The Newly Redesigned 2021 Lexus IS

KSL-Aug2020-IS2021f-BANLGWriting yet another chapter in the book of luxury sports sedans, the new 2021 Lexus IS was unveiled via a unique and engaging online virtual reveal. There may be no greater fan of IS than Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who notes the vehicle’s special place in his heart during the introduction to the Art of Lexus book.

“The car that really taught me what performance driving was, and it was the moment when my love affair with Lexus began” – Akio Toyoda (Toyota President)

Bask in Cabin Comfort

New trim adorns each door in F SPORT models with a graphic pattern of embossed intersecting lines, representing a new form of Lexus decorative expression and Takumi craftsmanship. Decorative ornamentation is finished for the first time in Black Metallic paint, Black Geometric Film, or the unique Silver Wood ornamentation exclusive to F SPORT models equipped with the Dynamic Handling Package. Piano Black accents also can be found on surface elements for cabin atmosphere that is both dignified and sporty.

Luxury and performance are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and yet the two live in harmony in the new IS. The interior features standard NuLuxe®️-trimmed seating, with 10-way power driver and 8-way power adjustable front passenger seats, a dual-zone automatic climate control system with touch-sensitive controls, an available power moonroof, and Smart Key with push button start.

The IS features a standard 8-inch touchscreen nearly 80mm closer to the driver for easy access to the controls. An expansive new 10.3-inch touchscreen is available on vehicles equipped with navigation or Mark Levinson with navigation. The new multimedia system features Apple CarPlay®️ compatibility and Android Auto™️ compatibility.

The available Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System is also enhanced, with the previous system expanding from 15 speakers with 835 watts of power to a 17-speaker system with a new amplifier offering an impressive 1,800 watts. The new Mark Levinson system aimed to reduce interference, improve output (aided by the addition of two speakers), and improve overall sound quality with new EQ tuning. Rear surround speakers have been changed to tweeter/mid-range combination Unity speakers. The audio amplifier has enhanced Quantum Logic Surround for playback of compressed sound sources and to provide a 7.1 surround sound listening experience.

Standard NuLuxe interior colour options include Black, Glazed Caramel and Rioja Red. On F SPORT packages the options include Black, Circuit Red, and two-tone White/Black, while the F SPORT 3 with Dynamic Handling Package is available in Black or Circuit Red interior.

Drivetrains & Powertrains

The 2021 IS will be available in both rear- and all-wheel drive options, and there are three distinct powertrain options available depending upon the grade. The rear-wheel drive IS 300 features a 2.0-litre, turbocharged and intercooled inline four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-litre engine is updated for 2021, featuring an adaptive transmission control that helps determines the most appropriate gear for each driving situation based on driver input to achieve linear response.

All Wheel Drive

For added traction in cold-weather climates, the IS 300 is also available with All-Wheel drive. The IS 300 AWD is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 that delivers 260 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is designed to help enhance traction and grip by automatically varying front-to-rear torque distribution. On dry roads it maintains a 30:70 front-to-rear torque split for maximum performance, but it’s capable of sending as much as 50 percent of the power to the front wheels in certain conditions.

Performance

Rated to deliver 241 horsepower, the stout four-cylinder also produces a solid 258 lb.-ft of torque across a flat torque range from 1,650 rpm all the way up to 4,400 rpm. It’s not only powerful, it’s efficient, too, thanks to a sophisticated Variable Valve Timing intelligent – Wide (VVTi-W) system which allows the engine to switch between the Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles to maximize efficiency. It comes equipped with an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission. It integrates an advanced G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system that monitors multiple performance parameters to determine the optimum gear selection.

Maximum Power

For buyers who crave maximum power, there’s the IS 350 AWD powered by a 3.5-litre V6 that produces 311 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of peak torque, coupled a six-speed automatic transmission. If there’s any question about the performance-minded nature of each vehicle, look no further than their 0-96 km/h times, as the IS 350 AWD covers the ground in 5.7 seconds.

