The 2021 Lexus IS countdown begins for South Africa, with the first models set to arrive in the first quarter of 2022.

With aggressive styling that hints at high-level driving capability, and state-of-the-art technologies that include the latest Lexus Safety System+, the new Lexus IS is pushing the limits of performance.

The local lineup for the re-imagined Lexus IS sports sedan will comprise three model derivatives, delivering a new level of luxury as standard in addition to a core focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics.

Other features that become standard on the Lexus IS for the first time include 18-inch alloy wheels (replacing 17-inch) for two models, while the top of the range will boast 19-inch aluminium wheels, an electric parking brake (replacing foot-operated), new 10.3-inch touch-display, all-speed active cruise control for two of the model grades, as well as lane-tracing assist.

This is an addition to smart entry and start; heated power-adjustable front seats; 10- and 17-speaker audios respectively; a multimedia system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and touchscreen; EMV navigation; and LED headlamps with automatic high-beams for the top-of-the-range models.

The significant expansion of luxury and driver-assist technology is further leveraged by enhanced body rigidity, lighter suspension components and a wider front and rear track, all coming together in the first Lexus to be tuned at the company’s purpose-built “mini Nürburgring” test facility in Shimoyama, Japan.

The IS sports sedan lineup will be announced at launch period for the South African market. The IS will include a retuned 2.5-litre engine (paired with the Hybrid-electric system) for more intuitive response and engaging performance.

A new-design Lexus spindle grille features a three-dimensional structure that originates from the foremost tip of the grille. Block forms based on a spindle motif are combined with a mesh pattern to achieve a sporty impression.

As Lexus South Africa vice-president for sales and marketing Glenn Crompton says, “The new Lexus IS will re-invigorate the luxury medium sedan class with its stunning focus on three key attributes. An intense focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics will help to ensure that a new generation of Lexus customers are welcomed into IS sports sedan ownership.”

The sports focus of the new IS, alongside the luxurious ES, will deliver two very distinct personalities for Lexus customers to select from in this segment.