The Lexus IS (Japanese: レクサス・IS, Rekusasu IS) is a compact executive car sold by Lexus since 1999. The IS was originally sold under the Toyota Altezza nameplate in Japan from 1998 (the word Altezza is Italian for "highness") until the introduction of the Lexus brand and the second-generation Lexus IS design in 2006. The IS was introduced as an entry-level sport model positioned below the ES in the Lexus lineup. The Altezza name is still used at times to refer to chromed car taillights like those fitted to the first-generation model, known as "Altezza lights".[1]

The first-generation Altezza (codename XE10) was launched in Japan in October 1998, while the Lexus IS 200 (GXE10) made its debut in Europe in 1999 and in North America as the IS 300 (JCE10) in 2000. The first-generation, inline-6-powered IS featured sedan and wagon variants. The second-generation IS (codename XE20) was launched globally in 2005 with V6-powered IS 250 (GSE20) and IS 350 (GSE21) sedan models, followed by a high-performance V8 sedan version, the IS F, in 2007, and hardtop convertible versions, the IS 250 C and IS 350 C, in 2008. The third-generation Lexus IS premiered in January 2013 and includes the V6-powered IS 350 and IS 250, hybrid IS 300h and performance-tuned F Sport variants. The IS designation stands for Intelligent Sport.[2][3][4]

First generation (XE10; 1998–2005)

First generation
2003 Lexus IS 300 (JCE10R) Platinum Edition sedan (2015-07-03) 01.jpg
Manufacturer Kanto Auto Works[5]
Also called Toyota Altezza (Japan)
Production October 1998 – August 2005 (Toyota Altezza)[6]
January 1999 – August 2005 (Lexus IS)
Assembly Japan: Kanegasaki, Iwate (KAW)[6]
Designer Tomoyasu Nishi (exterior: 1995)[7]
2003 refresh: Hiroyuki Tada (2002)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door hatchback/station wagon
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive (Japan, Altezza Gita)
Platform Toyota N platform
Engine 2.0 L 1G-FE I6 (AS200/IS 200)
2.0 L 3S-GE I4 (RS200)
3.0 L 2JZ-GE I6 (AS300/IS 300)
Transmission 4-speed A47DE/A340H automatic
5-speed W55 manual
5-speed A650E automatic
6-speed J160 manual
Wheelbase 2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length Sedan: 4,400 mm (173.2 in)
SportCross: 4,415 mm (173.8 in)
Width Sedan: 1,720 mm (67.7 in)
SportCross: 1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)
1,440 mm (56.7 in)
Curb weight IS 200: 1,360 kg (3,000 lb)
IS 200 SportCross: 1,430 kg (3,150 lb)
IS 300 5-Speed: 1,476 kg (3,255 lb)[8]
IS 300 E-Shift: 1,490 kg (3,285 lb)[8]
IS 300 SportCross: 1,550 kg (3,410 lb)[8]

Produced as a direct competitor to the luxury sports sedans of the leading European luxury marques, the XE10 series Toyota Altezza and Lexus IS was designed with a greater performance emphasis than typically seen on prior Japanese luxury vehicles. The engineering work was led by Nobuaki Katayama from 1994 to 1998 under the 038T program code, who was responsible for the AE86 project. Design work by Tomoyasu Nishi was frozen in 1996 and filed under patent number 1030135 on December 5, 1996, at the Japan Patent Office. At its introduction to Japan, it was exclusive to Japanese dealerships called Toyota Netz Store, until Lexus was introduced to Japan in 2006. The Japan-sold AS200 Altezza sedan and AS300 Altezza Gita formed the basis for the Lexus IS 200 and IS 300 models respectively, sold in markets outside Japan, primarily North America, Australia, and Europe. The Altezza Gita was a hatchback-station wagon version sold in Japan and was known in the US and Europe as the Lexus IS SportCross. The AS300 Altezza Gita was the only Altezza with the 2JZ-GE engine, while in export markets, this engine was available in the sedan models as well, as the Lexus IS300 Sedan.


Introduced in 1998 with the AS200 (Chassis code GXE10) and RS200 (chassis code SXE10) sedans, the compact vehicle was produced using a shortened, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive midsize platform,[9] allowing Japanese buyers to take advantage of tax savings imposed by Japanese government regulations concerning vehicle exterior dimensions and engine displacement, and adapted parts from the larger second-generation Aristo/GS.[9] The 2.0-liter 1G-FE inline-six powered AS200 (GXE10, sedan) featured a five-speed manual transmission as standard, while a four-speed automatic was optional. The 2.0-liter 3S-GE inline-four-powered RS200 (SXE10, sedan) featured a six-speed manual transmission, while a five-speed automatic was optional. The different size engine choices gave Japanese buyers a choice of which annual road tax obligation they wanted to pay, and the larger engine offered more standard equipment as compensation.

