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Upcoming Lexus IS 200t will be more than 1 second faster to 60 MPH

Based on our analysis, the upcoming IS 200t will have a significant improvement in acceleration over the IS 250 when the new Lexus 2-liter turbocharged engine is introduced in the sedan.

The upcoming Lexus IS 200t, which we predict will replace the IS 250 sedan, will be 1.2 seconds faster from 0-60 MPH. We have concluded this after attending a press introduction of the new Lexus NX 200t, which is the first vehicle in the brand to get the new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Let us break down how we arrived at this conclusion.

Lexus IS 250 Performance Numbers
For our comparison, we used Lexus’ own performance data for the IS 250, which it presently published on its public website. Lexus says that the IS 250 rear-drive car can achieve 0-60 MPH in 7.7 seconds. The heavier all-wheel drive IS 250 takes 8.3 seconds according to Lexus. Not terrible, but for a “sports sedan” pretty close. The IS 250 uses a 2.5-liter, V6 engine with just 204 horsepower and a weak 184 ft-lbs of torque. Trying to push a 3461 pound RDW or 3649 AWD IS 250 down the road with that little torque is going to deliver numbers similar to a Mazda6 or Accord Sport, which cost much less.

We realize that many publications publish other numbers based on their testing, and we believe those numbers, but Lexus likely did the tests, but more often, and averaged the numbers. We will stick to Lexus’ numbers to achieve at our delta.

2015 NX 200t Performance Data
The new Lexus NX 200t we drove this week can do much better. It is heavier, about 3900 to 4200 pounds depending upon how many wheels get power. The 2.0-liter engine in the NX 200t now has 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is at 1,650 RPM and continues right up to 4,00 RPM. Even with the weight penalty Lexus has told Torque News that the 2WD NX 200t can run to 60 MPH in just 7.2 seconds. The all-weather drive version is actually faster at 7.0 seconds. Torque News did not verify these number with instrument testing, but they felt spot-on to us. We have every reason to trust Lexus, who is always conservative with its performance claims.

IS 200t Performance Predictions
As you can see, our estimate that the IS 200t could easily shed one full second off its 0-60 time is very conservative. Autoguide reported that a Lexus employee said the tuning for the IS 200t would be changed and that it would have even more power, more like 250 horsepower. Considering all these factors, and assuming the 6-speed transmission stays (instead of the IS 350’s better 8-speed).

Our Final Predictions:
IS 200t Rear-Wheel Drive 6.5 seconds 0-60 MPH
IS 200t All-Weather Drive 7.0 Seconds 0-60 MPH

If our extrapolations are accurate the IS 200t will be a viable alternative to the IS 350 for those that want a true sports sedan. The IS 350 cars run to 60 MPH in the mid-5 seconds. We do not expect that the fuel economy numbers will change much in the base car. The IS 250 has a fuel economy edge on the IS 350 now, and that might be the same after the turbocharged engine appears in the IS 200t, or it may improve by 1 MPG combined depending upon how the rounding works out. In any case, the IS 200t will have much better performance than the IS 250.

Related Stories:
Turbocharged engine for the 2015 Lexus IS 250 confirmed
The turbocharged 2015 Lexus IS 200t will hit BMW 328i where it hurts
The 2015 Lexus IS 200t will strike the perfect balance

Main Story Image by John Goreham