Decisions, decisions! Drivers will have several new options when Lexus rolls out the 2016 Lexus IS. The luxury sport sedan models will enter the 2016 model year with a three model strategy: IS 200t, IS 300 AWD, and IS 350. (The former IS 250 and IS 250 AWD are discontinued.) The IS adds to its stable of engines with rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-weather drive (AWD) and F SPORT variants.
The new IS 200t, available as RWD only, features a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with intercooler paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, cranking out 241 hp. It features a combination of water-cooled cylinder head, integrated exhaust manifold and twin scroll turbocharger for fast throttle response, performance and high torque at low engine revs.
With the popularity of the all-weather drive (AWD) system in inclement weather, Lexus offers the IS 300 AWD with a modified 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The electronically controlled all-weather drive system standard on IS 300 AWD and available on IS 350 models is designed to help enhance traction and grip under all driving conditions by automatically varying front-to-rear torque balance from 30:70 to as much as 50:50
Lexus continues to offer the IS 350, in both RWD and AWD models.
In addition to more engine choices, the Lexus IS features a few other changes for 2016. The new optional Premium Plus Package includes a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers. A heated steering wheel is also now available as a standalone option. The IS 350 adds standard 18-inch five-spoke wheels with all-season tires.