Lexus Manila, Inc. officially launched the latest upgrade to the very popular IS 350 sedan on November 28, 2016, at an event held at their headquarters at the Bonifacio Global City. Led by Toyota Motor Philippines’ president Satoru Suzuki and Lexus Manila Inc.’s president Danny M. Isla, the Toyota group came in full force to support the latest model to be added to their stable. Unbeknownst to the uninitiated, the IS is actually the luxury Japanese brand’s entry-level sedan, and is one of the more popular nameplates of the Lexus badge.
“Lexus has started to redefine luxury equating the brand to Amazing Experience. Lexus is more than the beautiful metal and fine interiors. It is more than a luxury vehicle. It is an amazing overall experience between man and machine,” said Danny Isla. “We are grateful that through the evolution of Lexus, you have been there with us to see us through,” he added.
New to the IS 350 is it’s entire front fascia which is highlighted by new headlamps, large air intakes in the front bumper and an evolved spindle grille. The reshaped and more pronounced headlamps now extend inward, resulting in a sharply-designed look that punctuates the “L”-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The bumpers, incorporated with air intakes, flow from the fenders, giving its façade an image of aggressiveness. Another evident change is seen in Lexus’ iconic spindle grille, now with bigger top and bottom proportions. The new front grille folds back at a higher point, while seamlessly blending into the reshaped hood. This optically lower center of gravity gives the car sportier vibe. The F-Sport’s grille, on the other hand, features an exclusive 3-dimensional F-mesh pattern, with a jet-black metallic coating. Its grille is integrated with functional brake ducts that improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance.
On the outside, the IS’s enhanced character line that runs down the car’s side gives it an appearance of constant motion. It also sports 10-spoke 17-inch wheels. To complete its new look, the IS now features triple-layered “L”-shaped LED taillights with new rectangular chrome exhaust tips for an even sportier look.
The first thing you will notice inside the new IS 350 is the larger multimedia display that upgraded from 7 inches to 10.3 inches. The new stitching on the meter hood enhances the sporty feel of the cockpit, as do its redesigned speedometer, tachometer, and analog clock. More changes include new cup-holders, and a new and bigger leather- wrapped palm rest with stitching for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). An “Enter” button has also been added to the RTI, providing ease-of-use of the system. The audio and ventilation control panel on the center dash have been refined too to fit completely within the knee bolsters. Lined with a new hairline finish, it provides not just an improved appearance but a high-quality feel as well.
The upgraded IS is still powered by a 3.5L V6 24-Valve DOHC Dual VVT-i with D-4s engine, paired with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. It promises maximum output of 312 HP @ 6400 RPM, and 378 Nm of torque. This makes it the same high-performance sedan that people have come to love, but with a sportier look to match its fierce engine and exciting performance.
The 2017 IS 350 is available in two new paint schemes — deep blue mica and graphite black flake. A new interior color called chateau, which replaced moonstone and ivory, is a new light shade of ivory with a tinge of light gray.
The IS 350 is priced at 2,668,000, while the IS 350 F-Sport is pegged at 2,198,000.
See the full spec sheet at the bottom.