The 2014 Lexus IS isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until June, but we were recently presented with the opportunity to test drive the bold new sport sedan at SXSW. With a distinctive redesign, the third generation of Lexus‘s IS series features aggressive aesthetic updates — an oversized spindle grille, L-shaped LED daytime running lights and separate headlight housings to go with tail lights that stretch out to the car’s rear quarter panels. Under the hood, drivers will find either a 2.5-liter V-6 engine for the IS250, or a 3.5-liter V-6 for the IS350, with each producing 204 and 306 horsepower respectively. Other improvements of note include increased body rigidity, improved ride comfort, and a wheelbase increase of nearly three inches, all of which should make the 2014 IS franchise a hit with sport sedan enthusiasts. Behind the wheel, an ergonomic, double-tiered dash, silver metallic trim analog clock and luxurious, soft-touch finishes are among the features in a surprisingly spacious cockpit inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. Click through the images above for a closer look at the IS350 F-Sport — along with glimpses of Lexus’s ‘drive meister’ Yoshiako Ito in action under the Texan sun — and stay tuned for the third-generation Lexus IS to become available later this year.
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