1999–2005 Lexus IS 200 sedan (GXE10; Australia)

The design received critical acclaim at its 1998 launch and was awarded Japan's "Car of the Year" honor for 1998–1999. A few months later, Lexus began marketing the IS 200 equivalent models in Europe.[10] The IS 200 in Europe was listed as producing 153 brake horsepower (114 kW), with a top speed of 216 kilometres per hour (134 mph), and 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0–62 mph) acceleration in 9.3 seconds.[11] The styling cues of the rear light clusters on the first-generation models were copied by a number of after-market accessory manufacturers for applications on other vehicles.[1] This iconic style of one or more internal lamp units, covered with a clear (or tinted) perspex cover made popular by Lexus, became known in many circles as 'Lexus-style' or 'Altezza lights'.[1] The taillight style became so popular, that it influenced the development of clear-glass LED taillights. The XE10's chief engineer was Nobuaki Katayama, while the chief test driver and test engineer was Hiromu Naruse.


In July 2000, a hatchback/station wagon model, the AS300 (Chassis code JCE10), was introduced featuring a 3.0-liter 2JZ-GE inline-six engine. Equipped with rear- or all-wheel drive (JCE10, RWD Gita wagon; JCE15, 4WD Gita wagon), the AS300 was only available with an automatic gearbox; a five-speed automatic for the RWD Gita wagon and a four-speed automatic for the 4WD Gita wagon. The six-cylinder version (2JZ-GE) was only available in Japan on the Gita models. In the US, the IS 300 sedan debuted in 2000 as 2001 model and the wagon debuted in 2001 as a 2002 model with the same 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (the 2.0-liter six-cylinder was not available), while in Europe, the IS 300 joined the IS 200 in the model lineup. All IS 300 models in the US were initially only available with the five-speed automatic transmission; this was also the case in Europe. However, a five-speed manual was made available in the US in 2001 for the 2002 model year (not available on the SportCross wagon). Visually the exterior of the European IS 200 Sport and 300 were almost identical, the only differences being the boot insignia and the larger-engined model initially having clear front indicators (later generalized to IS 200 range).


The first-generation IS interior featured unique elements not typically found in other Lexus models. These included a chrome metal ball shifter, pop-up navigation screen, and chronograph-style instrument panel (with mini gauges for temperature, fuel economy, and volts). For the European market, the IS 300 gained full leather seats rather than the leather/escaine of the 200, plus Auto-dimming rear view and side mirrors, and HID headlamps. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency listed the IS 300 as a subcompact car; although it technically had enough overall volume to be called a compact, rear seat room exhibited subcompact dimensions.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test results in 2001 gave the IS 300 the maximum five stars in the Side Driver and Side Rear Passenger categories, and four stars in the Frontal Driver and Frontal Passenger categories.[12] The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the IS "Good" overall for frontal collisions and "Good" in all six measured front impact categories.[13]

For the first-generation IS in the US market, sales hit a high of 22,486 units in 2001; subsequent sales years were less than forecast, and below the 10,000-unit mark in 2004.[14][15] The IS 200 fared better relative to sales targets in Europe and Asia, while still well short of the sales volume achieved by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and other, mostly German-made competitors. This trend was indicative of Lexus' smaller global status; while Lexus' range of cars was very successful in North America, the marque's sales lagged behind its German rivals in Europe.[16] In Europe, the lack of a manual gearbox option for the IS 300 may have limited sales in contrast to its rivals, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class.

In 2000, TTE had released a compressor kit for the IS 200 on the European market.[17] An Eaton supercharger at 0.3-bar pressure boosted the power to 153 kilowatts (205 hp) without sacrificing fuel consumption (+3.3%). The kit was initially available as an aftermarket fitment, but could also be obtained as OEM Lexus accessory on new cars through the official Lexus dealer network and was fully covered by the standard warranty.[17] This model variant was discontinued when the IS 300 was released on the European market.


Toyota Altezza Gita (JCE10; Japan); exported as Lexus IS SportCross
Toyota Altezza Gita AS300 (JCE10, Japan)

In 2003 for the 2004 model year, the IS line received a minor facelift (designed by Hiroyuki Tada). On the exterior, was a new 11-spoke wheel design, new fog lights, and smoked surrounding trim for the headlights and taillights. On the interior, a new 2-position memory function was added for the driver seat, a maintenance indicator light, automatic drive-away door locking system, a new storage compartment on the dash (for models without the navigation system) and new trim highlights.[18]

An official concept model, the MillenWorks-built Lexus IS 430 was unveiled at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2003.[19] The IS 430 prototype was an IS 300 fitted with a 4.3-liter V8 from the Lexus GS.[20] Lexus dubbed the IS 430 a one-off with no plans for production. In Europe, Toyota Team Europe (TTE) shoehorned a supercharged 4.3-liter V8 into an IS 300 bodyshell, the result was a 405 PS (298 kW) ECE sedan.

