2014 Lexus IS
2014 Lexus IS. Click image to enlarge
Related articles
Preview: 2014 Cadillac ELR
Infiniti Officially Debuts Q50 Sedan
Test Drive: 2013 Lexus ES 350
Test Drive: 2012 Lexus IS 350 AWD

Manufacturer’s Website
Lexus Canada

Preview by Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams and courtesy Lexus

Photo Gallery:
2014 Lexus IS

Detroit, MI – As suggested on Autos.ca last year, the 2014 Lexus IS would be all-new, bigger, feature the latest Lexus styling, and come with enhanced standard equipment. Introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2014 Lexus IS will arrive mid-2013 as predicted, with the same V6 engines found in the outgoing model (204-hp 2.5L and 306-hp 3.5L). Rear- and all-wheel-drive versions continue to be available, but with an array of improvements, new technologies and new styling to match its brand siblings.

Excluding the drivetrain, the IS is completely redesigned, offering more rear seat room courtesy of a 70-mm increase in wheelbase. Overall, the car now measures 4,665 mm in length, an increase of 85 mm. Height remains virtually unchanged at 1,810 mm (an increase of 10 mm). Width is also increased by 10 mm. The longer wheelbase, coupled with thinner front-seat backs, should address the limited legroom that rear seat passengers may have experienced in the previous model. Trunk capacity grows, too, mainly by repositioning interior hardware.

The IS exterior styling now features the new-look Lexus “spindle” grille recently introduced on Lexus ES, GS and LS cars, and a new headlamp cluster. The car’s wedge-shape profile remains, emphasized by the increase in length.

The interior is fully redesigned, utilizing a Lexus LFA–inspired steering wheel (in F Sport models) and electrostatic switches in the centre console (a Lexus first). A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is now standard, replacing the previous model’s ski pass-through.

2014 Lexus IS2014 Lexus IS
2014 Lexus IS. Click image to enlarge

As the sporty compact of the Lexus range, considerable attention has been paid to the new model’s driving dynamics, with Lexus targeting this vehicle as a driver of sales to younger luxury car buyers who are demanding performance as well as comfort and reliability. At a meeting with Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama in Detroit, he identified dynamic performance as the number one item to improve for the IS.

“The goal,” said Mr. Furuyama, “is to provide a more entertaining driving experience. We have strong competitors in BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, and my goal with the IS was to exceed their performance.”

With the intention of leading the segment in driving enjoyment in mind, the IS now features laser welding and adhesive body bonding techniques, along with additional spot welds to increase body rigidity. The new welding technology “also has shock absorbing characteristics to a certain extent,” explained Mr. Furuyama, further contributing to vehicle’s responsiveness and feeling of solidity.

The front double wishbone suspension has been revised to produce a 20-percent increase in roll rigidity and the rear suspension is a new multi-link system based on that of the latest generation GS. The GS also supplies the steering gear box, supplying a lighter, smoother and more accurate steering feel, according to Lexus.

Connect with Autos.ca