In the very early hours of this morning, Lexus announced the official debut of the 2021 IS that will arrive at South African dealerships early next year.
The vehicle will be on sale in approximately 40 countries around the world, including the US, Japan, and other Asian countries – not forgetting South Africa, of course. Lexus says the 2021 IS is aiming to cement the bond between driver and vehicle by providing an enhanced “linear driving characteristic” that provides direct feedback to the driver.
The vehicle was tested extensively at the new Toyota Technical Centre Shimoyama. The 2021 Lexus IS is the first Lexus to establish a uniform Lexus Driving Signature that will extend across the entire vehicle line. The vehicle has enhanced body rigidity compared to those that came before. Engineers improved rigidity and critical areas like reinforcing the radiator side supports, increasing the number of front-side-member weld points, and optimising reinforcement structures from the C-pillars to the side of the roof.
The increased rigidity helps to reduce unwanted noise and vibration and improves ride comfort and drive performance, Lexus says.
The vehicle will be offered with larger 19-inch wheels for the first time to improve cornering force and give drivers a more substantial contact patch with the road. Two different 19-inch wheels will be offered on the F SPORT models, including unique BBS wheels that are specific to the Dynamic Handling Package. Both 18-inch and 17-inch wheels will be available on other models.
The 2021 Lexus IS F SPORT is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and is only available on the IS 350. The vehicle will get stainless-steel scuff plates on the door sills, and special F SPORT front seats are available in a new Circuit Red colour. The seats also have standard heated and ventilated functions along with the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The RWD F SPORT with Dynamic Handling Package is equipped with a Torsen LSD that improves handling and performance thanks to enhanced traction. Dynamic Handling Package cars also feature selectable drive modes and a unique carbon-fiber rear spoiler and side-view mirror caps. There will be several other versions of the IS available with different engine and drive train configurations, including all-wheel-drive versions.
However, the range making its way to South Africa will comprise three model derivatives which Lexus SA will announce closer to the launch.
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