Although full mechanical specs and details on the entire lineup still await the car's formal press reveal in Detroit, the first official photos of the new 2014 Lexus IS350 in primo F-Sport guise have been released. In addition to a major platform revamp, the new IS Series boasts a considerably higher visual profile that extends well beyond the adoption of the division's new signature spindle grille.

Retaining much of the aggressive character previewed in the Lexus LF-CC Concept shown last fall in Paris, the exterior of the new IS Sedan complements its edgier body lines with more expressive front and rear fascia treatments that are set off with equally ambitious, LED-infused lighting elements. The F-Sport package smartly amps up the appearance index, but even in standard form, the 2014 IS 250 and IS 350 will have considerably more presence than the current models.



          Also: Lexus LF-CC Concept - 2012 Paris Auto Show

Inside, the fully recast cabin of the new Lexus IS Series has a more upscale look and feel that borrows a fair bit of its design flair from the dearly departed LFA supercar. The relative positioning of seat and steering wheel have been revised to create a more "sporting "driving position and the more user-friendly center console features Lexus-first, electrostatic switches to operate the climate controls with the touch of a finger. In addition to three unique interior color schemes - including the Rioja Red seen here - IS F Sport trim also nets a perforated leather finish on the steering wheel and shift knob, metal film 3D-effect ornamentation, black seat stitching, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates.

Perhaps less flashy but no less meaningful, this new-gen IS also is wider than the current model and has a longer wheelbase. Those changes endow its slicker inner sanctum with even more passenger space, particularly for those in the aft quarters. All versions of the 2014 IS also gain a new 60/40 split folding seatback that increases overall utility.

          Also: See more brand new models unveiled in Detroit

While keeping some of the finer points under wraps, Lexus has confirmed that the new IS Series platform shares much in common with the architecture that underpins the latest GS Series, a change that endows the car with even greater structural rigidity and bodes well for all variations to possess even better handling dynamics. Both the IS 250 and IS 350 will be available in rear or all-wheel-drive configurations. As for powertrains, our versions will initially come with a pair of V6 engines: a 2.5-liter in the IS 250 and a 3.5-liter in the IS 350. No output figures have been released for either, but they are expected to stay pretty close to the current 204/306 horsepower levels. Both will be backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission. Check back next week for an even more comprehensive look at the 2014 Lexus IS Series.


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