Powertrain and models

Engine Lexus Toyota
Engine Power/torque Model Chassis code Drivetrain and transmission Model Chassis code Drivetrain and transmission
2.0 L
114 kW (153 hp);
195 N⋅m (144 lb⋅ft)
@ 4600 rpm
IS 200
6-speed manual (J160)
4-speed automatic (A47DE)
Altezza AS200
6-speed manual (J160)
4-speed automatic (A47DE)
IS 200 SportCross
6-speed manual (J160)
4-speed automatic (A47DE)
Altezza Gita AS200
6-speed manual (J160)
4-speed automatic (A47DE)
4-speed automatic (A340H)
2.0 L
154 kW (207 hp);
216 N⋅m (159 lb⋅ft)
@ 6400 rpm
No equivalent Altezza RS200
6-speed manual (J160)
5-speed automatic (A650E)
3.0 L
162 kW (217 hp);
295 N⋅m (218 lb⋅ft)
@ 3800 rpm
IS 300
5-speed manual (W55, US only)
5-speed automatic (A650E)
No equivalent
IS 300 SportCross
5-speed automatic (A650E)
Altezza Gita AS300
5-speed automatic (A650E)
4-speed automatic (A340H)

Second generation (XE20; 2005–2013)

Second generation
2008 Lexus IS250 -- NHTSA.jpg
Lexus IS 250 (GSE20, US)
Production September 2005 – April 2013 (sedan)[21]
December 2007 – 2014 (IS F)[22]
April 2009 – 2015 (IS C)[21]
Model years 2006–2013
Assembly Japan: Tahara, Aichi (Tahara plant);[22] Miyawaka, Fukuoka (Miyata plant)[21]
Designer Kengo Matsumoto (2003)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
4-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive
Platform Toyota N platform[23]
Engine 2.2 L 2AD-FHV I4
2.5 L 4GR-FSE V6
3.0 L 3GR-FE V6
3.5 L 2GR-FSE V6
5.0 L 2UR-GSE V8
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
8-speed AA80E automatic
Wheelbase 2730 mm (107.50 in)
Length 4,575–4,590 mm (180.1–180.7 in)
Width 1,800–1,816 mm (70.9–71.5 in)
Height 1,410–1,425 mm (55.5–56.1 in)
Curb weight 1,558–1,600 kg (3,435–3,527 lb)


The second-generation IS was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005 as a pre-production model, with the production version debuting at the 2005 New York Auto Show that April. Sales of the sedan began worldwide in September and October 2005 as a 2006 model, with the Toyota Altezza name discontinued the introduction of the Lexus division in Japan, and the slow-selling SportCross station wagon version deleted from the lineup altogether.

Lexus IS 250 (GSE20, Australia)

Production of the sedan commenced in September 2005 at the Miyata plant in Miyawaka, Fukuoka,[21] supplemented in October 2005 with the Tahara plant at Tahara, Aichi.[22] Production of the IS F started in December 2007 at Tahara.[22] The facility at Miyata began manufacture of the IS C in April 2009.[21]

In North America, IS models sold at launch included the IS 250 and IS 350 sedans; in parts of Europe, the IS models sold by Lexus included the IS 250 and IS 220d sedans. The IS 250 was also available in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile (automatic only), Taiwan, South Africa and South Korea.


All second-generation IS models offered a more typical Lexus interior compared to the previous generation with a focus on luxurious accouterments. The interior featured memory leather seats, lightsaber-like electroluminescent instrument display lighting and LED interior lighting accents, the choice of faux-metallic or optional Bird's Eye Maple wood trim (aluminum composite on the IS F), and SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start.[24] Options ranged from touchscreen navigation with backup camera to a Mark Levinson premium sound system and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Lexus IS F (USE20; Australia)
Lexus IS F (USE20; Australia)

On 6 December 2006, Lexus officially confirmed the existence of a high-performance variant of the second-generation IS called the IS F.[25] The Lexus IS F sedan (USE20) premiered at the 2007 North American International Auto Show on 8 January 2007 as the launch product of Lexus' F marque lineup of performance-focused vehicles.[26] The IS F went on sale several months later in North America and Europe. The IS F was capable of 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 4.6 seconds,[27] and had a top speed of 170 mph (270 km/h) (electronically limited).[28]

The introduction of the second-generation IS model marked a resurgence in sales for the IS line, with a 332% increase overall in 2006 compared to the previous year. In its first year of sales, the IS sold over 49,000 units, making it one of the ten best-selling luxury cars in the US.[29] The IS line later took a median position in the entry-luxury market; in 2008 it sold behind the variants of the BMW 3 Series, new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Cadillac CTS, and ahead of the Acura TL, Audi A4, and Infiniti G35 sedan.[30][31] Outside the US, the Lexus IS spearheaded Lexus' growing sales efforts in Europe, Australia, and South Africa, becoming the best-selling model in Lexus' lineup in many of the aforementioned markets. In the US, as of 2011, the Lexus IS was the third place best-selling vehicle from the marque after the Lexus RX and Lexus ES.[32]


Lexus IS 250 C (GSE20, Australia)

In 2008, the IS line received a styling refresh, and the suspension and steering were retuned for improved stability and control. After three years with only one body style, the IS returned with a second body style, this time as a hardtop convertible, on 2 October 2008 when the IS 250 C debuted at the Paris Motor Show.[33] A more powerful IS 350 C also became available, with engine specifications analogous to those on the sedan models. The IS convertible went on sale in Europe in 2009, in North America in May 2009,[33] and an IS 300 C was also produced for certain regions. The mid-cycle refresh in 2008 saw slight styling revisions to the interior.


