Lexus IS 350 and IS 250



  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    I would like to see Lexus go easy on the options to keep the base price down. Let the low end version have the "weaker" engine, no HID, no sunroof, etc. to give people a choice to save some money who don't care about those things. Although I would like to see leather standard I can understand there being some demand for a cloth version especially if you're going to make a bare bones version anyway. If I can afford it when the time comes (assuming the car would even be worth buying) I would like a leather version with no sunroof or HID and things like that.

    People are going crazy over adding a $3,000 supercharger to the tC when it weighs over 2900 pounds and adds fancy sunroofs that add weight. People in here want the weight in check yet want a heavier 8-cyl, added weight of sunroof, etc. You need to tell Lexus what you care more about. Added weight on the roof of the car (worst possible place for more weight since you want a low center of gravity) and heavier engines and heavier AWD or do you care more about having a nimble tossable car?
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    pzev... Is a crying shame that TRD does not offer a supercharger for the current IS300 platform.

    Is also too bad Lexus never offered a low or no optioned IS200. The Toyota Altezza is sold elsewhere in an additional 2 liter engine with manual transmission.

    I'd love to see a future IS200 with standard 6-speed manual, LSD, VSC, HID, cloth seats and no sunroof. No options. Would keep price and weight down and appeal to an interesting target demographic.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I don't see it. I mean, I understand what you're saying, but it doesn't fit with Toyota's Lexus marketing plan, IMO. They said it themselves, "no plans to take the model further down-market".

    Part of the gig has always been to draw as clear a line as possible (in this country) between Toyota and Lexus, or rather to maintain the Lexus image. Unfortunately, we Americans have a nasty trend toward brand-conciousness!

    I think in the UK and other markets where 2.0L plants are much more to trend in more upscale offerings, the IS200 is a no-brainer (you'd have to offer it for economic purposes in an entry lux), but here anything that isn't directly comparable to the benchmark 325, or better, in displacement and performance would be considered just another economy car.

    It always amazed me that so many people insist on the distinction between Lexus and Toyota. Then, after buying one and explaining to people what it is (SportCross is still a relative unknown out there), I find more often than not that John Q. doesn't really get that Lexus is Toyota!


    If they'd brought it as an Altezza, I'da sure bought it as an Altezza!
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    wale_bate1... Think Lexus can't afford to use "used" or "CPO" cars to compete in the $23-30,000 range. This is where the TSX is doing so well. Base Saab 9-3, MB C-class Sport Coupe, and others there. The IS200 would nicely cover that segment as well as appeal to a younger and sporty-minded segment.

    Too bad Lexus has focused so much on SUVs. Lexus' primary focus the past 3 years has been on the RX330, GX470, and LX470. That is where the sales and profits have been.

    If gasoline stays at or near $2.00 a gallon, a car like the IS200 might also be useful to appeal to environmentalists and to protect the marque from being viewed as loaded with big gas guzzlers.

    Lexus needs to be a bit more like Audi, MB, and BMW. You can appeal to buyers who like luxury and those who like performance. Is easier to do the former than the latter, but doing the latter well is a true sign of design, marketing, and sales success. Just think of Cadillac and Lincoln. They focused entirely on luxury. Can only take you so far for so long.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    The OPP for a TSX is $27K+ for a 2.5L FWD. As it is, you can spend two grand more for a current base IS and get better dynamics and RWD to boot.

    I don't have great hopes for the new platform personally, but if the performance is upped, the amenities slightly refined and the press receptive, $2K won't amount to squat!

    I don't disagree that the option of the 200 would be a nice to have, I just don't see it making enough impact in this country to warrant the expense of offering it.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    wale_bate1... Having bought 3 ISs off dealer lots and having walked some other Lexus dealers, I have yet to find an IS on a dealer lot with an MSRP under $33,000. My wife's SportCross was $34,035. My manual transmission one was around $33,500.

    All the dealer cars are here seem to have LSD, VSC, heated seats, misc pkg (floor mats, trunk net, etc.), and one of the leather or escaine value packages. That adds about $2-3,000 in options on top of the base price and destination. The invoices on these cars are pushing $30,000.

