2016 Lexus IS 200t (European spec)
With the arrival of its new NX crossover last year, Lexus joined the wave of automakers introducing downsized turbocharged engines to help meet tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations. Around the same time as the arrival of the turbocharged NX, badged an NX 200t, we discovered that Lexus had registered the trademark “IS 200t”, suggesting that the IS small sports sedan was next in line to receive the turbo treatment.
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Today, Lexus pulled the covers off the IS 200t, though the automaker is yet to confirm the car for the United States. We suspect it will be introduced here for the 2016 model year, as a replacement for the IS 250. That’s because the IS 200t’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the same one fitted to the NX 200t, produces substantially more power and torque than the gutless V-6 of the IS 250, and it should prove more economical too.
This European-spec IS 200t is rated at 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and in the relatively lenient European combined cycle it returns about 33 mpg. In the U.S., we suspect the IS 200t will match the 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of the NX 200t, and its EPA-rated fuel economy should better the 24 mpg combined for the IS 250, which only musters up 204 hp and 185 lb-ft.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on the IS 200t, and drive goes to the rear wheels only. All-wheel drive may be offered as an option here in the U.S., though. Lexus claims the IS 200t will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 7.0 seconds and reach a top speed of approximately 143 mph.
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The car goes on sale in Europe towards the end of the year. We’ll update the story once specifications and availability for the U.S. are confirmed.