Facelift Lexus IS 220d (ALE20, Europe)
Facelift Lexus IS 350 (GSE21, Australia)

In 2010, coinciding with the second IS line refresh, the diesel IS 220d was detuned for improved fuel consumption figures but lowered power output by 27 bhp (20 kW; 27 PS). The addition was called the IS 200d[34] Building on its "F Sport" line of parts and accessories for the IS 250/350,[35][36] Lexus added factory-produced F Sport IS models in 2010.[34] The second refresh also includes further interior updates for the IS line.


Changes to IS C include Intelligent Transport Systems and Dedicated Short Range Communication units become standard equipment. Change to US model of F SPORT Package includes revised silver metallic interior trim. Change to Japan F SPORT Package includes new dark rose interior color, medium silver ornament panel. F SPORT performance accessories include 19-inch forged wheels (set of four), with hardware; brake upgrades, front axle set, rear axle set, carbon fiber engine cover, carbon fiber leather shift knob, floor mats (four-piece set), lowering spring set, performance air intake, performance dual exhaust, shock set (set of four), sway bar set Japan models went on sale in 2013-08-22. Early models include IS 250C, IS 350C.[37] US models went on sale as 2014 model year vehicle. Early models include IS 250C, IS 350C.[38][39]

Changes to IS F include carbon rear spoiler, front LED fog lamp, all sports seats include embossed 'F' logo at head rests, Alcantara upholstery at door trim and center console, standard Intelligent Transport Systems and Dedicated Short Range Communication unit. IS F Dynamic Sport Tuning model (available in Japan) includes 7 PS (5 kW; 7 hp) engine power boost via low-friction piston and pump, strengthened body contact, exclusive carbon front spoiler/rear diffuser, 7 kg (15 lb) lower body weight via exclusive titanium muffler, exclusive orange colour brake caliper with LEXUS logo, exclusive orange accent engine head cover, exclusive carbon interior panel at centre console and door switch base with nameplate, choice of 7 body colours including exclusive starlight black glass flake.[40] Japan models went on sale in 2013-09-05.[41] US models went on sale as 2014 model year vehicle.[42][43]


Safety features on the IS models ranged from multiple airbags to stability control systems.[44] A Pre-Collision System (PCS) was the first offered in the entry-luxury performance sedan market segment. NHTSA crash test results rated the second-generation IS the maximum five stars in the Side Driver and Rollover categories, and four stars in the Frontal Driver, Frontal Passenger, and Side Rear Passenger categories;[45] Insurance Institute for Highway Safety scores were "Good" overall score for all fourteen measured categories in the front and side impact crash tests.[46][47]

The second-generation IS marked the next introduction of Lexus' new L-finesse design philosophy on a production vehicle, following the premiere of the 2006 Lexus GS performance sedan. The sedan's exterior design featured sleeker, coupe-like contours, a fastback profile, and a repeated arrowhead motif in the front fascia and side windows.[48] The IS sedans had a drag coefficient of Cd=0.28. The forward design was reminiscent of the earlier Lexus LF-C convertible coupe concept.[citation needed]


Petrol and diesel engines
Calendar year(s) Model no(s). Chassis code(s) Engine type Engine code Transmission(s) Power Torque
2010–2012 IS 200d ALE20 2.2 L inline-4 2AD-FTV 6-speed MT 110 kW (150 hp) 360 N⋅m (270 ft⋅lbf) @2600 rpm
2005–2012 IS 220d ALE20 2.2 L inline-4 2AD-FHV 6-speed MT 130 kW (170 hp) 400 N⋅m (300 ft⋅lbf) @2600 rpm
2005–2013 IS 250 GSE20 2.5 L V6 4GR-FSE 6-speed AT/MT 153 kW (205 hp) 252 N⋅m (186 ft⋅lbf) @4800 rpm
IS 250 AWD GSE25 6-speed AT
2005–2013 IS 350 GSE21 3.5 L V6 2GR-FSE 6-speed AT 228 kW (306 hp) 375 N⋅m (277 ft⋅lbf) @4800 rpm
2007–2013 IS 300 GSE22 3.0 L V6 3GR-FE 6-speed AT 170 kW (230 hp) 300 N⋅m (220 ft⋅lbf) @4400 rpm
2007— IS F USE20 5.0 L V8 2UR-GSE 8-speed AT 311 kW (417 hp) 503 N⋅m (371 ft⋅lbf) @5200 rpm
2009–2013 IS 250 C GSE20 2.5 L V6 4GR-FSE 6-speed AT/MT 153 kW (205 hp) 252 N⋅m (186 ft⋅lbf) @4800 rpm
2009— IS 350 C GSE21 3.5 L V6 2GR-FSE 6-speed AT 228 kW (306 hp) 375 N⋅m (277 ft⋅lbf) @4800 rpm
2009— IS 300 C GSE22 3.0 L V6 3GR-FE 6-speed AT 170 kW (230 hp) 300 N⋅m (220 ft⋅lbf) @4400 rpm
2010–2013 IS 350 AWD GSE26 3.5 L V6 2GR-FSE 6-speed AT 228 kW (306 hp) 375 N⋅m (277 ft⋅lbf) @4800 rpm