    My local Lexus dealer is now advertising a CPO '02 IS300 automatic (optioned as above) with 29,500 miles for about $29,500. Will be interesting to see how they price my wife's '03 IS300 sedan with 12,000 miles.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    If a base IS is what someone wants, they can always order a base IS!

    Doesn't really matter dollars to donuts, nobody's interested much in the outgoing model now anyway. I have very significant doubts that a 2.0L option would have brought them into the showrooms in any significant numbers. At 9.5 seconds to 60 for the manual, and 11.2 for the auto (still the overwhelming choice here), even with a price difference of 7-8 grand, a Corolla S could 'bout kick its butt and that won't bring 'em running!
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Anyone ordered an IS from scratch? Will the average dealer do it? Bet they do anything to sell from stock or do an inter-dealer trade. If anyone has ordered from factory, how long did it take to arrive?

    BMW, MB, and Audi are set up in Europe for majority factory ordering. BMW also does a lot of ordering for USA. Only way to get some special options (e.g., cloth seats or Sport seats without the Sport Pkg). Lexus should do this. I'd love to have cloth seats!

    Some marques (like BMW, MB, and Saab) encourage Euro-delivery. Not aware of any Japanese marques that do this. Too bad.

    Never heard Lexus dealers in USA do much ordering. Can't say I've read anyone on a Lexus board here who ordered. No dealer discussed that with me, though I didn't ask.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Saz ordered his SportCross, and my dealer offered to order mine (no green out there, you know), if I'd been willing to wait for delivery, and a few others here have done so. ETA is about ten weeks; about the same time to get a special order from Audi on an S4, according to the salesguy at my local Audi shop.

    So Japanese delivery works for you? Cool. I think a trip to Japan to pick up an IS at the factory would be terrific. I don't see it happening, unfortunately. Or were you thinking European delivery for Lexus (doesn't make sense to me, but hey!)?

    Bottom line is you can order your IS with cloth, if that's your priority, or base, or loaded if you like. All of which is beside the point of Lexus not having or wanting to compete in the market below $30K. It just doesn't jibe with their now very public business plan.

    Which leaves us with the 2.0L I6. I'm still not certain how to build a business case in this country for an entry-lux "sport" sedan that runs its best 0-60 in 9.5 seconds or in most common trim at 11.2.

    I'll be interested to see what performance can be had from the 3.0L V6, as well as what the larger plant size ends up being. I doubt they'll bring the V8 for the tuned model (whenever that appears) but I could be very much mistaken. Since they're going to bump up the size of the car five inches by five inches, adding a V8 option would pretty much all but take the wind out of the GS's sails.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    wale_bate1... I mentioned Euro-delivery for other marques because Japan Inc., unfortunately, doesn't offer Japan-delivery.

    Bet Lexus will be watching closely at BMW's 1 and 2 Series. Without something like an IS200, Lexus won't have anything to compete other than used cars. Lexus' business plan has been SUV-heavy for years now. Not sure there is end in sight, though that depends heavily on what Lexus does with the next IS. Will they offer all the variants like sedan, coupe, and convertible, AWD, and different engine choices?

    Does ordering from Lexus allow you to customize your car like you can with other marques? Some other marques allow you to order options or combinations of options that aren't otherwise available. For example, could you get cloth seats with LSD, VSC, sunroof, and heated seats? Not sure their factory is set up to allow customization like BMW or MB do in Europe and are starting to do more in USA.
  • oacoac Member Posts: 1,594
    Nothing stops Lexus from bringing in the 3.5L motor into the new GS by this Fall, if we give them enough grief for slipping on that for the March 2005 GS release. So maybe the GS gets a 3.5L to add to the current 3.0L and 4.3L by end of year. By the time the new 4.6L comes out in the new LS in the Fall of 2006, and the GS450h, these should keep things interesting for a couple MYs at least....

