The Lexus IS 200t has officially been announced, and a Lexus Malaysia source has informed us that it’ll be reaching local showrooms in the third quarter of 2015. That’s mere months away!

There’s lots to be excited about. Powered by the same direct-injected 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine in the NX 200t and RX 200t, the IS 200t will get 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque, sent to the rear wheels through a new eight-speed Sport Direct Shift transmission.

Eight speed what? The Sport Direct Shift gearbox is similar to that fitted to the high-performance RC F, and can vary its gear shifting pattern in accordance to G-forces. It will automatically downshift under hard braking, hold a lower gear through the corner, and then select the most suitable ratio on exit. It’s high tech stuff.

With these on board, Lexus’ BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class rival now gets to 100 km/h in 7.0 seconds flat, while averaging 7.0 litres per 100 km (14.3 km/l) in the NEDC cycle. This compares favourably against the existing 205 hp/252 Nm IS 250 V6’s figures of 8.1 seconds and 8.6 l/100 km.

So folks, would you get this instead of the BMW 328i or Mercedes-Benz C 250?