The IS 250, IS 350 and IS F feature a D-4 (IS250) or D-4S (IS350 and IS F) direct injection system with direct fuel injectors (D-4 and D-4S) and port fuel injectors (D-4S only). Certain Asian markets feature the IS 300 (GSE22) without direct injection.[49]

Third generation (XE30; 2013–present)

Third generation
2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport Package LA.jpg
2014 Lexus IS 250 F-Sport (GSE30, US)
Production 25 April 2013–present
Model years 2014–present
Assembly Japan: Tahara, Aichi (Tahara plant); Miyawaka, Fukuoka (Miyata plant)[50]
Designer Masanari Sakae (2010)[51]
Yuki Isogai (2011)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive
Platform Toyota New N platform
Related Lexus RC
Engine 2.0 L 8AR-FTS I4 (turbocharged)
2.5 L 2AR-FSE I4 (hybrid)
2.5 L 4GR-FSE V6
3.5 L 2GR-FSE V6
3.5 L 2GR-FKS V6 (2018-)
Transmission 6-speed automatic
8-speed AA81E automatic
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Length 4,665 mm (183.7 in)
Width 1,810 mm (71.3 in)
Height 1,430 mm (56.3 in)

Concept models

Lexus LF-CC concept

Several concept models preceded the launch of the third-generation IS. The first was the LF-LC (2012). It is a rear-wheel drive concept coupe with mesh pattern of the spindle grille in 3D sculpture form, daytime running lights shaped like an "L", vertical front fog lamps in fading dot matrix pattern, glass roof with cantilevered pillar with a glass-to-glass juncture inspired by modern architecture, rear fog lamps, twin 12.3-inch LCD screens provide information and navigation display, leather and suede interior upholstery with brushed metal trim and wood accents, race-inspired front seats are formed of multiple layers and repeat the interlacing curves that define the cabin interior, racing-style steering wheel upholstered in carbon fibre with integrated controls and start button. The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 North American International Auto Show.[52][53][54]

That concept was followed by the LF-LC Blue (2012), which is a rear-wheel drive concept coupe based on the LF-LC, with Opal Blue body color, Atkinson cycle combustion engine, battery pack, white and brown interior. The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 Australian International Motor Show,[55] and later in 2012 LA Auto Show.[56]

The LF-CC concept (2012) is a rear-wheel drive coupe incorporating designs from LF-LC concept and Lexus LFA. It included a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with D-4S direct injection technology, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor, 3 LED-projector headlamp design, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are integrated into the upper bumper surface, rear spoiler integrated within the boot lid, L-shaped combination lamps with three-dimensional design, Fluid Titanium body colour, 2-zone dashboard, seats, door panels and instrument binnacle hood upholstered in amber leather. The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 Paris Motor Show,[57][58] followed by Auto Shanghai 2013.[59][60]


Lexus IS 300h (AVE30, Japan)

Exterior design work was done by Masanari Sakae[61] during 2010–2011 and Yuki Isogai (F-Sport) in 2011.[62][63]

The IS F Sport models include enhanced handling and performance, Adaptive Variable Suspension and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (IS 350). Not only does the F Sport handle differently, but its more aggressive styling certainly sets it apart from the basic production model. F-Sport styling includes an edition specific F-Sport pattern front grill, F-Sport logo badges, and five spoke split graphite wheels. Inside the cabin, you'll find bright, carbon fiber-like trim, extra bolstered performance seats, an all-black headliner, and an impressive moving vessel gauge cluster that displays navigation and audio information. The F-Sport models have an edition specific Ultra White exterior and vibrant, Rioja Red interior. The 2014 model year also served as the first year to offer all-wheel drive in the IS F Sport line up.

The new IS sedan was unveiled at the January 2013 North American International Auto Show,[64][65] followed by Auto Shanghai 2013,[66][67] Octagon Club in South Korea[68]

International models went on sale in mid-2013. Early models included the IS 250 RWD, IS 250 AWD, IS 300h and IS 350 RWD. The hybrid IS 300h will be sold in Europe, Japan, and select international markets.[69][70][71]

US models went on sale as 2014 model year vehicles on June 28, 2013.[72] Early models include IS 250 RWD, IS 250 AWD, IS 350 RWD, IS 350 AWD.[73][74][75] In 2015, for the 2016 model year, the IS 250 was discontinued and replaced by the rear wheel drive only IS 200t. The IS 300 is only offered with all-wheel drive, while the top of the line IS 350 can be ordered with either drivetrain.

