Reflecting the stringent car-to-car impact compatibility standards unique to the Lexus marque, the new IS has been created with the express aim of achieving class-leading safety in full-frontal, offset, side-on and rear collisions.
The comprehensive use of high- and ultra-high-tensile steel within the body structure optimally transfers and disperses impact load, minimising cabin deformation during a collision and maintaining space for the occupants.
The rear bumper reinforcement has also been fabricated using new, electromagnetic forming techniques. The caulked structure eliminates the need for bolt fastening, combing energy absorption efficiency with weight reduction.
Satisfying current pedestrian impact legislation would have required the raising of the new IS hood by some 40mm over the height of the current model. However, a newly developed Pop-Up Hood (PUH) design allows for the lowest possible vehicle front profile while optimising pedestrian impact protection.
A Lexus-first, the system uses a sensor in the front bumper to detect that a person has collided with the front of the vehicle. Actuators then immediately pop up the hood some 70mm, maximising the space between the hood and engine, and allowing the hood to deform in order to absorb the collision impact of the person’s head.
The high-precision sensors and control system ensure that the PUH will not deploy in the event of a collision with a bollard, lamp post or other obstacle.
The Lexus IS benefits from 10 SRS airbags; two-stage Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) front airbags, both driver and front passenger SRS knee airbags, front and rear SRS side airbags, as well as full length SRS side curtain airbags.
The advanced, Supplementary Restraint System controls variable-force SRS front airbags for both driver and front passenger. Sensors determine the severity on an impact and, hence, the force with which the SRS airbags are deployed.
PRICING AND SPECIFICATION
Hamman remarked that, “while it may seem vulgar to talk price when referring to such a sophisticated car, one cannot overlook the fact that the new Lexus IS now offers more car for your money than any of its rivals.”
The entry point to the new range is the IS 350 priced at R449 900. This model is generously specified, and includes the following main specifications:
- 17″ alloy wheels
- Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Drive Mode Select (Normal, Eco & Sport)
- Illuminated Entry System
- Cruise Control
- Economy Meter
- Smart Entry System and remote control
- Multi-Information Display
- Three-spoke steering wheel with audio switches and paddle shift
- Dual-zone climate control
- Power heated mirrors
- HID headlamps with dusk sensing function and headlamp clearner
- 10 airbags
- Full leather upholstery
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- 60/40 split rear seats
- Eight-way power adjustable front seats
- Auto Location Tyre Pressure Warning System
- Eight-speaker Lexus display audio with audio input terminal, iPod integration and Bluetooth connectivity
- Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Traction Control (TRC)
- ABS with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
- Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM)
The feature model of the new IS range is the EX, priced at R499 900. This model adds the following to the E model:
- Electrochromatic mirror
- EMVN Multimedia system with upper display and lower operational zones
- Lexus’ winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI) controller
- Fully integrated satellite navigation with automatic screen zoom and 3-D functionality
- Lexus Park Assist with Back Guide Monitor (BGM)
- Park distance sensors
- Rain-sensing wipers
F SPORT is the premier model which is priced at R553 900. This version adds further sport cues to the interior and exterior design as well as extra technology including:
- 18″ 10 spoke F Sport alloy wheels
- F Sport mesh grille
- Power heated mirrors with memory and auto retractable function
- Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) System (in combination with Sport S+ setting on the Drive Mode Select
- Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS)
- LFA-style instrument meters
- F SPORT aluminium sports pedals
- F SPORT leather trim on steering wheel and gear lever
- F SPORT sports seats
As with the rest of the Lexus range, all models in the IS range are covered by a four-year/100 000 km warranty. On the maintenance front, the E Model comes standard with the Lexus “Distance” plan, the EX model gets “Distance Plan Plus” and the F-Sport gets “Distance Plan Complete”.