THE 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine first shown off in the NX 200t SUV earlier this year is at the centre off the new IS 200t sports sedan. The dynamic and efficient unit has of course been turned 90 degrees in the IS's rear-drive layout but loses nothing of its spirited performance.
Paired with an eight-speed direct shift automatic transmission, the IS 200t is more powerful (180kW) and economical than the IS 250 V6 it replaces with 350Nm of torque available almost instantly.
The luxury offering, which Lexus expects to tempt both brand lovers and step-up buyers, is priced from $57,500 with the F sport at $65,500 and the top-of-the-line Sports Luxury stretching to $76,500.
That is a $3,500 increase on the outgoing IS 250t thanks much in part to an improved suite of safety gear including a Pre-Collision warning and Active Cruise Control, and an interior that boasts a more luxurious feel.
The exterior has been refreshed too with the IS 200t the latest interpretation of Lexus's L-Finesse design language with a more aggressive spindle grille, pronounced wheel arches and new headlamp units.
"The 2.0-litre engine gained a lot of praise from customers and critics when fitted to the NX 200t, and its addition to the IS Line has made it an even stronger proposition for customers who want a blend of performance, economy and driveability," Mr Hanley said.
"The Lexus turbo engine is a high-technology affair which sits well alongside IS's existing Hybrid Drive and 3.5-litre V6 quad-cam powerplants.
"It's a sensational fit for a vehicle already known for its high levels of standard specification and outstanding drive experience."
Vital statistics: Lexus IS 200t
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol returning maximum power of 180kW @ 5800rpm and a peak torque of 350Nm @ 1650-4400rpm
Price: From $57,500 for the Luxury, $65,500 for F Sport, $76,500 for Sport Luxury
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