Chinese models went on sale in 2013. Early models include IS 250, IS 250 F SPORT.[66][76]

Japanese models went on sale on 16 May 2013. Early models include IS 250, IS 250 AWD, IS 350, IS 300h.[77][78][79]

European models arrived at dealerships in 2013 June/July. Early models include IS 250, IS 300h.[80]

South Korean models went on sale on 27 June 2013. Early models include IS 250 Supreme, IS 250 Executive.[81]

Australian models went on sale in July 2013. Only RWD versions were on offer, the models included the IS 250, IS 300h and the IS 350. The IS 250 was dropped from the line-up in September 2015 replaced with the IS 200t.[82]


In April 2016, Lexus teased an image of a revamped third generation model which includes new headlights, taillights, front fascia, and hood. It debuted at the April 2016 Beijing Auto Show with new interior technology improvements including 10.3 inch infotainment screen, new steering wheel, contrast stitching along the dash, and a lot more.[83]


Toyota Racing Development F SPORT parts for Japanese Lexus IS sedan included front spoiler, side spoiler, rear spoiler, sport muffler and rear diffuser, diamond-like carbon shock absorber, 19-inch aluminium wheel set (19x8.5J front and 19x9J rear rims, 45 mm front and 50 mm rear insets, 245/35ZR19 front and 265/30ZR19 rear tires), member brace, performance damper.[84][85]


Model Years
IS 200t (ASE30) 2015–present
IS 250 (GSE30) 2013–2015
IS 250 AWD (GSE35) 2013–2015
IS 300 AWD (GSE37) 2015–present
IS 350 (GSE31) 2013–present
IS 350 AWD (GSE36) 2013–present
IS 300h (AVE30) 2013–present


Petrol and hybrid engines
Model Years Type/code Power at rpm Torque at rpm
PS kW hp kg·m N·m lb·ft
IS 300 / IS 200t (formerly called) 2015–2017 (200 t) / 2017–present (300) 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 (8AR-FTS) 244 179 241 4,800–5,600 35.73 350 258 1,650–4,800
IS 250 2013–2015 2,499 cc (152.5 cu in) V6 (4GR-FSE) 207 152 204 6,400 25.5 250 184 4,800
IS 250 (215PS, DBA-GSE30-AETLH) 2013–2015 2,499 cc (152.5 cu in) V6 (4GR-FSE) 215 158 212 6,400 26.5 260 192 3,800
IS 250 AWD 2013–2015 2,499 cc (152.5 cu in) V6 (4GR-FSE) 207 152 204 6,400 25.5 250 184 4,800
IS 250 AWD (215PS, DBA-GSE35-AETLH) 2013–2015 2,499 cc (152.5 cu in) V6 (4GR-FSE) 215 158 212 6,400 26.5 260 192 3,800
IS 300 AWD 2015– 3,456 cc (210.9 cu in) V6 (2GR-FSE) 259 190 255 6,400 32.6 320 236 2,000–4,800
IS 350 2013– 3,456 cc (210.9 cu in) V6 (2GR-FSE) 310 228 306 6,400 38.2 375 276 4,800
IS 350 (318PS, DBA-GSE31-AEZLH) 2013– 3,456 cc (210.9 cu in) V6 (2GR-FSE) 318 234 314 6,400 38.72 380 280 4,800
IS 350 AWD 2013– 3,456 cc (210.9 cu in) V6 (2GR-FSE) 310 228 306 6,400 38.2 375 276 4,800
IS 300h 2013– 2,494 cc (152.2 cu in) I4 (2AR-FSE) 177 130 175 6,000 21.9 215 158 4,400
electric motor 143 105 141 30.6 300 221
combined 220 162 217
IS 300h (178PS, DAA-AVE30-AEXLH) 2013– 2,494 cc (152.2 cu in) I4 (2AR-FSE) 178 131 176 6,000 22.5 221 163 4,200–4,800
electric motor 143 105 141 30.6 300 221
combined 220 162 217


Petrol engines
Model Years Types
IS 200t 2015— 8-speed automatic (8-Speed Sport Direct Shift/ECT-i/SPDS) (AA81E)
IS 250 2013–2015 6-speed automatic (6 Super ECT/ECT-i) (A960)
IS 250 AWD 2013–2015 6-speed automatic (6 Super ECT) (A760H)
IS 300 AWD 2015— 6-speed automatic (6 Super ECT) (A760H)
IS 350 2013— 8-speed automatic (8-Speed Sport Direct Shift/ECT-i/SPDS) (AA81E)
IS 350 AWD 2013— 6-speed automatic (6 Super ECT) (A760H)
IS 300h 2013— electronic CVT


A race car based on the Lexus LF-CC entered the 2014 Super GT GT500 class, replacing the SC 430. Vehicle shakedown began at the Suzuka Circuit.[86][87]


