Turbocharged engine for the Lexus IS 250 confirmed
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, Autoguide.com 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.