Lexus IS 350 and IS 250

drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484


  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
       If you saw the LF-S at the '03 Tokyo Auto Show, or the LF-C at the '04 NY Auto Show, you have seen the future Lexus IS family. Think G35 and G35 coupe, only with a sexier sedan! The coupe is already sporting a V8, with convertible and High-perforance variants to follow.

       The average IS buyer is only 30 years old! So Lexus will make the IS line larger, more versatile, and more spirited this time, and will directly target G35/330i customers. This model will hopefully sell well in Europe as well.

  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    The LF-S, although it shows the general styling direction Lexus is taking, is the concept version of the 2006 production GS, not the IS.

    You're right, the next IS seems like it will be somethig special.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    That's not the picture I'm getting!

       The GS came out at NAIAS, and the IS came out in Tokyo. The LF-C will be the coupe version of the LF-S, or an 2006 IS Coupe.

       Toyota concepts are historically 98% production-spec. I'll see Saturday at the show!

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Hopefully this time it'll have more power than the typical V6 family sedan.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,257
    I have taken note of that car too and I hope to get a test drive in one when they arrive.
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    I have several articles on Lexus from Automotive News, the industry trade publication. Here is what those articles have said over the past few months:

    1. The LF-S that was shown at Tokyo in October 2003 was the concept version of the 2006 GS production sedan. The LF-S, along with the LF-X crossover, are the first two models to show the future design direction of Lexus. The LF-S is described as being 80% of the production GS.

    2. The production version of the GS is unveiled in Detroit in January 2004.

    3. The LF-C is NOT a coupe version of the LF-S (just the same as neither of these cars are variations of the LF-X). It is the third car to show the new Lexus design and is a concept version of the next-generation IS coupe.

    I think since Lexus is using the description "LF" you are mistaking them to be variations of the same car. But again, they are not...the LF-S, LF-X and LF-C are labeled as such because they are all "Lexus Future" concept cars.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say the "IS came out in Tokyo." The next IS has not been shown yet and is 1.5-2 years away from launch.

    Also, you are right most Toyota concepts are close to production-spec. But some, such as the LF-S/2006 GS, are not.

    Please report back after the show. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the LF-C.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    The 2006 GS show in Detroit IS the next GS. Period.

       The LF-S (Lexus Future Sedan) was mistakenly interpreted as the next GS, by me and anyone else because of it's size and sporty styling (It obviously is not the next LS!), but that fantasy was killed in Detroit.

       That car will be the concept for the IS, as it is 95% production-spec, as are all Lexus/Toyota concepts.

       This LF-C will be around the size of the Acura TL, just MUCH better looking, and RWD.

       And you just saids it yourself, the LF-C (Lexus Future Coupe) is the Lexus IS Coupe of the Future.

       Will Lexus make a coupe and sedan IS off of different plaforms? I doubt it. The rear end styling (especially the rear pillars) will be very different, but the car is similar in size and style to the LF-S shown earlier. Think G35/ G35 coupe.

       The new IS family will spearhead Lexus in Europe and Japan in calendar year 2005.
       LF-X (Lexus Future Crossover) will spring off the RX platform, with more performance and room, to share the $50k floor with the GX, and take sales from the FX and SRX.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Obviously, the LF-S is 0% GS. I don't like the production GS, and think it is in for a long haul, unless Lexus really dials in some great Hybrid offshoot trims.

       Releasing the LF-S before the GS production was a strange gaf by Lexus, an abhoration. The IS will be a HUGE success, if it comes to us anywhere near what it was in Tokyo. And with a rumored V8 variant!
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    I don't mean to be offensive, so please don't take my comments that way, but I work with the industry and in the luxury segment in particular. Many of your comments seem to be based on your personal opinion but are just plain wrong. Some notes...

    1. "The 2006 GS show in Detroit IS the next GS. Period."

    That is correct and repeats what I said.

    2. "The LF-S (Lexus Future Sedan) was mistakenly interpreted as the next GS, by me and anyone else because of it's size and sporty styling (It obviously is not the next LS!), but that fantasy was killed in Detroit."

    You are not correct according to all the industry magazines (that the consumer does not see). The LF-S has two missions: 1.) Show the general styling direction of Lexus and 2.) Be a concept for the 2006 GS. It was supposed to represent about 80% of the GS's overall look. With the exception of the back end the front and sides are very close to the 2006 GS.