Production at Tahara plant in Japan began on 25 April 2013.[88]

As of June 2013, sales of Lexus IS has reached 1919 units.[89]

Between 16 May 2013 and 16 June 2013, the order of IS sedans reached approximately 7600 units, including 2100 IS 250 and IS 350, 5500 IS 300h.[90]


As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, Lexus, and the Tony Hawk Foundation will be asking their fans and supporters to be part of a fan based decal that will be featured on the Lexus IS F CCS-R race car competing in Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Fans will be able to enter their names via a response to a Lexus Facebook post, a Lexus Google+ post, a comment to a Lexus YouTube IS F CCS-R video and through Twitter and Instagram using #Lexus14K.[91]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, 2 new television ads (Crowd, Color Shift) were produced by Lexus' agency of record, Team One, with Original music from Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, and directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The 'Crowd' ad emphasizes that things designed to draw a crowd are good, but leaving the crowd behind is more rewarding. The 'Color Shift' ad shows it's more fun and exciting to blend out than blend in. The[92] Two additional ads (This is Your Move, Intense) were created by Lexus' multicultural agency, Walton Isaacson, as part of the campaign. 'This is Your Move' was geared to the African-American audience, features Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp as he searches for something that matches his ambitious and driven personality. 'Intense' is targeted to the Hispanic audience and follows a young couple as they experience the thrills of driving the redesigned IS 250.[93]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, Lexus outfitted respective editors of Motor Trend and ArrestedMotion.com with the first of Kogeto's 'Joey' panoramic cameras to showcase the performance and stunning design of the 2014 Lexus IS.[92]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, Lexus invited more than 200 followers on Instagram, along with their smartphones, to make a commercial of the 2014 Lexus IS using hundreds of their photos of the car strung together into a video.[94]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sport sedan launch in the US, Lexus created and hosted a MADE Fashion Week event in 2013-09-05 debuting a first-ever live holographic performance art experience titled 'Lexus Design Disrupted', featured supermodel Coco Rocha and a bold retrospective from the archives of designer Giles Deacon in a creative concept inspired by the IS and the brand's commitment to design and technology.[95]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, Lexus partnered with NBCUniversal for the 'It's Your Move After Dark' campaign. The ads took advantage of real-time marketing by allowing viewers to contribute ad concepts via social networks to influence the creative for the Lexus advertisements. The campaign featured a series of live, improvisational short comedy ads that will run in the commercial pods during NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The ads were based on real-time viewer social media submissions each Thursday and performed by New York's comedy troupes including Fun Young Guys, Magnet Theater Touring Company, MB's Dream and Stone Cold Fox. Every Thursday night for four weeks beginning 19 September, as part of an early commercial break on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, improv comedians asked viewers to suggest ad concepts with the #LexusIS hashtag via social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. Submissions would influence the content of the ad and a live, on-air improve performance based on the viewer's ad suggestion will follow at the final commercial break. East and west coast live broadcasts of the commercials will be completely different each time based on their respective social media suggestions. Each Thursday's advertisement would be broadcast live from under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. In anticipation of the campaign launch, a 15-second promotional teaser was premiered on 18 September in NBC's late night programming commercial pods. Additionally, the selected comedic concepts and submissions were made be available for viewing and sharing on a custom page at NBC.com the day after each live broadcast. Fans can continue to engage in exclusive, behind-the-scenes content from the campaign on NBC.com.[96]

As part of the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan launch in the US, Lexus partnered with DeviantART to start a campaign to challenge the design community to show their vision for the 2014 IS with custom exterior treatments and modifications. The ultimate IS sports sedan concept would be modified by VIP Auto Salon in 10 weeks to reflect the rendering, and be displayed at the Lexus space at SEMA.[97][98]

In November 2016, Lexus partnered with Huy Fong Foods to produce a Sriracha edition of the IS for the 2016 LA Auto Show. The car is painted red with chili-like flakes and has green accents that evoke a Sriracha bottle cap. In addition, the trunk is filled with 43 bottles of Sriracha sauce.[99]


The first-generation IS 200/300 and RS200 series was used by many racing teams, including TRD, to race in various touring car racing series across Asia. In Europe, the Lexus IS 200 was raced in the British Touring Car Championship (through organizations such as BTC Racing),[100] and the IS 300 was raced in the US via the Motorola Cup North American Street Stock Championship touring car series (with the manufacturer-sanctioned Team Lexus).