    Of course, it looks like Lexus needs that 3.5L here in the US market very badly....
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    Well I have to be realistic and know a 250hp V6 is as low as they'll go, but I don't want Lexus to be too stuck up and feel the MSRP price can't drop below $30k. My idea of a good bare bones IS300 would be have the 250hp V6 but leave off the sunroof, maybe leather and stability control, power passenger seat, HID, and things like that. These things quickly add up and can potentially shave $3,000 off the price of the car. I just hope they don't take the ES300 route and make a sunroof standard but leather is optional. Although I don't object to having cloth, I do feel $30,000 is too much money to be paying for a cloth-equipped car. Headroom is an issue for me so why must sunroofs always be considered a required luxury feature and placed higher priority over leather. Cloth in an ES300 with that much wood in the interior just seems weird anyway, but the sunroof was given priority first. No sunroof also has other benefits, less weight, less money, more headroom, etc.

    I'm skeptical though because Infiniti made the $27,000 cloth G35 just to simply match the base price of the BMW 3-series. In fact I think they had duplicate prices so had the BMW had a higher price I would guess Nissan wouldn't have even bothered with the cloth model.
  • steven2steven2 Member Posts: 37
    Will the exterior, particularly the tailights, be improved visually? I don't want to lok at eye sores like the current IS, or boring, bland LS lights. Everything else I am not worried about, it's Lexus guys, c'mon.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    The 2006 GS wont be getting the 3.5L engine, at least not until Lexus has a bigger (or hybrid) V8 to replace the 4.3. That would make them too close, and they dont want mess like Audi's 2.7T\4.2, where the turbo six was actually FASTER than the V8 because of the extra weight.


    The 2.5L engine should make 215hp or so.
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    The impact the Altezza/IS200/300 taillights had on the aftermarket and OEM taillight designs was pretty amazing. Toyota was really way ahead of the game in 97 when the Altezza hit the streets. I hope they push the envelop again with the new IS.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Exterior design is highly subjective. I much prefer a tasteful evolution of a conservative design than a radical redesign. Preserve continuity. That is what BMW has done so well with the 3 Series since the 1970s.

    I'd like to think the IS will be around in 2020.

    Just look at the BMW 5 & 7 Series fiascos and the new Audi front end is horrible.
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    I think someone from Lexus said anything youthful/extreme can be reserved for the coupe version, so that leads me to believe the sedan will be fairly conservative, at least compared to the current IS300. Judging from the sales numbers, average age of the buyer of the current IS300, and them wanting the IS300 to be a volume seller, it's obvious they won't be as extreme as the current IS300 except for maybe the coupe.

    I'm assuming Japan will have both the Lexus IS300 and the next Altezza since Lexus is now being offered in Japan. If they want a car like the current IS300 to stick around simply bring over the next Altezza and badge it as a Toyota. But with the launch of Scion and Toyota USA striving to be the next Buick this wouldn't fall into their current plans.
  • steven2steven2 Member Posts: 37
    Across the street I have to see an 01 white IS300 every morning and night...maybe the white was the problem

    and btw, I thought the new BMW design worked great on the 5 series wagon, and terrific on the 7 series
  • setzersetzer Member Posts: 127
    I think the current IS is boring. I dont have a problem with the other Lexuses. It's just that I see the front end looks bland (and some people call the TSX bland!) and the rear taillights remind me some-what of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. I'm not saying that's bad, but Lexus taillights shouldn't remind one of the taillights of a Mitsu.. I think the current IS300 is a good car, but it could be better, inside and out. I think that's why it is still being outsold by many others, including the G35, TL, and 3-series.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Leather was made standard on the ES series for the 2004 model year, so your ranting is a bit outdated. FWIW, Id happily have a sunroof over leather, especially if the leather seating option isnt offered with some type of cooling system. Thankfully, this is how Honda equips its Accord EXs, and I dont see many people complaining about it.

    Id like to see the next IS with the next gen stability control and a Scion tC-like sunroof standard. Dont care too much about leather, but Im sure most will have it anyway.

  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    setzer... Exterior design/styling is purely subjective. I think the IS300 is tasteful and purposeful. I like it a lot. The "excitement" in the IS's design is in the interior. The chronometer dash cluster, the aluminum pedals, the ball shifter, etc. You spend more time sitting in looking out than standing out looking in. Works for me!

    I can honestly say I do NOT like where BMW and Audi are going. Praying Lexus doesn't follow just to be trendy or avant garde.

    I'll take "boring" over garish any day.

    I think the '01-'05 IS300 will still look tasteful in 10 years. Never broke any new ground, but then it never offended anyone, either.

