Lexus Manila, the official distributor of Toyota\'s luxury brand in the Philippines, has launched the all-new IS350 and IS350 F Sport, the brand\'s contenders in the compact premium sedan market. The cars were first handed to the motoring media for a track day at Clark International Speedway two weeks ago, and then officially presented at the brand\'s Bonifacio Global City showroom earlier this week.
Calling the car\'s design \"aggressive elegance,\" the IS350\'s front fascia is dominated by Lexus\'s signature spindle grille and, for the first time, LED daytime running lights that are separated from the headlights themselves.
The all-new IS boasts increased overall body rigidity, thanks to the new laser-screw welding and adhesive body-bonding techniques. Together with the all-new multilink rear suspension and revised front suspension, the vehicle makes for a more dynamic driving experience while delivering improved ride comfort.
A 3.5-liter V6 with an output of 306hp and 376Nm powers the IS350, with the power being transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. A new Drive Mode Select system also tailors the driving experience to \"meet the driver’s preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.\" The standard IS, for example, has Eco, Normal and Sport modes, while the IS F Sport comes with Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport +.
Inside, the IS has a driver-centric cockpit, with the F Sport variant inheriting the innovative TFT instrumentation with the moving center ring from the LFA. And despite the car\'s compact classification, all the occupants--including the driver--will appreciate the roomier interior that results from a longer wheelbase.
Other luxurious features of the all-new IS include a high-efficiency dual-zone climate control system that uses new, touch-sensitive electrostatic switches; two multimedia systems (a standard high-resolution Lexus display audio with controller or the F Sport exclusive Lexus navigation system); and 10 airbags, to name a few.
The all-new Lexus IS350 and the IS350 F Sport are now available at Lexus Manila at P2.548 million and P3.058 million, respectively. The distributor will not be bringing in the hybrid variant for now as its smaller engine size means it won\'t be covered by the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement\'s import-duty exemption, making it more expensive than the bigger-engined variants.
Photos by Igor Maminta
NOTE: For a more detailed look at the all-new Lexus IS, get a copy of Top Gear Philippines\' June 2013 issue.