Freshening gives Lexus IS sedan a bolder look

The Lexus IS gets new headlights and an updated grille.

BEIJING — Lexus unveiled a freshened IS compact sedan last week at the Beijing auto show with an aggressive, heavily creased front fascia that echoes those of the RC coupe and upcoming LC 500 sports car.

The midcycle freshening also includes a tweaked interior with a bigger multimedia display and the brand’s latest active safety system.

Drivetrain options are carryovers. In the U.S., the sedan has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

The IS receives new headlights that accentuate the L-shaped daytime running lights. Large air intakes are incorporated into the fenders for more in-your-face flair.

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, and 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.

The F Sport performance version receives a new 3-D F-pattern mesh grille and functional brake ducts.

Inside, Lexus enlarged the 7-inch multimedia display to 10.3 inches for higher resolution and clearer imagery. Two new shades of black and brown have been added to the interior color mix.

The IS also gets the Lexus Safety System + feature. It combines automatic precollision braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, steering assist, automatic high beam headlamp control and radar cruise control.

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