    From the 11/3/03 Automotive News, one of the most respected industry magazines:

    "Nearly 15 years after its creation, Lexus is getting its own design signature. The LF-S concept shows Lexus seriously wants to challenge BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the luxury car sector. Toyota executives believe Lexus needs its own design language to separate it from the Toyota brand and to help position it as a global premium brand. The LF-S is a concept version of the next GS 430, although sources say the show car is quite close to the production version."

    3. "(The LF-S) That car will be the concept for the IS, as it is 95% production-spec, as are all Lexus/Toyota concepts."

    Lexus concepts used to be nearly identical to the final production cars, but that was not the case here. The LF-S is nowhere near 95% production-spec. Again, the LF-S was the concept for the 2006 GS (see above). Also, look at the concept LF-X. That is hardly 95% production ready.

    4. "And you just saids it yourself, the LF-C (Lexus Future Coupe) is the Lexus IS Coupe of the Future."

    Yes, that is what I said. No argument there.

    5. "Will Lexus make a coupe and sedan IS off of different plaforms? I doubt it. The rear end styling (especially the rear pillars) will be very different, but the car is similar in size and style to the LF-S shown earlier. Think G35/ G35 coupe."

    No, the IS coupe and sedan will be built off the same platform. You are confusing the GS with the IS. I don't know where you are getting information about the styling of the rear of the IS sedan vs. the coupe; this has not been leaked anywhere. That is pure speculation on your part.
    6. "LF-X (Lexus Future Crossover) will spring off the RX platform..."

    This is completely false. The RX is built off a modified Camry platform and is front wheel drive. The LF-X is built off a modified GS platform and is rear wheel drive (if you discount the AWD portion).

    7. "Obviously, the LF-S is 0% GS."

    Again, see my comments above. All industry articles (which I have read and I doubt you have only because they are for industry eyes only) say the LF-S is the concept for the GS. And once again, a lot is similar except for the back end.

    8. "The IS will be a HUGE success, if it comes to us anywhere near what it was in Tokyo."

    Please show me what IS was shown in Tokyo - it wasn't. The LF-C is the very first hint at what the next IS will look like.

    9. "This LF-C will be around the size of the Acura TL..."

    Considering no dimensions have yet to be released on the LF-C you are once again purely speculating.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    The GS and LF-S look NOTHING alike! 0%!

       Love the LF-S. HATE the 2006 GS!

       I hope these "Industry Sources" go the Pearle, because if they see a GS out of the LF-S, they need a check-up!

       How would they pull the Detroit GS (bulbous and derivative of the current GS) out of the sleek, slender LF-S?

       Toyota/Lexus has been putting the LF-X and LF-S in ads and on websites as the Future of Lexus in Japan, in particular.

       We know what thew GS looks like. It doesn't look like the LF-S where I live, on Earth.

       So the LF-S MUST BE the next IS! It's too sporty to be the next LS. And Toyota has already leaked a coupe version will be added.

       So where is the mystery? The IS needs a revision, the GS has been released. The LF-S is NOTHING like the GS, so....ipso factso... you have the next IS/IS Coupe, in the G35 vain! Brilliant!

       I should so work for Lexus!!

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I don't see how you can say the LF-S looks anything like the new GS. The two cars don't share anything in the way of looks. The LF-S is slim and light with a very careful looking roofline and a pinched rear end, the 06' GS is just the opposite and just a remake or updating of the 1998-2004 car. Working in the industry is fine, but the naked eye doesn't need the resume to see that these two cars aren't anywhere near being related. It doesn't even make sense to debut a concept that is supposed to represent eighty percent of the production car (per you) only to change the whole roofline, rear end and proportions for the actual production car. That doesn't even make sense. Someone at Toyota goofed by showing the LF-S before the new GS and saying that it (LF-S) is their new design direction, when obviously the 2006 GS was done before the new design direction was thought about or able to be implemented.

    Look at every other concept debuted by Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Ford, GM and others over the last few years, there are about a dozen or more, and they all look much closer in production trim to their concepts than this so called "eighty percent" LF-S to GS progression.

  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    They DO share a basic form, but the styling really took a dive! Scary how a few subtle changes can ruin a stellar design!

        The IS on the other hand is TOTALLY new, and is a true concept! It won't look like that next year! Like the 4-seat hardtop convertible option and V8! These will do very nicely. 110" wheelbase! Very good.

  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    It's hard for me to respond to your posts. You are making completely false statements such as the LF-X will spring from the RX platform and that the IS was shown last year in Tokyo.
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    I like the LF-C as well. Maybe next year we can get a deal on the IS coupe if we buy two at the same time.
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    ...what happened to my link showing the LF-S and the 2006 GS side-by-side? That was my proof that the cars look similar!

