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So when Lexus introduces a new vehicle for Europe, most luxury automakers just smirk and sip their tea. Especially a little pup like the 2006 Lexus IS sports sedan, which Europeans know as a Toyota. Across the pond, however, officials inside the North American offices of these same prim luxury automakers are hitting the Whiskey and thinking deep and mean thoughts. Here, where the Eagle Flies, a new Lexus IS sport sedan means more competition from the Relentless One. Whiskey is a good drink when that happens, especially given the sobering fact that we buyers in America will be seeing the new IS soon – very soon – in New York, with its invigorating new design, new powertrains and enough technology to make a Radio Shack clerk squeal.
The design of the IS follows in the footsteps of the recently introduced GS, which is based on the LF-A design concept introduced earlier at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. That super car concept captured the idea of flowing lines, action and taut pressure in specific areas, and the IS delivers much the same in a smaller dimension.
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When it comes to the States, the IS will likely get a more powerful V6 engine – details of which are still secret. What’s now apparent is that the IS will be all-new, with new sheet metal and a new powertrain – in fact, US customers can count on the addition of a hybrid system as well as the V6.
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Notable design cues of the 2006 Lexus IS sports sedan include triangular running lights, a flowing style and virtually invisible B-pillars. This vehicle, which will compete for sales with popular sedans such as the BMW 3-Series and serve as a point-of-entry for people moving into the luxury category, will define itself as a sporty, aggressive sedan built to appeal to a youthful market.
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Buyers in America will be seeing the new IS soon – very soon – in New York, with its invigorating new design, stronger powertrains and enough technology to make a Radio Shack clerk squeal.
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In Europe, and probably in the US, the Lexus IS will be equipped with 10 airbags, including a double knee airbag. The IS will also have the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM), which Lexus claims is the most complete and intuitive vehicle control technology available today.
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North American shoppers can expect the new IS to feature much of the new technology Lexus is putting into their cars, namely the radar-controlled Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting System (I-AFS).
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In Europe, Lexus is making a move with new vehicles and a plan to divide and conquer. The IS a major player in that plan, though many Europeans are already think of it as a Toyota. Lexus, however, is going full-speed ahead, evidenced by the debut a first-ever Lexus diesel engine. The all-aluminum, 2.2-liter four-cylinder will be offered along with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine.
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It’s a safe bet that when the Lexus IS comes to the United States, it will receive upgrades in the interior, without losing its traditional sporty feel. Photos Courtesy of Lexus
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