Lexus’ answer on 2016 IS 200t with a manual stick shift
When Lexus announced that the new IS 200t with its torquey 241 hp engine would replace the IS 250’s low-torque, 204 hp engine, enthusiasts crossed their fingers that the new model would offer a manual. After all, the IS 300 and IS 250 from the first and second generations had been available with a 5-speed and 6-speed manual. The press release didn’t say, so we reached out to Lexus directly. They answered quickly and directly, “no.”
As the owner of one of the first IS 350C models ever built, I feel personally that the paddle-shifted automatic suits the car perfectly. However, the IS 350 has over 300 hp and ample torque. The convertible coupe version of the IS is also more of a touring car than sports car. With the new IS 200t being only rear-drive, and the F-Sport packages selling like hotcakes, the chance to make the car with a manual would have brought some enthusiasts back to the brand, which presently does not offer any manual cars.
Perhaps Lexus knows the customer base well enough to predict low sales of the 2016 Lexus IS 200t with a 6-speed. BMW is reportedly considering dropping the manual in its M3, the car that practically defines the term “sports sedan.” In some markets, the BMW M3 and M4 only have a single one-percent of buyers choosing the manual now. Porsche is dropping manuals on its top-spec cars, Ferrari and other sports-car companies have quit manuals, and even the new Alfa Romeo 4C we just tested only comes with a DCT auto.
What say you Lexus IS fans? Should a sports sedan have an available manual transmission?
2016 Lexus IS 200t prediction comes true - Specs and Photos
Main story image courtesy of Christopher James Gorner