IS TURBO: Lexus has added the 200t to its new IS range. Image: Quickpic
Johannesburg - Lexus has combined its new turbocharged engine with a traditional sports sedan to create its new IS200t in South Africa.
The new IS 200t (available on the E and EX grades) is the perfect accompaniment to the top-end IS 350 F Sport, which is still propelled by the sonorous 233kW V6.
Following the launch of its NX 200t compact SUV, Lexus has turned its four-cylinder 2.0-litre for its debut in the IS rear-wheel drive sedan. The smaller displacement turbocharged engine provides improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions whilst still delivering a stout 350Nm.
Image gallery: Lexus IS 200t
Changes to the exhaust layout and engine management system bring power levels 5kW above the NX 200t - to 180kW. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.5 litres/100km with emissions of 175g/km.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift auto (used in the IS 350 F Sport and RC 350). The latest iteration of Lexus' auto has added electronic-control technology, including a first for Lexus - Downshift Lock-up Control.
The transmission also features auto-blip downshifts. Using the Drive Mode Select rotary switch, drivers can choose from three driving modes; Eco, Normal and Sport.
According to Lexus: "Selecting Sport mode tailors the throttle response and power steering assistance to provide a more dynamic drive. Eco mode optimises fuel economy by reducing throttle sensitivity, tweaking transmission control logic and optimising climate control operation. A dedicated Eco display mode can also be called up to relay the state of eco operation to the driver."
The ‘200t’ retains Lexus IS's elegant interior and sharp exterior styling while gaining additional features.
The 200t E and EX grade are distinguished by multi-spoke 17" alloys. The E grade has heatable seats (with ventilation), 7" central colour display, full leather trim, electric front seats, front and rear PDC (a new addition) to name just a few of the standard items on offer. The EX has satnav, electrochromatic mirror and revering camera.
The already comprehensive safety specification is bolstered by the addition of rear side airbags, taking the tally up to ten. An electrically-adjustable steering column for both rake and reach, which retracts automatically when the vehicle is turned off, further accentuates the sense of convenience and luxury on E and EX models.
Lexus South Africa’s Glenn Crompton (vice-president of marketing) said the new engine brings “more of the performance that customers are coming to expect from Lexus, along with quality and luxury".
Crompton said: "The 2.0-litre engine gained a lot of praise from customers and critics when fitted to the NX 200t, and its addition to the IS Line has made it an even stronger proposition for customers who want a blend of performance, economy and driveability.
"The Lexus turbo engine is a high-technology affair which sits well alongside 3.5-litre V6 quad-cam powerplant. It's a sensational fit for a vehicle already known for its high levels of standard specification and outstanding drive experience."
Lexus IS 200t E – R518 800
Lexus IS 200t EX – R570 300
Lexus IS 350 F Sport – R627 900
All models in Lexus' IS range are covered by a four-year or 100 000km 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”.