featured the Detroit 2013 debutant in gallery posts from Seoul and Bangkok motor shows.

UPDATE: Scans of the official brochure added in the gallery below