What Changed for 2008:
- New 400-plus-hp IS F model for 2008
- New sportier finish on 17-inch wheels
- New backlighting on the outside power mirror control
- New illuminated scuff plates
- New additional coin holder
The first-generation Lexus
IS was introduced in 2000 as an entry-level compact luxury sedan (and later wagon) featuring a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, sporty exterior styling, and a chronograph-styled dashboard. Completely redesigned for 2006, the second-generation IS offers a more traditional Lexus design and experience, and it has grown in dimensions. The inline 6-cylinder engine has been replaced by a pair of powerful V-6 engines.Model Lineup
Three Lexus IS models are offered for 2008. The IS 250 features a 204-hp V-6 engine, and a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. On this model, consumers may also choose between a manual or automatic transmission. The IS 350 offers a more powerful 306-hp V-6 engine, but requires rear-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. Cruise control, power moonroof, power windows, and power locks are all standard. Leather, power seats, and metallic trim are also standard on all models. Perforated leather and wood trim are optional. Wheels are 17-inch cast aluminum, with 18-inch alloy wheels optional.
The new-for-2008 high-performance Lexus IS F has a V-8 engine rated at more than 400 hp. In addition to the equipment found on the other IS models, the IS F adds larger, heavy-duty Brembo brakes with 6-piston aluminum calipers in the front, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, and a modified suspension that lowers the vehicle up to an inch. The IS F is also differentiated by unique interior and exterior styling, and a new quad-tipped exhaust.Powertrain
The 2008 Lexus IS 250 is equipped with a 2.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 204 hp with 185 lb.-ft. of torque, and either a manual or an automatic transmission. The IS 250 also offers an all-wheel-drive version with a standard automatic transmission. The EPA fuel economy ratings are 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway. With a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the powerplant of the IS 350 is rated at 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel economy ratings of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway). A 6-speed sequential shift automatic is the only available transmission. The rear-wheel-drive IS F features a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with an estimated 400-plus hp mated to an 8-speed direct sport-shift transmission. At the time of writing, EPA figures for the V-8 engine have not been released. Lexus warranties the IS models for 4 years/50,000 miles. The powertrain is warranted for 6 years/70,000 miles.Safety
Driver and passengers in all 2008 Lexus IS models are protected by dual front and side advanced air bags. Standard across the IS line are driver and passenger knee air bags. Rear passengers benefit from side curtain air bags that run the length of the passenger cabin. Anti-lock brakes, Active Traction Control (TRAC), brake assist, and Vehicle Stability Control are standard on all models. The Lexus IS was crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
) and was rated "Good" (the highest of their four ratings) in frontal and side-impact tests.Technology
The 2008 Lexus IS is available with the Pre-Collision System (PCS). Using millimeter-wave radar, the vehicle's computer is able to determine when a frontal collision is inevitable. If activated, PCS retracts the front seat belts and activates brake assist, shortening the response time of the braking system. The IS F features the world's first 2-mode 8-speed direct sport-shift transmission. Shifts in drive mode are very smooth, yet still return a 0-60 mph time of less than 5 seconds. In manual mode, the driver can shift gears via steering wheel-mounted paddles. Upshifts occur in less than a tenth of a second, while downshifts match engine RPM to vehicle speed.