    I hope I didn't violate any rules. Please let me know what happened.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,132
    Hey lenscap, check your e-mail. Sorry it had to go - we don't allow linking directly to other automotive forums :(


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    I received your email. You took away my evidence! Oh well, my fault. Sorry about that. At least we all know you're on top of things around here.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Pure speculation on my part. I guess Lexus HAS changed the way hey do business. Concepts are now really just concepts!

       The way they pushed the LF-S, and the timing of it, made it pretty easy to jump to conclusions, though. Wishful thinking on my part. The LF-S is much prettier, at least in photos!

        The '06 GS looks pretty derivative, of the '05 GS! So it confuses me when they say the NEW design direction started THERE.

  • boomsamaboomsama Member Posts: 362
    i heard that by the time the LF-S was created, the blueprints for the '06 GS were already settled, therefore 06 GS doesnt look like the LF-S
  • mascmasc Member Posts: 21
    The next IS is said to be a REAL 3-series competitor.
    AND sedan, coupe, convertible and all-wheel drive IS’s will be available. yay.
  • mascmasc Member Posts: 21
    AND the next IS is planned to come out 6 months after the 2006 GS (which will come out in January, 2005). Which MEANS that the next IS will be out be the summer of 2005. A bit too long to wait, but that is probably because Lexus has to complete its new identity in Japan as in 2005 Lexus will finally be introduced in Japan as Lexus not Lexus's badged with Toyota emblems anymore.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Correct. I expect great things for the new IS. The current car suffers because its essentially a Toyota Altezza with an L badge on the front, and it wasnt really designed with luxury in mind, and doesnt fit the Lexus brand image. The Infinti G35 has some of the same problems, mostly the interior which is fine for a Nissan Skyline, but a little lacking for an Infinti. That's supposed to be addressed in the '05 model. Toyota establishing Lexus as a world market luxury company, rather than a select market one like Infiniti and Acura, is a great move on their part. It should allow them to move the brand further upmarket, supposedly they are considering the possibility of cars starting above $70K, as well as producing cars to compete with the C class and 3 series that are designed with total Lexus duty in mind.
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    The next GS will go on sale March 1, 2005 (not January 2005 as you indicated). But you are right that the IS will be available six months later, or right around early September.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "So the LF-S MUST BE the next IS! It's too sporty to be the next LS. And Toyota has already leaked a coupe version will be added."

    The LF-S is nothing! It will be nothing in the Lexus line. Why? Because it is purely a concept. Look at the proportions of the LF-S, they are totally not production feasible. The LF-S is probably 50" tall. What sedan on the market is 50" tall? The rake of the front and rear windshield's are soo severe nobody would have any headroom. And the trunklid is soo low, that the trunkspace is probably on 10cubic feet, if that.

    And as lenscap said, if you see the pictures of the LF-S and 2006 GS side by side, there is a remarkable similarity.

    "The '06 GS looks pretty derivative, of the '05 GS! So it confuses me when they say the NEW design direction started THERE."

    Well, obviously they are going to create some sort of lineage with the previous generation GS. That's kind of the way in works in the luxury market-evolution, not revolution.
  • lenscaplenscap Member Posts: 854
    There was a short article on the new IS in Automotive News. In the article Denny Clements (Lexus GM) said that most likely the next IS will not offer a V8 engine (even though the LF-C has one). More likely, he said, is a choice of small- and large-displacement six-cylinder engines much like BMW does with the 3 series.

    In addition, Clements said the interior and engineering are firm, while the final exterior design is still being fine-tuned. Clements said the design can be polarizing because the rest of the lineup can be universal. The production version will arrive in late 2005 and will be launched globally in Japan, Europe and the U.S.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The no V8 declaration is very interesting. The class in which the next IS will compete will be all V8 by the time the next IS debuts. The performance variants I mean. The S4 and soon to be released C55 AMG are V8s and the next M3/4 will have a V8 also. I know Lexi fans don't see the CTS-V as competition, but it does compete in this class, also with a V8.

    I would have bet the farm on a V8 performance variant of the next IS simply because they've been fooling around with the "IS430" for quite a while now. If Lexus is serious about tackling the 3-Series they need a "M/AMG" version of the next IS.

    But then again I see "most likely" in the wording of that statement. I'm still betting on a V8 hi-po variant.

