Lexus has combined its newly launched turbocharged engine with a traditional sports sedan configuration to provide a blend of performance, dynamics and economy to create the IS 200T. Available exclusively on the E and EX grades, the new IS 200T is the perfect accompaniment to the top-end IS 350 F Sport.
The new turbocharged engine delivers 180kW of power at 5800rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1650 to 4400rpm endowing the IS 200t with a 7-second sprint time in the obligatory 0-100km/h dash. It has a combined-cycle fuel economy of 7.5 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 175g/km.
Lexus has turned its high-technology 2.0-litre four cylinder engine 90 degrees for its debut in IS’s north-south, rear-wheel drive layout. The smaller displacement turbocharged engine provides improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
The IS 200T also combines an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SDS) automatic transmission (featuring paddle shift) with the 2.0-litre turbo engine, providing levels of driveability expected of a Lexus compact sports sedan.
The 8-speed SDS transmission has proven itself in the IS 350 F Sport and RC 350, and the latest iteration in the IS 200t has added electronic-control technology, including a Lexus-first; Downshift Lock-up Control.
The transmission also features auto-blip downshifts for added driver involvement. This all culminates in a driving experience that delivers a great balance between linear acceleration, optimum fuel economy and driveability under all conditions.
In keeping with the refined character of the IS, the transmission swaps cogs smoothly and efficiently – with the driver being able to monitor gear selection via a unique bar graph in the multi-information display.
The eight internal ratios have been chosen to balance the needs of sports driving and fuel economy, with a low first gear ratio for initial acceleration, closely spaced ratios in the intermediate gears for performance and urban-driving economy, and a tall eighth-gear ratio for freeway economy.
The now familiar Drive Mode Select rotary switch allows the driver to choose between Eco, Normal and Sport modes depending on their preference or the road ahead.
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 elegantly executed interior and sharp exterior styling while gaining additional features.
The 200T E and EX grade are distinguished by multi-spoke 17-inch wheels. In terms of interior accoutrements, both models are extremely well endowed. Even the E grade gets niceties such as seat heating and ventilation, 7-inch 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 grade chips in with SatNav, electrochromatic mirror and reverse camera.
On the handling the IS’ proven dynamics are further enhanced by the fitment of a performance damper developed by Yamaha, to counteract body roll and increase torsional rigidity.
The result is a supremely comfortably and balanced vehicle, which simply soaks up road imperfections, whilst still rewarding the driver with great dynamics and taut handling.
Customers have the choice of six stylish exterior colours, including a new vivid shade of red (Madder Red) and highly pearlescent Sonic Quartz white. The exterior hue of choice can be combined with either rich Ivory or classic Black leather interior. Piano Black and Titanium accents lend an air of sophistication to the cabin.
Pricing starts at N$518 800 for the Lexus IS 200t E while the Lexus IS 200t EX is priced from N$570 300 and the Lexus IS 350 F Sport from N$627 900.
As with the rest of the Lexus range, all models in the IS range are covered by a four-year/100 000 km 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”.