As we reported earlier, the latest Lexus IS 200t with its new 2.0 litre turbocharged engine will reach Malaysia in the third quarter of 2015. Now, official prices of the updated model range have been revealed by the local Lexus website.

Three variants of the IS 200t will be offered: Premium for RM278,400, Luxury for RM311,900 and F Sport for RM344,900 (all OTR prices, without insurance).

Surprisingly, especially given that it has a smaller engine than the old IS 250, prices have gone up compared to the outgoing models (RM266k to RM328k). Even the range-topping IS 300h model, which is presumably unchanged, sees a price hike from RM379,024 to RM394,900.

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Prices aside, 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.