  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Glad to see you "trolling" the Lexus boards! You're compliments are duly noted.

       Seems everyone is forgetting Lexus' Hybrid-laden future, jes?

       Particularly the IS and GS, performance variants will combine V6/Hybrid power to provide V8 performance with 4-banger economy.
       I think I heard that in a recent Lexus Press Release! Can anyone guess which model?

       I think the Auto Express rumor of a 400HP Lexus GS with 60 MPG is more fantasy than anything else, Lexus will get closer to that than anyone else!

       I wonder what the future holds for the Lexus V8? With new Hybrid technolgies, where does it go from here?

       Pure speculation on your part! I just sore the GS at the NYAS and it's rear window is so severly raked, it's practically a hatchback!

       The LF-S and GS have design similarities, but the styling of the GS pales in comparison! It's like comparing Julia Roberts to Lucille Roberts!

       Now I'm not trying to tear down the GS! But Lexus can do much better, that's the problem. They COULD make the LF-S!

       If the can build probably the greatest coupe design in the last 25 years with ballons, they can make the LF-S.

       People said the Camry platform couldn't spawn a RX300.....

       And if you make a sedan look that good, no one will care if it did have a 10 cube trunk!

       Thank You.

       DrFill (DIG)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    Dr. Fill,

    Come back to earth! lol!

    "Now I'm not trying to tear down the GS! But Lexus can do much better, that's the problem. They COULD make the LF-S!

       If the can build probably the greatest coupe design in the last 25 years with ballons, they can make the LF-S."

    Again, a 50" tall sedan. Who are you going to fit in it? midgets? Surely no one in this country of supersized people will fit in it!
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Check out page 39 of the June 2004 issue of Motor Trend. They have an article titled "Future Lexi". Reports that "a new IS model follows the GS, also in 2006". Claims there will be a full range of models to challenge the BMW 3 Series: sedan, SportCross, coupe, and convertible. Reports there will also be AWD and optional 4.0L V8. There is a color drawing of the "IS Coupe".
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Run that SportCross thing by me again.

    Everything I've heard is that the best l'il RWD wagon out there dies with this current gen, and if a wagonesque IS appears next gen, it will be some BS AWD crossover based somewhat on the HPX for styling.

    Please tell me I'm wrong.

  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    - From the July 2004 issue of Car & Driver, p. 33:

    They discuss how upcoming IS350 will have the 300-hp V6 used by the next GS350. They say it "hits showrooms sometime in 2006."

    - From the July 2004 issue of Road & Track, p. 59:

    "the IS will grow in length and width and will offer a much more generous cabin" and will offer "several body styles powered by a choice of 6- and 8-cylinder engines."
  • wco81wco81 Member Posts: 581
    Sounds like the new IS will cost a lot more than the current model then.
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    I would bet that it'll be competitively priced with the TL and G35. Looks like the 3-series is in for a serious challenge on multiple fronts (styling, power, handling, interior, pricing).
  • saugataksaugatak Member Posts: 488
    Nah, if BMW just ups the HP, improves the interior, lower prices a bit and leave the rest alone, they'd kill everyone.

    But probably they'll Bungle it.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    "They discuss how upcoming IS350 will have the 300-hp V6"

    Wow, the improvements from the current IS300 compared to the future IS350 is as radical as the improvements of the current G35 compared to the older G20!

    It would be amazing if prices of the IS350 would not increase much. If the price increase is substantial, then BMW would still hold the sport sedan market in an arm lock.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Count on the 3.0L V6, probably good for about 250 ponies.

    From there I would expect one more choice of larger displacement. By year two or three of the new model, I would expect the M/AMG rival (hopefully ditching the moniker "L-Tuned") that Toyota's been talking up.

    This is Lexus's growth vehicle. They've as much said that the vast bulk of brand expansion will be focused on this vehicle.

    I would expect them to go back into attack mode, with pricing on a given trim undercutting the 3er by a few grand at each comparable tier.

    Unfortunately, this ridiculous upsizing of the platform and the absence of a wagon means I have little use for Lexus next time round. No doubt, though, the bloating will appeal to the typical US buyer.
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    BMW lowering prices?? I've never heard of such a thing!
    Seriously, though, look what happened with the new 5-series. I know the exchange rate is causing part of this, but I doubt they'd ever lower prices.

    And I think the next IS is going to have a much improved interior which was it's main deficiency (well, that and no 6th gear for better mpg). Bloated? I'm not sure... that's what the GS is for ;)
    I think a slight increase in size will be beneficial for it's sales (though not as big as the TL).
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    They're increasing the width and wheelbase both by five inches!

