NEW YORK -- Lexus Division will offer two engines in the redesigned IS sport sedan, a 2.5-liter V-6 and a 3.5-liter V-6. All-wheel drive will be available with the smaller engine.
The base IS 250 will represent about 50 percent of the sedan's volume, which is projected to be about 45,000 units. U.S. sales of the previous IS 300 peaked at 22,486 units in 2001, then fell off sharply. In 2004, Lexus sold just 9,972 units here.
"We've been on the (incentive) juice for three years with the IS 300," said Mike Wells, Lexus vice president of sales. "This is a big jump we're making. We're not taking it lightly."
The IS 250's 2.5-liter V-6 will generate more than 200 hp and more than 180 pounds-feet of torque. A choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission is offered.
The IS 250 awd will represent about 30 percent of total IS sales and will be offered only with an automatic transmission.
The top-line IS 350's 3.5-liter V-6 will generate more than 300 hp and more than 275 pounds-feet of torque. Lexus estimates 0-to-60 acceleration of less than six seconds.
Although pricing was not announced, Lexus said the IS 250 will be priced similarly to the outgoing IS 300, which stickers at $30,280 including destination.
Lexus expects the vehicles to go on sale Oct. 1. The manual-transmission version of the IS 250 will arrive about 60 days later.
In other news, Lexus disclosed that the GS sedan's hybrid derivative, the GS 450h, will have a 3.5-liter gasoline engine. Hybrids are powered by internal combustion engines and electric motors.
Total system horsepower for the GS 450h will be more than 300. Lexus predicts the vehicle will reach 60 mph more quickly than the top-line GS 430 with a V-8 engine. Lexus expects the GS 450h to reach 60 mph in less than six seconds, while delivering about 27 mpg.
When the GS 450h arrives next spring, it likely will carry a higher sticker price than the GS 430.
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