Athletically Inclined & Designed

The bold new exterior styling of the 2021 IS not only aims for a provocative design, but its athletic silhouette is also meant to signify the agile changes that have taken place below the sheet metal. Overall, the new IS evokes lower, wider proportions. It is slightly wider, with muscular fenders that extend to enhance and accommodate the larger available 19-inch wheels and larger diameter tires.

The wide and low form nods to the inherently high level of driving performance the IS possesses, but the sleek lines are also complemented with overtly aggressive sharpness carved into the side and shoulder character lines.

2021 Lexus IS Specifications

  • LENGTH (IN./MM) 185.24 IN. (+1.18 IN.) / 4,705(+30)
  • WIDTH (IN./MM) 56.49 IN (+.19IN.) / 1,435(+5)
  • HEIGHT (IN./MM) 72.4 IN (+1.18IN.) / 1,840(+30)
  • WHEELBASE (IN./MM) 110.2 IN. / 2,800
  • WHEEL SIZE 18 INCHES (STD.), 19 INCHES (AVAIL.)

Enhanced Lexus Safety System+

The standard Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) found on the new IS receives additions for 2021 in the form of the new LSS+ 2.5. A number of key features that are part of the Lexus Safety System+ have been enhanced, along with the addition of a few key features.

Pre-Collision System

For starters, the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which include Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection, features an enhancement to the single-lens camera and millimeter-wave radar elements to expand the response range. By enhancing the radar and camera capabilities it is now possible for the system to help detect not only the vehicle ahead but also a preceding bicyclist in daytime and even a preceding pedestrian in daytime and low-light conditions.

Emergency Steering Assist

At intersections, the system has improved recognition of an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and may activate typical PCS functions if needed. Additional PCS functions include Emergency Steering Assist (ESA), which is designed to assist steering within the vehicle’s lane as cued by the driver.

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) can be activated above 50 km/h and is designed to perform vehicle-to-vehicle distance controls down to 0 km/h and can resume from a stop. DRCC also includes a new feature that allows for smooth overtaking of slower vehicles. If traveling behind a vehicle traveling slower than the preset speed, once the driver engages the turn signal the system will provide an initial increase in acceleration in preparation for changing lanes; after changing lanes, the vehicle will continue acceleration until it reaches the original preset driving speed.

Lane Departure Alert

Lane Departure Alert is designed to help notify the driver if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal via steering wheel vibrations or audible alert. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) is designed to provide slight steering force to help steer to the centre of the lane to assist the driver with staying in the lane using lane markers or a preceding vehicle. LTA alerts the driver with a visual warning and either an audible alert or steering wheel vibration. In the new IS, the lane recognition performance, which makes LTA possible, has been improved with enhanced recognition of line and road edge, lateral G performance, and enhanced control and stability after lane change.

Intelligent High Beams

Additional LSS+ 2.5 features include Intelligent High Beams, which detects preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switches between high beam and low beam headlights.

Blind Spot Monitor

To help IS drivers change lanes with confidence, the standard Blind Spot Monitor is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out with a visual and audible warning.

Lexus Enform For Safety And Convenience

Lexus Enform Safety Connect comes with a three-year trial with access to Lexus Enform response centres 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect, complimentary for the first 10 years, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance while simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus dealer. In addition, the Lexus App allows guests to do everything from starting their vehicle remotely with a smartphone, to contacting dealers for a service appointment, and much more. With an active subscription, the Lexus App dashboard provides a personalized view of convenient vehicle and connected service information, including the Vehicle Health Report, scheduled maintenance and vehicle health alerts. Guests also can manage their subscriptions right from the palm of their hand.

With Apple CarPlay compatibility, guests can access the familiar interface from their iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, all while hands free, and get access to favourite apps. With Android Auto, Android users can seamlessly cast their device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display, play music via apps, navigate with Google Maps™️, and request information—all with just the sound of your voice—through the Google Assistant™️.

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