2016 Lexus IS gains turbo option, drops small V6

Lexus is adjusting its IS lineup for 2016.

Lexus is updating is IS sedan range for 2016 with two new powertrain options. The 2016 Lexus IS should begin landing in dealer showrooms within the next few weeks.

For 2016 the IS range will kick off with the newly-minted IS 200t. Already available in other global markets, the 200t brings a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the IS range for the first time. Based on the same 2.0L powerplant found in the NX crossover, the engine in the IS 200t develops 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The IS 200t comes paired exclusively with an eight-speed auto and rear-wheel drive.

For those interested in all-weather grip, the 300 AWD joins the IS mix for 2016. Motivated by Lexus' 3.5L V6, the IS 300 AWD generates 255 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

Collectively, the IS 200t and IS 300 AWD will replace the IS 250 and IS 250 AWD, both of which are being dropped for the 2016 model year. The IS 250, which could only muster 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque from its 2.5L V6, was widely panned for being underpowered.

The top-spec IS 350, which uses a 306 horsepower version of Lexus' 3.5L V6, will continued to be offered with both rear- and all-wheel drive for 2016.

The 2016 model year will also see other minor changes to the IS lineup, including new 18-inch wheels for IS 350 models, a stand alone heated steering wheel option and new Premium Plus Package that includes a power/tilt telescopic steering wheel and rain sensing wipers.

Pricing for the 2016 IS lineup will be announced later this year.

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