New 2020 Lexus IS debuts, 315 PS 3.5L V6 & new LSS+ but no TNGA

Lexus has finally pulled off the wraps to the new 2020 Lexus IS compact sports sedan. While it does not get the Lexus New Global Architecture Platform, there is still plenty to love behind this BMW 3 Series fighter.

The Toyota N Platform was carried over from the previous generation IS but has been heavily improved to give the IS the competitive edge it needs.

Dimensions wise, the all-new IS has grown compared to its predecessor now measuring 4,710 mm in length (+30 mm), 1,840 mm in width (+30 mm), and 1,435 mm in height (+5 mm). However, wheelbase is retained at 2,800 mm.

Even though the IS does not ride on the stellar Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, Lexus engineers is said to have recreated similar levels of sophistication in the IS as seen in TNGA-built cars like the Lexus UX and ES.

Body rigidity was improved with increased front-side-member weld points, reinforced radiator side supports, and optimised C-pillar structure. Swing-valve shock absorbers – the same stuff found in the superb ES – were fitted to give the IS superior handling and ride quality.

L: IS 300; R: IS 300 F-Sport

As for the exterior, the approach is evolutionary, not revolutionary. There is now a massive spindle grille flanked with sharper bumpers and headlamp clusters. The highlight of this new IS would have to be the single strip taillamps.

Inside, changes are minuscule – well, except the large floating 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Other stuff like the instrument cluster, multifunctional steering wheel and centre console layout is pretty much the same as the outgoing car.

You have to squint to realise that the knob switch is replaced by the Lexus trackpad as well as new interior colour schemes in Ochre (brown) or F-Sport exclusive Flare Red.

Other features available include a 1,800W 17-sepeaker Mark Levinson surround sound system, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, powered sunroof, and an updated Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+ generation 2.5).

The LSS+ 2.5 adds an Emergency Steering Assist and improved lane recognition on top of Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, and Low-Speed Follow.

There are 3 engine options available a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder, 2.5-litre hybrid and a range-topping 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 that packs 315 PS. At the official press conference, Lexus has also hinted at a high-performance IS F model.

*article corrected to reflect that this is a heavily facelifted model and not an all-new model


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Adrian Chia


Psychology graduate with over 4 years in the automotive industry, 3 in front of the camera. Occasionally seen at his family o...

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