THE LEXUS IS WAS THE BRAND’S MOST POPULAR SEDAN. THEN ALONG CAME ITS MORE POWERFUL AND DYNAMIC UPDATE. WE TAKE THE NEW LEXUS IS 200T TO LA’S ICONIC SIXTH STREET BRIDGE
The IS is Lexus’ most popular sedan, praised by the public and the media alike for its blend of head-turning good looks, sporty performance, and luxurious character. But that formula is about to get even better, with the addition of an all-new model: the IS 200t.
What makes the IS 200t notable is what lurks underneath its hood: a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine that delivers 241 hp at 5,800 rpm. The engine, developed in-house by Lexus, was first incorporated into the popular Lexus NX, but in the new IS, a freer-flowing exhaust has helped enhance engine output. Delivering power to the car’s rear wheels (the IS 200t is only available in rear-wheel drive) is a smooth-shifting, eight-speed transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that help the car sprint to 100 kph in 6.9 seconds. But while the IS 200t exhibits a supple ride quality, seats five comfortably, and stays remarkably quiet on the open highway, the winding mountain road is where this car shines. Thanks to perfectly tuned suspension, the four-door sedan corners like a sports car, exhibiting near-neutral balance.
The model’s exterior and interior are visually identical to those of its stablemates – a good thing, judging by the praise that both the IS 300h and IS 350 received. The exterior is aggressive but elegant (Lexus’ trademark spindle grille takes center stage), and the interior is appropriately luxurious, highlighted by comfortable sports-style seats and a handsome dashboard.
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