    A big reason the IS300 is forgotten is due to dealer and manufacturer neglect. Both make a ton more money per unit selling SUVs (which account for half of all Lexus sales). Local Lexus dealers content to push only LS and ES. Both are staid and profitable. The GS and IS are the odd siblings who just don't fit in with where the dealers and manufacturer want to push. Just compare advertising efforts.

    Too bad Lexus has become so enamored with SUVs. Big, ugly, wasteful things. Yuck!
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    I hear you Riez. I told my sales dude I wasn't interested in test driving anything in the future unless it was a Lexus sports sedan.

    In the last 5 days 3 different people have come up and ask what kind of car my SportCross was. They all said they like the way the car looked and had to find out what kind of car it was.

    As has been pointed out before the 1997 Altezza had a major influence on taillight design. It is really more of a compliment to the Altezza/IS300 that Mitsu, like many others, decided to copy. When I see a new car with similar taillights I always wonder why the designers couldn't come with something original. I would bet that some of the Mitsu designers were still in school when the Toyota released the Altezza in 1997?
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    I realize leather was made standard. Pretty ridiculous it was ever optional though, and I bet it was next to impossible to find one on the lot with cloth. One of the big reasons to even pay the hefty price increase over a Camry for a ES300 is because of the interior. A high quality interior that puts a lot more expensive cars to shame yet put cloth in it? I'm sure it was to have a low base price but they could have taken the sunroof out too to make the base price even more attractive. The Infiniti G35 has a much better system and makes a lot more sense IMO.

    And yes everyone wants a sunroof, I don't deny that. Virtually every Accord I see is the EX trim with the standard sunroof. But this car is suppose to be one of Lexus's sportiest cars. Since the majority of people want a sunroof let's take it another step and make people take an automatic while we're at it. Let's add on as much weight as we can on this car, that'll really make it "sporty". And since the car is suppose to be the volume leader of Lexus stripping it down with no sunroof and cloth will give it an attractive base price. Putting a sunroof on it destroys the point of even trying to keep the base price attractive. A lot of people bought a 350Z with no sunroof available, it's not a requirement to some people.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251

    I am in full agreement with your following statement:

    "Lexus stripping it down with no sunroof and cloth will give it an attractive base price."

    This is exactly why I love the pricing of BMW. When I bought the 99 323BMW in 1998 I got a base model with cloth seats/no sun roof for Cdn$ 34.9K (1998 US exchnage rate was about .65) meaning I spent the equivalent of only US$22,700 for my Bimmer.

    This was a great deal compared to most other sport sedan models that are loaded with standard luxury features like leather. Personally I prefer a sporty car with cloth seats and spartan features---makes it feel more Teutonic.

    The Heart and Soul of a sports sedan is what is under the hood. Luxury should definitely be left as an option for the people who want to spend more money.
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    80% or more of the time you aren't able or willing to really drive your car due to fear of prosecution or traffic. So you might as well be comfortable.

    It also helps to have an LSD so more of the heart and soul of the sports sedan hooks up with the pavement.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251

    it appears you value comfort more than performance. At least you cannot get a ticket for being comfortable.

    My understanding is that an IS caters to performance-orientated drivers. And how many IS or BMW drivers drive below or at speed limits??

    So if performance is not as important , why even consider an IS when there are ES models. The ES330 is one very comfortable car.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    That's a stretch.

    I don't think any of us ISers put a premium on comfort over performance, otherwise there are vast other resources we could have tapped instead of hunting over creation to find our perfect li'l ol' Altezza 300s.

    I think we need to separate the oft-stated Lexus business plan from some of our own enthusiast desires. The idea of a potentially more affordable entry IS with perhaps a cloth interior, no sunroof, maybe even a budget sound system, but a high perf engine option is indeed tasty, and very much along the lines of a sport enthusiast's dream. Unfortunately, it runs directly counter to the Lexus strategy for the brand overall (which remains predominantly "luxury first"), and kind of specifically against the stated goals for the platform.

