Lexus formally introduced the world to the 2014 IS Sport Sedan in Austin, Texas today just prior to the upcoming New York Auto Show. The event filled in much of the unknowns of Lexus’s bolder third-generation luxury sports car.
A sporty new look
The announcement follows a pattern that follows the official Lexus leaked IS photos several days prior to the Detroit International Auto show. While it seems Lexus prefers the pre-show buzz to the in-show drama, an early debut now makes more sense considering how poor a showcase NYC streets make for a performance sedan.
The 2014 Lexus IS 250
So what’s new? Physically the changes are all about small but impactful modifications that have made a dramatic difference. The wheel base has been increased by nearly three-inches to provide and widened by nearly half an inch. The result is an extra 1.6″ of leg room and a more aggressive stance.
Stylistically the IS 250 and IS 350 will now more closely mirror the Lexus ES and also receive the three piece spindle grille design, as well as well as the sharp upward sweeping side crease along the cars bottom lip.
The OLD IS 350 interior
Inside however, where the exterior was an update the interior is an overhaul. Long and linear, its design is inspired by the LFA supercar and is divided into distinct zones of action to better define functions. The F Sport models will also be gifted with the TFT instrumentation also found in the LFA.
The NEW 2014 Lexus IS 350 Interior
Tech-wise the IS series will have the second-generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface which allows high-efficiency dual-zone climate operated by touch sensitive electrostatic temperature switches. For safety, the new IS can also be equipped with a pre-emptive adaptive cruise control and comes equipped with ten air bags.
The IS 250 F Sport in action
What’s not new? The engines for one, which are the same 2.5 and 3.5 liter V6 engines made available in the second generation. The 2.5 liter still puts out 204 HP @ 6400 RPM with 185 lb-ft of torque at 4800 RPM while the 3.5 liter provides the same 306 HP @ 6400 RPM with 277 lb-ft of torque at 4800 RPM.
The six speed transmission is also the same though Lexus has added an eight-speed automatic transmission option found in the IS F models to the RWD versions of the IS 350. All models can also opt for all wheel drive versions instead of rear wheel drive but only with the six speed.
The addition of the AWD option adds another mode to the new Drive Mode Select system as well. Besides the standard ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT modes, AWD