Lexus Manila, Inc. has just debuted the all new 2014 IS 350 and 2014 IS 350 F Sport models, following two successful generations of the proud IS nameplate.

Model overview

The Lexus IS traces its origins to the Toyota Altezza from the late 90's. “IS” actually stands for Intelligent Sport, and was clearly targeted at younger customers who desired the refinement of the Lexus brand in a more active, sportier, more compact package.

The second generation model was launched in 2006, and was subsequently offered by Lexus Manila as part of their opening lineup when they opened their doors in 2009.

Exterior design and dimensions

Lexus's designers characterize the third generation Lexus IS as a combination of aggressive elegance. Lexus gave the sedan a more striking road presence and a stronger brand identity, utilizing aggressive styling highlighted by the blacked out spindle grille. The IS 350 gets HID low/high beam headlamps with LED DRLs as standard, while the IS 350 F SPORT gets twin projector LED low/high beam headlamps.

The Lexus IS now measures 4660mm long, and is 75 mm longer and 12 mm wider than its predecessor. The front overhang has increased by just 5 mm, and the wheelbase has been extended by 70 mm to 2800 mm. The stretched dimensions of the car also gave 50mm of extra rear room.

Interior design and features

Lexus designed the interior to express the latest design elements that are featured by the Lexus line up. Of note are the numerous new touches that have been either derived from or inspired by the LFA supercar.

Lexus also focused on driving ergonomics, and fitted the IS with a new, LFA-inspired, 3-spoke, 370 mm diameter steering wheel features a new paddle shift switch shape for easier, more accurate operation, and improved ergonomics to the wheel-mounted switchgear.

As standard, the Lexus IS gets a Drive Mode Select system, a 7” LCD, a dual zone climate control system with electrostatic switches, Lexus Display Audio and Electro Multi Vision Navigation.

Powertrain and suspension

Two IS models are available for 2014: the IS 350 and IS 350 F SPORT. Both models sport a 3.5-liter V6 with D4-S dual injection: direct to the chamber as well as to the port.

The 3.5-liter engine produces 306 horsepower @ 6,400rpm and 277 lb.-ft. torque @ 4,800rpm. The IS 350 inherits the eight-speed, Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission from the IS F model. This transmission features paddle shifters and the G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system, which automatically selects the optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to G forces.

A new Drive Mode Select system features up to five driving modes.The IS 350 features ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT modes, while the IS 350 F SPORT features four drive modes: ECO, NORMAL, SPORT S, and SPORT S+. Exclusive for the F SPORT is an intake sound generator that creates a more sporting engine note.

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Safety and security

Ten Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags are standard. The IS models employ the innovative Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which integrates Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) active safety systems with the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) or, where fitted (for IS 350 F SPORT), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). The new models add as standard a unique Auto Location Tire Pressure Warning System.

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Variants and pricing

2014 Lexus IS 350: PhP 2,548,000

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: PhP 3,058,000