Just a few months after its global debut in the North American market, the new 2021 Lexus IS luxury sports sedan is now officially on sale in the Philippines.
While not exactly an all-new generation model, the exterior does not share any panels from its predecessor. It also arguably looks better than ever. Upfront, there’s a new spindle grille with a “three-dimensional, polyhedral structure,” slimmer LED headlights, and an overall cleaner, sleeker design. At the sides, the previous generation IS’ signature character line that rises up from the rear of the side skirts and towards the taillights has been toned down. As we move further back, the IS now features LED taillights that feature an LED strip that runs across the width of the car. This is a design detail that made its debut in the Lexus UX subcompact crossover SUV.
Of course, as with every Lexus, the IS comes in a sportier F Sport variant. Though whichever variant you choose, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, smart entry with push-button start, and puddle exterior lights are standard.
The interior is proof that the new Lexus IS is actually a heavily facelifted version of the current generation model. The dashboard looks largely the same, albeit with numerous material and quality upgrades. The graphite finish on the climate controls has been swapped for a shiny piano black finish.
As for the infotainment, it now gets a newer generation of Lexus’ Remote Touch interface. Whereas the screen from the previous generation was tucked inside the dashboard, the new model’s standard 8-inch screen is now a freestanding unit and is now a touch screen as well. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now come as standard, along with a 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system. Opting for the F Sport variant adds a fully-digital instrument cluster, red leather interior, and a bigger 10.3-inch screen.
Two engine choices are available for the Lexus IS. The engine everyone is probably most familiar with is the 3.5-liter V6 naturally-aspirated gasoline engine that powers the IS 350 F Sport. This engine produces 311 hp and 380 Nm of torque, with power being sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The second engine choice is a 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain that’s under the hood of the base IS 300h Premier variant. This electrified powertrain has a total system output of 220 hp, with power being sent to the rear wheels via an e-CVT.
While not an all-new model, the 2021 Lexus IS’ N platform has been extensively upgraded and now features what Lexus calls its “Lexus Driving Signature.” The new Lexus IS was developed and tested at the new Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama, which is a highly-technical track that features some of the toughest corners from racetracks around the world including the iconic Nurburgring Nordschleife. Engineers focused on turning the IS into a world-class luxury sports sedan by enhancing numerous structural and drivetrain components of the vehicle, resulting in a luxury sports sedan that’s significantly more sporty and rigid than the previous model.
The 2021 Lexus IS is also the first Lexus in the Philippines to feature the latest Lexus Safety System+2 (LSS+2), which is the second generation of the luxury automaker’s semi-autonomous suite of driver aids. LSS+2 includes full-speed radar-guided Dynamic Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.
The 2021 Lexus IS is now on sale at the Lexus Manila dealer in Bonifacio Global City with the following prices:
- IS 300h Premier – P3,328,000
- IS 350 F Sport – P3,808,000