    So much for "slight", says I...

    Unfortunately, I think it will increase sales in NA. Unfortunate only in that it greatly reduces my desire to own one. If I'd wanted anything that big, I would've taken the 540iT and called it a day.

    Getting harder to find honest to goodness premium compacts... :-(
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    wow... that is a significant increase in size. I, too, was hoping for something more modest. Looks like there won't be a premium compact sedan out there.

    Funny how the new crop is either too small (e.g., Volvo S40) or too big (e.g., G35, TL).
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I'm actually very much intrigued now by the A3, as far as sizing goes. Probably because I find the current IS plenty roomy for my needs.

    I'd rather have RWD, but if Lexus wants to build 'em bigger and can't give me a wagon to boot, Quattro will have to do!
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Not sure I'd focus too much on any changes in overall length or wheelbase. (Lexus could increase wheelbase and not increase overall length by much.)

    More important numbers will be weight and weight distribution. BMW, Audi, and Jaguar have shown it is possible to hold down weight gains and sometimes have weight reductions for new models.

    The IS needs to improve its weight distribution. Hope Lexus is shooting for 50/50. They need to move the battery into the trunk (like the 3 Series), reduce weight of hold, use more aluminum up front, etc.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    "BMW lowering prices?? I've never heard of such a thing!"

    Yes BMW does lower prices!
    My proof is in my garage. I bought my 99 BMW 323 with a 2.5L engine at a far lower price that what a 2.5L sold for during the 92 model year(BMW325). In addition my BMW was much improved vs. the 92 model. Although it is true that my 323 may not have the level of luxury features as the 92 325 model, my 323 compensates this deficiency with better performance/handling.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Not really germane, but interesting factoid: the current IS's springboard, Altezza, does in fact have nearly a 50/50 distro.

    It was adding the inline six and attentdent acoutrements that skewed the pooch, so to speak. Too bad we Americans are so down on four-bangers in premium marques, eh?

    That said, the I-6 was a big part of my priority list!

    Regardless of the inescapable truths in your observations, riez, it will be a bigger car. The market may respond well to that, but I doubt I will. They're gonna have to make it one hell of a Bimmer beater (straight line, stopping, sideways and feel) to entice me into a bigger car with a (even if new and more potent) V6 rather than an I6.
  • wco81wco81 Member Posts: 581
    If as Toyota/Lexus claims that their hybrid system improves performance as well as increases fuel-efficiency and lowers emissions, a hybrid IS or ES should be a no-brainer.

    But hybrid sure doesn't sound sporty or sexy does it?
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    in their latest issue mentions that the IS won't be getting a hybrid option... though, the GS and LS will get them.

    I actually would really like to see an IS set up this way... all-wheel drive with great performance, low emissions and good gas mileage!
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    sunilb... AWD adds weight, price, and complexity compared to RWD, not to mention reductions in fuel economy and, often, useable interior or trunk space. AWD is a real lose-lose!

    Run summer tires in 3 seasons and winter tires in winter.
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    ...but with a hybrid set-up I believe they could use a slightly smaller IC engine, so the weight of the hybrid setup driving the front wheels would be offset by the engine driving the rear wheels.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    sunilb... Weight adversely impacts braking, handling, and acceleration.

    A hybrid set up will add complexity and expense. For little benefit and a lot of opportunity loss.

    The IS is NOT an economy car. A good 6th overdrive and the right final drive should let it get 28-30 mpg on highway. I'd say that is more than sufficient for a sport sedan.
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    agreed... weight does affect those items adversely... at the same time, this is a Lexus so it's not like it is going to be that light no matter what.

    The question, in my mind, is the additional weight on the margin . If I could get better power, with fewer emissions at the same weight I would opt for that (i.e., instead of the big 3.5L engine that they are planning on how about sticking with the nice inline-6 they currently have + a hybrid motor).

    As you might surmise... I'm hoping that at least one version of the next IS will put the S4 in it's place :)
  • wco81wco81 Member Posts: 581
    So there would be regular IS models and hybrid models for people willing to pay for them.

    If Lexus demonstrates a clear performance benefit as it's claiming for its upcoming RX400H SUV, then I don't see why it wouldn't be viable, even in a performance segment.

    LS and GS are nice but because of the price, the market would be more limited. Maybe if they added it to the ES, which seems likely since a Camry Hybrid is widely expected.
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