LEXUS IS 350
Lexus has today announced availability of the 2010 Lexus IS 350, following its local debut at the Australian International Motor Show this month.
Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb said having the IS 350 join the local IS range was the result of intense negotiations with the company's Japanese headquarters.
“We are certain that IS 350 will be an extremely popular choice amongst buyers for its high levels of specification and power, engaging drive and its class-leading price," Mr Cramb said.
“IS 350 pricing is not apologetic. It’s realistic and supports our long-held belief that luxury vehicles shouldn’t be priced highly just because they can be."
Joining Japan, the US and Canada, Australia will be one of only four countries to offer the IS 350. Lexus Australia has not confirmed if the IS 350 will be made available in the convertible bodyshape, released last year as the IS 250 C.
The Lexus IS 350 range features three models - Prestige, F Sport and Sports Luxury - and is priced from $64,800.
TMR's Tony O'Kane is attending the launch of the 2010 IS 350 this week, watch for his in-depth 'first drive' review.
The 2010 IS 350 is available in three equipment grades, opening with the Prestige, through to the F Sport and topping out with the Sports Luxury.
The IS 350 Prestige is equipped with split five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, reversing camera with rear guide assist, touch-screen satellite navigation with BlueTooth connectivity, multi-information display, power-adjustable front-seats, leather-accented seat trim and front seat heaters.
Entertainment is catered to by the Prestige's 13-speaker 'premium' audio system, including a six-CD multi-changer.
The IS 350 F Sport gets a unique suspension setup befitting its place in the brand's F Sport line-up, along with 18-inch alloy wheels and an IS F-inspired rear spoiler, radiator grille and front bumper intake.
Adding to the Prestige's features, the IS 350 F Sport also gets IS F-style sport seats with drivers' memory function, F Sport steering wheel and gear shift lever, sports pedals and F Sport badging.
The F Sport is also equipped with power tilt and telescoping steering column adjustment, auto-retract and self-dimming exterior mirrors, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and a Mark Levinson 14-speaker audio system.
The IS 350 Sports Luxury adds Active Cruise Control, Lexus Pre-Collision Safety system (PCS) with Pre-Collision Braking (PCB), front and rear clearance sonar, and self-dimming and heated exterior mirrors.
Inside, the Sports Luxury adds ventilated and heated front seats, semi-aniline leather-accented seat trim, Smart key card, self-dimming rear-view mirror, driver's seat memory function, woodgrain-look trim and 14-speaker premium audio system.
On the safety front, all three grades feature eight airbags, including driver and front passenger knee airbags and side (thorax, abdomen, pelvis) airbags.
- The IS 350 Prestige has the combined option of moonroof and semi-aniline leather-accented seat trim.
- The IS 350 F Sport has the option of a moonroof.
- The IS 350 Sports Luxury has a moonroof as standard equipment, with the option to delete it.
Powered by the same 2GR-FSE 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine as its Japanese-market counterpart, the 2010 Lexus IS 350 offers 233kW and 378Nm of torque.
It also has intelligent Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) for inlet and exhaust, and an intelligent electronic throttle.
Mated to a six-speed sequential transmission, the rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS 350 will cover the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 5.6 seconds. Not half bad compared to the 4.8 second run of its 311kW 5.0 litre V8-powered IS F sibling.
The IS 350 enters the local line-up as a solid 'in-between' offering for IS buyers, bringing Nissan 370Z levels of power and torque to the company's medium-sized sedan range without diving into the more enthusiast-focused (and more expensive) IS F.
"Lexus engineers ensured that the IS 350 demonstrated its performance credentials even under duress - so IS 350 features a large and powerful braking package," Naoki Fujisawa, Assistant Chief Engineer for the IS 350 said.
"Importantly, Lexus is certain that the IS 350, with its new styling and the introduction of the new F Sport model, will shake up the market and provide customers with years of driving enjoyment."
Braking for the IS 350 range is managed by 334x30mm spiral-vented discs up front (38mm larger than the IS 250), along with 310x18mm discs at the rear. Four-piston aluminium calipers figure up front, with single-piston aluminium calipers at the rear.
The IS 350 F Sport gets a specialised suspension calibration, including coil springs 10mm shorter than with the regular IS 350 and tweaked monotube dampers.
The IS 350 F Sport also has a front/rear tyre size differential, with 225/40R18Y front tyres and 255/40R18Y rears.
The 40-aspect ratio tyres were selected in order to increase the car's cornering stiffness, compared with the 45-aspect ratio tyres of the IS 350 Prestige.
Steering is revised for the F Sport chassis package also, with its own steering-gear ratio of 13:6:1, compared with 13:5:1 for the other IS 250 / 350 model grades.
Lexus IS Line At A Glance
The addition of the IS 350 means the Lexus IS line now features 10 models, with the choice of three engines, three transmissions and two body styles.
Lexus offers the IS 250, IS 250C and IS 350 with the choice of three equipment grade levels - all with dual VVT-i Quad Cam V6 engines and six-speed sequential-shift transmission.
The IS 250 and IS 350 are offered in Prestige, F Sport and Sports Luxury model grades.
F Sport is a new grade level in the IS sedan range - and features a number of performance upgrades.
IS 250C is offered in Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury model grades.
The top-of-the-range IS F has a five-litre dual VVT-i Quad Cam V8 engine and eight-speed sequential transmission.
The 2010 Lexus IS 350 will be priced from $64,800, giving it a significant price advantage over the likes of the Audi A4 3.2 FSI Quattro and the BMW 335i M Sport.
- 2010 Lexus IS 350 Prestige - $64,800
- 2010 Lexus IS 350 F Spor - $71,800
- 2010 Lexus IS 350 Sports Luxury - $81,300
Note: prices are manufacturer list price only and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.