Australian specifications and prices for the 2021 Lexus IS 300, IS 300h and IS 350 have been announced, ahead of its on-sale date of November 6. The new model showcases a fresh design, new technologies, and a revised showroom lineup.
Three main variant grades continue, including the IS 300, IS 300h, and IS 350. These are powered by carry-over engines, spanning from the 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder for the 300, to the 164kW 2.5-litre hybrid 300h, to the range-topping 232kW/380Nm 3.5-litre V6 350.
Both the 300 and 350 use a recalibrated eight-speed auto transmission which promises more engaging performance and intuitive response. The 300h continues with a CVT auto, while all three are rear-wheel drive in Australia.
As we saw during the initial unveiling, the new model features a sleeker and more focused exterior design. You’ve got a new-look front end with slimmer headlights, and a perked up rear end featuring the fashionable full-width taillight treatment. Going for the F Sport trim adds unique aero parts and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels.
Underneath it all Lexus engineers have enhanced the body rigidity for a more direct driving feel, while equipping lighter-weight suspension components, and applying a wider front and rear track for improved cornering stability. It’s all been honed and perfected at Toyota’s new Shimoyama test facility in Japan, described as a ‘mini Nurburgring’.
Lexus Australia is boasting five “Lexus firsts” for the new model, including standard intersection turning assist, emergency steering assist, automated collision notification, and SOS call and stolen vehicle tracking, all fitted as standard equipment. The base model also jumps up to 18-inch alloy wheels (from 17s), and all feature an electronic park brake to replace the awkward foot-operated system.
Inside, the dash shows off a new 10.3-inch touch-screen display packing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. The unit is connected up to a 10-speaker sound system (at minimum), with digital radio, sat-nav, and SUNA live traffic updates included. LED headlights with auto high-beam and voice control are also included.
Stepping up to the F Sport adds in the sporty exterior garnishes, as mentioned, along with high-grade LED headlights, adaptive variable suspension, special F Sport leather seats, sports pedals, and an LFA-inspired 8.0-inch TFT digital instrument cluster display. For the driver there’s also a five-mode drive mode system, with Eco, Normal, Sport S, and Sport S+, and Custom modes.
Lexus is also offering two enhancement packs for added luxury and exclusivity. The first pack adds in a 17-speaker Mark Levison stereo for the F Sport models, and a power rear sun blind. Moving up to the enhancement pack 2 adds in a moon roof, ventilated front seats, the 17-speaker stereo, high-grade LED headlights, and the power sun blind for the IS 300 Luxury and IS 300h Luxury. Speaking about the new model, Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said:
“An intense focus on evocative design, imaginative technology and leading driving dynamics will help ensure a new generation of Lexus customers are welcomed into IS sports sedan ownership. The sports focus of the new IS, alongside the luxurious ES, together deliver two distinct personalities for Lexus customers to select from in this segment.”
The new model goes on sale on November 6, with prices starting from the following (excluding on-road costs):
2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury: $61,500
2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury with Enhancement Pack: $63,500
2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury with Enhancement Pack 2: $67,000
2021 Lexus IS 300 F Sport: $70,000
2021 Lexus IS 300 F Sport with Enhancement Pack: $73,100
2021 Lexus IS 300h Luxury: $64,500
2021 Lexus IS 300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack: $66,500
2021 Lexus IS 300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack 2: $70,000
2021 Lexus IS 300h F Sport: $73,000
2021 Lexus IS 300h F Sport with Enhancement Pack: $76,100
2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: $75,000
2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport with Enhancement Pack: $78,100