The NX crossover's forced-induction four will soon make its way to the IS sport sedan.
While the latest Lexus IS has received almost universal praise for its engaging handling, one chink in the sport sedan's armor has been its base motor, the IS 250's antiquated and underpowered 2.5-liter V6.
To provide buyers who don't want to step up to the IS 350's 3.5-liter V6 with a more enticing engine option, Lexus will offer the IS with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, according to a Motor Trend report.
The engine, which first debuted in the NX compact crossover, will allow the IS to compete more directly with its rivals, nearly all of which offer forced-induction fours. It produces 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, figures that significantly best the decade-old 2.5-liter V6's 204 ponies and 184 lb-ft of twist.
While the new mill will almost certainly make its way under the IS' hood by 2016, two uncertainties remain. It's unclear whether it will supplement or supplant the 2.5-liter V6, which could stick around as a value option. Also a mystery is what the turbo four-cylinder model will be called - if it becomes the entry-level sedan, it could be named the IS 200t or IS 250, but if the small six stays, Lexus could dust off the IS 300 nameplate.
Photo by Andrew Ganz.