IS 350 WedsSport race car which competed in the 2008 GT300 season and won the 2009 GT300 class

In 2001, Team Lexus entered three IS 300s in the third race of the 2001 Grand-Am Cup season at Phoenix, Arizona,[101] and won their first IS 300 victory that year at the Virginia International Raceway.[101] In 2002, Team Lexus raced the IS 300 in the Grand-Am Cup ST1 (Street Tuner) class, winning both the Drivers' and Team Championships,[102][103] as well as a sweep of the top three finishes at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada.[104]

In 2008, the second-generation IS 350 was entered in the Super GT race series in the GT300 class (cars with approximately 300 horsepower). The No. 19 Team Racing Project Bandoh IS 350 driven by Manabu Orido and Tsubasa Abe achieved its first victory in its fifth race at the Motegi GT300 race.[105] In 2009, The Project Bandoh WedsSport IS 350, driven by Manabu Orido and Tatsuya Kataoka, won both driver and team title in the GT300 class that season.[106]

In April 2009, a Lexus IS F entered by Gazoo Racing finished second to the team's Lexus LF-A in the SP8 class[107] in the ADAC-Westfalenfahrt VLN 4h endurance race. An IS F was also entered in the 2009 24 Hours Nürburgring race and finished third in the SP8 class.[108] In August 2009, an IS F entered by Gazoo Racing and driven by Peter Lyon, Hideshi Matsuda, and Kazunori Yamauchi won the SP8 class at the DMV Grenzlandrennen VLN race.[109][110] Kazunori Yamauchi is the developer of Gran Turismo series,[110] of which the IS line is playable in several versions, and the IS F racer carried test equipment for future game modes.[111] The 3 drivers, along with Owen Mildenhall, participated in the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring and finished in 4th place in the SP8 class, behind the 1st place ranked Lexus LFA.[112]

In 2012, Japanese drift racer Daigo Saito entered an IS 250 C in the Formula Drift Asia series. The car, which was a victim of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and due to be scrapped, was purchased by Saito and heavily customized for drift racing use. The most notable modification was the swapping of the stock engine to a 2JZ-GTE from a Mark IV Toyota Supra. With 1200 horsepower under the hood, Daigo obliterated the competition in that season, winning all the rounds and earning the championship in convincing fashion.[citation needed]

Sales and production

Sales data for Lexus IS generations are as follows, with chart numbers sourced from manufacturer yearly data.

(chassis code)
Model nos Calendar
Sales Total exports,
US Japan
GXE10, SXE10, JCE10
IS 200/300 2000 15,540[113] ? ?
2001 22,486[14] ? 30,475[114]
GXE10, SXE10, JCE10, JCE15
IS 200/300/
2002 20,306[14] ? 23,749[115]
2003 13,559[116] ? 14,187[117]
2004 9,972[15] ? 11,114[118]
2005 15,789,[119] 3,911[120] 10,253[121]
GSE20, GSE21, GSE25
IS 250/350 2006 54,267,[119] 10,727[120] 109,720[120]
2007 54,933,[122] 9,514[123] 110,907[124]
GSE20, GSE21, GSE25, USE20 IS 250/350/F 2008 49,432,[122] 10,110[125] 93,612[126]
IS 250/350/C/F 2009 38,077,[127] 5,278[128] 43,369[129]
IS 250/350/C/F 2010 34,129[130] ? ?
IS 250/350/C/F 2011 29,669[131] ? ?
IS 250/350/C/F 2012 27,708[132] ? ?
IS 250/350/C/F 2013 35,017[133] ? ?
IS 250/350/C/F 2014 51,358[134] ? ?
2015 46,430[135]
2016 37,289[136]


  • J.D. Power and Associates named the second-generation IS 250/IS 350 sedans the best vehicles in the entry luxury class in its 2006 Initial Quality Survey.[137]
  • J.D. Power and Associates named the first-generation IS 300 sedan and IS 300 SportCross the best vehicles in the entry luxury class in its 2005 Initial Quality Survey.[138]
  • Ward's Auto bestowed the IS 350 V6 engine with one of its 10 Best Engines awards in 2006.[139] The IS 350 V6 engine was also named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
  • The 2007 Lexus IS was the winner of the Intellichoice/AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award for Aspirational Luxury Cars, referring to the vehicle owners most desired in the luxury segment.[140]
  • The Lexus IS was named the winner of the 2007 IF product design award from the International Forum Design group in Hannover, Germany.[141]
  • The 2007 Lexus IS was the winner of the Golden Steering Wheel Award in the Luxury category, according to German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag. This award, selected by a jury panel of 25 automotive experts, was presented to Lexus in a Berlin ceremony.
  • British automotive magazine Top Gear named the second-generation Lexus IS as the Executive Car of the Year in 2006.
  • The Canadian Car of the Year Awards, selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, gave the IS 350 its Best New Technology award in 2006.[142]
  • The Lexus IS was a finalist for Wheels magazine's Car of the Year (COTY) awards and also the World Car of the Year (WCOTY) award in 2006.[143]
  • Kelley Blue Book gave the first-generation IS 300 its Best to Hold Value Award in 2001.[144]
  • The IS 250 was the winner in 2006 and 2007 of Best Prestige Car in the Australia's Best Cars awards – awarded by the conglomeration of all of Australia's respective State Automotive Associations.
  • The Lexus IS came second in the Top Gear Satisfaction Survey 2005, beaten only by the Honda S2000.
  • The Lexus IS came first in the 'J.D.Power' car satisfaction survey in 2011 and joint second in 2010.[145]


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