BEIJING -- Lexus is doubling down on bolder designs with a facelifted IS that gets a meaner mug and sportier demeanor.
The mid-cycle freshening, unveiled at the Beijing motor show on Monday, also rolls out a tweaked interior with a bigger multimedia display and the brand’s latest active safety system.
The drivetrain options are carryovers.
In the U.S., the IS compact luxury sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
The biggest changes happen up front for the IS, in keeping with Lexus’ drive to pursue more polarizing designs that break its ho-hum mold. The aggressive, heavily creased front fascia echo those seen in the RC coupe and the upcoming LC 500 sports car.
The IS receives new headlamps that accentuate the L-shaped daytime running lights. Large air intakes are incorporated into the fenders for more in-your-face flare.
Designers also updated the brand’s signature spindle grille. It now folds back at a higher point to lend the feel of a lower center of gravity. It also blends better into a reshaped hood.
“The sleeker profile of the IS, together with the enhanced character line that runs down the side of the car, makes the new IS seem as if it’s in constant motion even when sitting still,” Lexus said in a statement.