Redesigned Lexus IS heads to Detroit auto show
By Jake Lingeman, AutoWeek
The redesigned 2014 Lexus IS sport sedan will make its world debut at the Detroit auto show next week. But Lexus on Wednesday gave us a first look at the new car.
The 2014 Lexus IS uses a version of the platform that underpins the larger Lexus GS sedan. The IS will arrive with three main variants, including a hybrid and two F Sport upgrades.
The new IS gets the aggressive spindle grille of its stablemates, along with drastically reworked headlights, which now look like two parts of a wrestler's mask. Directly underneath the headlights are LED daytime running lights, which take the shape of a Nike swoosh. Wide wheel arches give the car an aggressive stance, while a character line sweeps from the bottom of the front tire to the top of the trunk.
From a profile view, it looks more curved than the outgoing model, although the front grille takes a more angular look than its predecessor. Lexus says it increased the area of the lower grille to draw in more cooling air.
The wheelbase is increased, giving the interior more volume, while a thinner front seat adds to rear kneeroom. New 60/40 split-folding rear seats add to the cargo capacity.
Elsewhere inside, we can see an expensive-looking analog clock, new center console and dash switches and a push-button start. According to Lexus, the seat hip point and angle of the LFA-inspired steering wheel have been lowered to create a sportier driving position.
Powertrain options will be mostly carryover units, probably with a bit more efficiency. We know from our quick drive last month of prototypes that the sedan will use a knob to switch from eco to sport-plus mode, which changes throttle and steering response, as well as transmission shift points.
We'll have more information on the 2014 Lexus IS next week during its full reveal at the Detroit auto show.