Every car in the compact luxury sedan segment wants to catch the BMW 3 Series, and the new Lexus IS is no different. In this new episode of the Downshift, Lexus chief engineer Junichi Furuyama discusses how the team went about prepping the new IS for compact luxury sedan battle.
Before Furuyama took on the IS project, he already drove an IS as a daily driver. With the IS needing to catch up to high-volume models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Furuyama started the 2014 IS engineering process by trying to define what is fun to drive. Putting the IS up against competitors on the Higashifuji test track, Lexus engineers analyzed steering feel, brake feel, and speed sensation, and made appropriate changes to provide a more entertaining driving experience.
As for the design, the new IS follows the new direction Lexus is moving towards with its L-Finesse design. This means that the new spindle grille is meant to excite and entice, while the interior does the same with its LFA-like instrument cluster. With the 2014 IS, Furuyama wanted to develop a car that can change perception of the Lexus.
Check out the video below and read our 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Prototype Quick Drive here.