    I think (no one out here will know for sure until '05/MY06) that you will be able to special order, as you can now, your IS trimmed out almost any way you want, assuming they offer cloth the next time around (possibly not). You may have to take item "B" in order get item "A" in a couple of situations, but that's the way the automotive world works these days. If, however, you insist on taking delivery from local stock, rest assured you will get whatever the company has determined as saleable to the largest cross-sections possible, never once glimpsing an true entry-sport model, and that's that.

    Were I a dealer looking to stock my lot based on prejudging potential customers against my allotment, a new model HP stripper from a lux mfr would be pretty far down on my list of gottahaves; I can make much more money with juicier, more saleable set-ups.

    Again, it's not that I'm not sympathetic, and I do see an upside to making such a package "available", I just don't see much of a business case for stocking it unless my inventory is routinely ultra-huge! Also, I see that (strictly from an expressed "brand" perspective) as more of a Toyota offering, regardless of the fact that they don't!
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    Regarding your statement:
    "don't think any of us ISers put a premium on comfort over performance"

    That was exactly what I wrote in my last message. IS is for perfomace. ES is for people who favor comfort/luxury over performance.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Which is exactly why jmess and I own IS's!

    Matter of fact, he and I probably have even more bent toward handling given that our Gitas have more even weight distribution and better transition characteristics than the sedan...
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    I like sport/lux vs lux/sport. I personally want a car that is well behaved handling wise, responsive, and comfortable. I think the IS has a good balance of all that. Cars like the ES put me to sleep.

    To me high performance driving can only really be done on a race track. So I wouldn't be interested in a sport sedan with minimum Lux. I think Wale is right, not enough people would show up at Lexus dealerships looking for a stripper IS300 even if it was .5 sec faster to 60 MPH. For a few bucks more you can get and STI or EVO with lots of sport and very little LUX.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    I guess it all boils down to preferences.

    Sort of like A La Carte versus Fixed Menus. Lexus provides cars with many luxury features as standard(fixed menu) while BMW provides cars with minimal luxury features(a la carte).

    Once you add luxury options to a BMW, you end up with an over-priced car when compared to an equivalent Lexus model.

    In my case I like the BMW approach better because luxury features do not excite me (in fact the cloth seats on my 323 are more comfortable than any leather seat). Based on my preference I get more value out of a base 3 series.

    In fact what really excites me most is the STI and EVO . What stops me from seeking these vehicles is the adolescent styling(especially those rear spoilers)---I may seek an STI if I reach a mid-life crisis.

    Ofcourse most Lexus drivers would disagree with me. They prefer a good balance between luxury and performance.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I would be nice to pick and choose equipment, sort of a la Scion, with easy and quick delivery. For example: I've never once used cruise control in any of my cars, other than the first time I tried it in my '87 Legend, and I'd rather not buy it, but that's the way the package goes.

    I think you're absolutely right, dewey, about the traditional Lex customer being focused more on lux. And the dealerships themselves are still at odds with how best to serve their IS customers, who by and large are focused on driving, and are a severe departure from the typical Lexian.

    I'm with jmess, though, I like some comfort with my sport, hence my preference for the feel (and smell) of perfed "sport" leather. The true "Lexus" gathered, buttery stuff, however, doesn't interest me much. If I wanted to drive my den to work, I'd buy a Buick.

    My fear is that the next gen will be much more Lexish, and much less Altezza-ish, at which point they lose me.

    Hell, without a wagon, they lose me anyway, unless of course the sedan is such a road-grabbing, Bimmer-stomping eye-popper I just can't resist...
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    I fear in the drive to be more Lexish they will stop offering an LSD in the next gen IS. So few people even know what one is or means to a sporty car anymore.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Unless I'm mistaken, you can no longer get the LSD on the current model, John. At least, that's what I remember reading over at

    From all the real press I've read (the stuff that actually comes from Lexus or Toyota), the direction for the next gen IS sounds bigger, softer, more plush and more HP oriented. But Lex isn't alone here; sounds much like BMW and Audi are going that way too.

