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Turbocharged engine for the Lexus IS 250 confirmed

Lexus will use new turbocharged engines in its sports sedan line according to company officials.

Back in February Torque News predicted that the Lexus IS 250 would drop its disappointingly weak engine and adopt a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine. The existing small six cylinder engine is no longer viable in the modernized IS 250. Today, has confirmed that this will happen.

Quoting an unnamed Lexus company official, the publication reports that the new Lexus engine that is to start out in the NX 200t crossover will quickly migrate to the IS 250. The new model will be called the IS 200t. Torque news even accurately predicted the exact horsepower of the engine. Autoguide said “The company rep who wished to remain anonymous said that the upcoming NX200t model will make 237 hp in production trim, while that number could be increased to closer to 250 for the IS.” In our February article we said “Lexus is about to introduce a new engine to its line-up. It will be a 2.0 liter turbo and we predict about 250 horsepower and gobs of torque, nice and low in the rev band. That new engine will transform the IS 250 into a very capable car."

Lexus had to do something. BMW’s 3 series uses 2 liter turbocharged engines almost exclusively (in terms of sales numbers). There is also the low-hanging fruit to be plucked by gaming the EPA fuel economy test. Turbocharged small engines do well on the testing since the test does not require a lot of high-revving. So the small turbocharged fours mimic small fours in the testing. In the real world the fuel economy will depend on driver habits. Those drivers who use the engines to their full power potential don’t gain much compared to an equally powerful modern six cylinder engine. Worse, there may be no real-life fuel economy gains at all if the new line of engines from Lexus require premium unleaded instead of regular unleaded.

Toyota and Lexus officials had previously said that the new turbocharged engine would be used across the company’s lineup. We also see the new 2.0 liter turbo being the base engine in the RC coupe. Possibly even in a GS 200t at some point. The engine won’t only be found in sports cars either. For example, we predict that one of the next places that engine will go is into the 2015 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The new Chevy Colorado is going to be a winner and its engines outclass the Tacoma significantly.

We would expect the IS 200t to be one of the first models to adopt the new engine over the coming model year or two.

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Roger Beauchemin (not verified)    April 17, 2014 - 11:12PM

I would welcome the 2litre engine in the 2015 tacoma. I have the 4 cyl. Turbo in my BMW X1, it Quick and economical on gas. That would encourage me to purchase the tacoma as 2nd vehicle

boe (not verified)    July 19, 2014 - 3:50PM

When are we getting an IS hybrid in the US? I realize the current European IS hybrid is sluggish but they obviously don't need to be. The Honda accord has decent acceleration and EXCELLENT gas mileage.

John Goreham    August 4, 2014 - 3:22PM

In reply to by boe (not verified)

Hi Boe. Although the US will get the new NX 300h crossover, and we do already have the ES 300h and Camry Hybrids, the US is not getting the IS 300h, nor the NX 300h. Don't blame the messenger. I spoke to Lexus managers this past week in person and confirmed that as of now that is the official Lexus statement on the subject. Sorry, the European owners are reporting a great ownership experience with the IS 300h. The new Accord Hybrid is indeed amazing.

Addf (not verified)    August 4, 2014 - 1:17PM

Torquenews- you are (wrong)! Stop reporting (information) that's not true. There is no turbo engine for 2015. Get your facts straight and stop posting false information. (Edited for content).

John Goreham    August 4, 2014 - 3:10PM

In reply to by Addf (not verified)

Thanks for your comment Addf. We were right about the introduction of the RC F. Even got the name and model year right. We were the first to report the demise of IS F - ahead of the rest of the media by a week. We were one of the few that have had the guts to predict the IS C models will migrate to the RC platform, and we guessed 2016 before the news the car continued for another model year. We Were one of the few media outlets that clarified that the new NX is the same size as the BMW X3, even while Autoweek, Motortrend and others continued to say it and imply it would be an X1 competitor. Why don't you trust us (and the source we cite) that the IS 200t will be a real car? Is it the model year you are hung up on? Since we published this we have taken care to say that the IS 200t will be a future model rather than a 2015. We could still be right. The current Camry is a 2014.5. Toyota and Lexus are not afraid to make mid-year changes to cars.

Addf (not verified)    August 13, 2014 - 3:33PM

I am not "hung up" on the model year. Your article misreported information - it clearly says the 2015 model will have the turbo charged engine.

This distinction of "when" (ie. 2015, 2016, etc) the Lexus will have the turbocharged engine can be of particular importance to your readers who may be purchasing a Lexus IS, and who may rely on your articles to make decisions on their purchase.

I don't doubt Lexus will have a turbocharged IS. But it is important to know "exactly" when that would be. Your article confirms the precise year (2015) of release, when this is not a given fact.

So again, get your facts straight.

Steven Chuah (not verified)    November 1, 2014 - 7:40AM

I am waiting eagerly for the Lexus IS to have a turbo engine. I also hope Lexus will replace the current outdated foot-pedal type parking brake with the latest electronic parking brake. Lexus must always realise that it is a premium luxury car and such basic technology should have been a standard feature.