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First look: Lexus IS for 2013

2013-01-10 08:17

IS THAT IS GRILL A BIT GROSS? It's called a spindle ('cos that's what it looks like) and it's on the next Lexus IS that's about to be launched at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

These are the first official pictures of the all-new 2013 Lexus IS - this is the 250 IS F Sport - and they show what the brand is rated for... powerful styling and a driver-focused, spacious cabin.

The car will be launched in South Africa in June 2013, we're told.

"Even at first glance," the company says, "it is clear to see how faithful we have remained to the acclaimed LF-CC concept car that showed its design thinking at 2012's Paris auto show.

The images have been released ahead of the car's world debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show on January 15 and its introduction to the right-hand drive UK market later.

NEW FRONT LIGHTS

The new IS', inspired by the LF-CC, claims to have its own interpretation of the spindle grille arrangement that has become a hallmark of all new Lexus. "Overall, the impression is of power, elegance and a stronger brand identity," the automaker says. "Viewed in profile, the new IS shows the mass of the cabin concentrated towards the rear, with a rising line flowing from the lower body to the rear light clusters, adding further elegance and dynamism."

Image gallery

There is also a new front light-cluster design, with Lexus’s signature L-shaped daylight running lights presented independently below.

The cabin, Lexus says, is clean and elegant, with an ergonomically ideal environment for the driver.

The car's increased width and longer wheelbase have created significantly more comfort for rear passengers and a larger boot. The combination of the extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design delivers best-in-class knee-room in and access to the rear. The new rear seats also have a 60:40 split-folding function.

REFINED MATERIALS

The new-design driver’s seat is said to be more comfortable and provides better lateral support. The hip point and angle of the new steering wheel – inspired by the LFA – are both lower and the steering wheel’s reach adjustment has been extended.

The refinement of the cabin materials, trims and finishes, Lexus says, is complimented by advances in technology and the introduction of a high-quality analogue clock. The centre console controls include a Lexus first: electrostatic switches that need just a finger touch to adjust the aircon.

The new IS F Sport models can be identified by their special grille and front bumper. The “waistline” of the spindle-shaped grille is set higher than on the standard models, creating a larger lower grille that can draw in the greater volume of cooling air needed for performance driving.

The IS F Sport also has an exclusive seat design said to provide extra support. The seats use a foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling, giving both excellent comfort and great lateral grip.

In another direct reference to the LFA supercar, the IS F Sport has a driver’s meter with a moving centre ring.

Follow the Detroit auto show with Wheels24 on our Detroit show ection.

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