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Lexus IS250: The elegant cues are in the genes

By Roger St. Pierre

Those exciting concept cars we so admire at motor shows around the world seldom make it into series production – usually due to prohibitive manufacturing costs for radical new designs.

However, these test beds often pass their genes on to the cars we are subsequently able to buy.

That’s the case with the Lexus LF-CC whose elegant cues can be seen in the recently launched new production IS250 I’ve been testing through a winter of high winds and driving rain.

Despite potholes and ice-ravaged surfaces this classy set of wheels never once put a foot wrong.

I’m not sure about the over-sized front grilles that seem to be the automotive fashion item of the moment but, that part, the new body style has a cohesive air with the previous model’s super sharp creases giving way to largely more sculptured edges.

The interior features a classy driver cockpit, inspired by the  upmarket Toyota subsidiary’s much acclaimed LFA – another show car that’s unlikely to ever go into full-on production. There’s a generous increase in rear seat space and luggage carrying capacity too and HMI technology majors for the dashboard controls, including touch-sensitive temperature setting for the highly effective air-conditioning.

There’s a choice of drive trains: the IS250 petrol powered V6 unit or the full hybrid 300h.

An F Sport package is available for both the IS 250 and IS 300h, an extra-cost option that features sporting styling elements inside and out, as well as powerful multimedia systems, multiple connectivity options, access to Lexus Connected services and advanced safety systems – including a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert

Class-leading cost of ownership with low maintenance and running costs, low tax incentives and strong residual values are other attractive features.

With a smooth-changing six-speed automatic gearbox doing the business, 0-62 mph is blitzed in a nifty 8.1 sec while a 143 mph top speed and 30.7 mpg combined fuel consumption cycle are claimed by the maker.

With full leather upholstery and trimmings, metallic paint and an advanced satellite navigation system as extra cost options, the IS250 as tested carries a £34,500 price tag – which represents very good value in the executive car market place.

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