    Thankfully Audi will offer an alternative with the A3 Sportback, but a true compact RWD wagon appears to be a non-option for the US after '05. Even Benz is exiting, offering only the 240 wagon here, which is underpowered and hefty for the class.
  • jmessjmess Member Posts: 677
    I got a promo where Subaru will give you a $25 gift card to go test drive a Subaru Legacy. It will be interesting to see how the 2.5 Turbo runs. When I was shopping for the SportCross I tried out the WRX wagon and found the turbo lag to be really annoying.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    My early build--Aug '03--'04 IS300 manual sedan has LSD. My wife's later build--May '04--'04 SportCross automatic also has LSD (along with VSC). Think LSD is available on all '04s.
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    If the next IS is gonna have a 3 liter V6 engine producing 245 hp, why wouldn't the next GS have the new and more powerful 3.5 liter V6 engine (270 hp) that the next avalon will get? It'd be more realistic...
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    lexi4life... Keep in mind that the next generation GS and IS will get whatever Toyota/Lexus deems appropriate. The GS and IS have different competitors than the Avalon and are entirely different cars with different missions and different competitors.

    And, most importantly, the GS comes in two models. Lexus can't have the base (currently the GS300) being too close to the upscale (currently the GS430) in terms of power and capabilities.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    "The rumor is partially true: As of 4/04 LSD is no longer available with the manual transmission cars but it's still an option on the A/T-equipped models. Not sure why at this point but will try to find out. I hope it's just a temporary situation."

    You made the cut, riez.
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    riez: well if the GS doesn't get the 3.5, it'll mean that toyota will produce this engine just to put in the next avalon??? That'd be a big waste of money. I'm sure they're planning to put it in some other lexus or toyotas...
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    does someone have pictures of what it could look?
    I wish the next IS changement will be as radical as the G35 v.s. the old G20. Better styling, better accelerations, better handling...
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    I think someone from Lexus said the IS will have a couple of engine choices, and it would unlikely be a V8. This would leave me to believe the two choices will be a 3.0 and 3.5 V6. This is pure speculation on my part but I would guess the coupe (which will have more drastic styling from the sedan I would guess) will only have the 3.5 and will have a firmer/sportier suspension than the base sedan. The sedan will have both 3.0 and 3.5 available, the base version with more comfortable ride and 3.0 and then a "sport" version with 3.5, sportier suspension, bigger wheels, etc.

    Even though the HP between the two may be fairly close it won't matter. The people who want to be more sporty so to speak get the bragging rights with the bigger engine and get the sportier suspension, etc.

    It makes sense to an extent to put only the 3.0 on the GS because when they first showed it they claimed the V8 would have an estimated 300hp. If this is true then a 3.5 V6 would be too close in HP to the V8. They have to also leave room for the LS to have more HP than the V8 GS so it's all a numbers game. A lot of people buy on HP and want to have the bragging rights over the cheaper versions. The 300hp V8 doesn't look too superior to the 3.5 V6 if it only has 20-30hp more. Like I said then you have the LS to think about. I think they're also making a car above the LS, which I would guess would use the V8 as well. You can't have massive HP on the GS when there will be more cars above it to think about, thus use the 3.0 to seperate the two out, and keep demand for the V8.

    Again this is all pure speculation on my part.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    lexi4life... Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

    There is very little "wrong" with the current IS300. Sure, it could use some more power. And a 6-speed manual. But it has a tasteful exterior styling. Great reliability. Good practicality. And, most importantly, it, esp. the 5-speed manual with LSD, is VERY fun to drive, and drive hard! God help Lexus if they make the same bold styling mistakes as Audi and BMW are making now.

    As someone who owned two (2) 1996 Infiniti G20, including the rare '94-'96 t model (with great Sport seats and LSD), I loved the styling, price, reliability, and practicality of the first generation G20 ('89-'96). The 2nd generation ('99-'02) was a huge disappointment. The 1st generation had IRS but the 2nd used a cheap beam axle!!! But there is NO comparison between the FWD I4 140 HP G20 and the RWD V6 260 HP G35. Two entirely different cars with entirely different missions and competitors. (Just think what competition the original G20 had from '89-'96. Cars like the A4, Acura Integra, ES250, and 318i. The 1st generation G20 was possibly the best handling FWD car ever. Nimble. Just needed a bit more power (say 25 HP).)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I think you've got it pretty much nailed.

    Somehow I still think, though, that a year or so after the new platform intros we will see a V8 IS, to promote a new skunkworks at Lex-ota. Too much HQ buzz about playing the AMG/M game for this not to happen, I think.

    But you are very much correct that Denny or someone else said point blank that the new IS engine choices would be sixes.

    For starters... }-]
  • pzevpzev Member Posts: 807
    What's suppose to happen to the ES? Will it continue to be a reskinned Camry? Isn't the Avalon suppose to be based off the Camry and people are saying it will get the 3.5 (270hp or something like that)? So will the ES have to match this power or will it be gone? Other than the badge and dealership service what advantage would there be for someone to get the ES?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "Other than the badge and dealership service what advantage would there be for someone to get the ES?"

    There has always been a advantage to the ES over the Avalon or Camry and it will continue to be there.

    The ES3XX will continue on in the Lexus line-up. Have you seen the sales numbers it posts? Based on sales alone, it will continue.

    Lexus has also stated they have a 2-pronged approach to the entry level. The ES for those seeking full luxury, and the IS for those seeking sport.

    I'm sure the next generation ES3XX due in 2 years will get the same engine the Avalon will get.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Max is correct: the ES has always gotten better bits inside, under and outside than its platform mates. And I can't remember who said it, but that two-pronged approach thing is a near-direct quote from a press conference a few months back. And (unfortunately for the enthusiast), it is the top-selling Lexus car, which says (to my mind) so very much about what the more typical Lexus customer is after, and also why the IS has been so confusing not only to many customers, but to sales and service personnel as well!

    One can only hope they'll drop the idiotic "Sport Design" package for the ES in future iterations and dedicate the capital instead to a real "sport" pkg for the IS...

    If I were going into the redesign process on the IS, I think I would stick with the plan of widening the platform, but only by maybe two inches or so, rather than the five planned. I think I might give the wheelbase an inch to an inch and a half boost (again, instead of five) for rear-seat leg room, but leave the LOA exactly the same, thus shortenting the rear overhang slightly. It won't beat the competition on interior volume, but then I don't think it really needs to; just needs to compete.

    I'd resign myself to the fact that the ignominious HP wars are still in full swing and that my powerplants must either meet exactly or exceed each trim level offered by my competitors. This is not because it's required to make an excellent sporting car, far fom it, but rather because this is the current trench in which sales wars are being waged. I definitely would have a halo version with a big gun, regardless of sales numbers it could generate. Halo models work for car lines with sporting and/or lux intentions; they sell lesser models by association. I believe that with every fiber.

    I'd offer three suspension set-ups: touring, sport and track/competition. The first two would be available across the lineup, but the last only on the upper two models.

    I'd offer Alcantara, perfed leather or a Recaro combination of the two. While some of us feel that cloth should be an option, I'm convinced there's no real percentage in that business model, and by far the Alcantara outperforms cloth in grip, comfort and long term utility.

    Just a few musings here...
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    I like the idea of having 2 engines in the next IS (3 and 3.5). But for the V8, they should just put an upgraded version of the 3.5. Putting a V8 in a small sporty car is so stupid (my opinion), look a the BMW M3, it has an L6 (333 hp) and it does the job perfectly well. V8s are too heavy for these cars... Leave V8s for the GS, LS and trucks!! They're more appropriate cars for that.
    I know the current IS is doing well, but not necesserly in sales because it doesn't offer a big choice of body styles or engines. And the 5 speed manual is ok, BUT IT ISN'T OFFERED IN THE SPORTCROSS!! If the next IS gets the 3.5 in option, I can't believe it won't be standard in the GS!! They said the next GS was gonna have a 3 liter engine (245 hp) but we're still one year before its launch so they could change engines easily. And for the V8, they'll build an all new one so that the two engines (V6, V8) won't be too close in hp. I think it's gonna be a retuned version of the next 5.5 they want to put in theur trucks in 2006. Probably a 5 liter but it could also be a 4.6 liter. No horsepower announced.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Well, I don't fully disagree on the V8 sentiment, even though I do have designs on an S4 Avant next go round, but I thought I read that the next M3 won't have a six, and that, after all will be the target, I think, for a performance division offering.

    I would much prefer a new aluminum I-6, all things considered... ;-)
  • lexi4lifelexi4life Member Posts: 181
    me too
Sign In or Register to comment.