Lexus Malaysia proudly announces the arrival of the 2011 Lexus IS 250 Luxury & IS 250

Published on November 30th, 2010

FRESH from launching two environment-friendly Lexus models, the futuristically advanced LS600H L hybrid, the preferably chauffeur-driven luxuriously appointed limousine, and the RX450H luxury Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), Lexus Malaysia seems to be on a roll and clearly intent in outdoing its rivals and ending the year with a bang, as it has recently announced the impending arrival of the 2011 model year Lexus IS 250 Luxury and IS 250, which have been updated to refresh both these models exterior and interior appearance.


Future potential customers who cannot resist temptation and do end up buying either the Lexus IS 250 Luxury or the IS 250, can choose from two different interior colours with wood trim for the IS 250 Luxury, coordinated with the six exterior colours, one of which is new for 2011. This is a unique finish known as Starlight Black which has photoluminescent glass flakes to give sparkles like a star-filled night sky, making sure it also stands out from the crowd, be it on the road or stationery, thanks to the extra shine, sparkle and glitter.

The exterior design of the IS 250 has a combination of bold concave surfaces with a sculpted image that gives a sensation of speed and high performance, something that the previous model exuded as well. Various design elements have been changed to give the car a more dynamic, high-performance image.

The front grille has been restyled in a way that creates more visual depth while the slats have an image of flowing air. This not only expresses a low centre of gravity, but also gives a vibrant feel to the appearance of the IS 250.

The front bumper and lower grille area now take on a bolder and more 3-dimensional feel. Each side of the lower grille area has an intake shape that is visually connected to the brake cooling ducts.

High Intensity Discharge with hyper-wide projectors (HID headlamps are now standard for both the IS 250 Luxury and IS 250), give stronger illumination of the road ahead, which should clear the way ahead of traffic. While a dark smoke coating around each headlamp gives a bolder look. What makes the new IS 250 distinctive is the arrowhead LED clearance lamp with Daytime Running Lights functions. Very bright and clear, these lights are like a signature of the Lexus identity. The headlights have been approved for use by the Malaysian Road Transport Department, or Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ), and have an auto-leveling mechanism to ensure that these ultra bright lights that illuminate the night are correctly aligned at all times, and do not cause inconvenience to other motorists.

At the rear, there is strong contrast between light and dark in the character of the bumper. The rear combination tail lights now have a more unified colour tone with clear pink-smoked lenses on the indicators and reverse lamps. Also new is the tip of the dual outlet tailpipes, which is now circular and has thicker walls.

The IS 250 comes with 17-inch alloy rims with a new 10-spoke design that conveys a sporty image. Like many performance oriented cars, the rear tyres are wider (245/45 R 17) compared to those fitted at the front (225/45 R 17). We at Traffic Mag are of the firm belief that the 2011 IS 250 will look even better rolling on at least 20”inch offset wheels, and a lowered ride height thanks to an aftermarket adjustable suspension system, which would make the 2011 IS 250 look even better and more wicked. For a further accentuated aesthetic appeal, a mild aftermarket bodykit in the form of a front lip, sideskirts, a rear diffuser and a rear lip spoiler should make the 2011 IS 250 even bolder and enviable.


Though the exterior dimensions seem compact, the cabin of the IS 250 is supposed to exude a spacious feeling, and this feeling it seems is largely thanks to the large surfaces and long character lines around it. The instrument panel’s character lines softly flow towards the driver and then cut back to form the hood for the meters. On the door panels, the perfectionist Lexus stylists have created a unique appearance with a raised surface that runs from rear to front and then fluidly reverses direction to form the door grip.

The IS 250 now has a black metallic high-gloss coating on a number of trim panels while the IS 250 Luxury continues to have genuine Bird’s Eye maple wood trim for those who like a touch of added class. If the Traffic Mag crew were helming the design aspect of the 2011 IS 250, there would be carbon fibre coating, gun metal coating, or flat black or grey coating on a number of trim panels instead.

For a sportier and more premium feel, metallic ornamentation has been added to areas like the steering wheel bezel, meter rings and glove box door. Additionally, the steering wheel bezel shape also has a more 3-dimensional design with a silver surface coating. The same silver coating is also used for the paddle shifters on the right and left sides at the back of the 3-spoke steering wheel.

As with other Lexus models, the IS 250 has as expected of a Lexus model, Optitron meters which are brighter than normal meters and have a 3-dimensional appearance to enhance clarity. The speedometer and tachometer are now surrounded with metallic rings to highlight the sporty nature of the IS 250. Warning indicator rings inside the meters can be set to illuminate in different colours at certain speeds to alert the driver visually, and it will definitely catch the driver’s attention. Each time the driver switches on the engine, an illuminated ‘start-up’ sequence provides an interesting warm welcome, synonymous with Lexus hospitality.

For the IS 250 Luxury, there is a 13-speaker Lexus Premium Audio system which delivers superlative quality of sound reproduction. A 6-CD in-dash changer is provided and the system is MP3/WMA capable. So where In-Car Entertainment (ICE) is concerned, it comes well-equipped from the production line itself.

For the IS 250, the standard audio system is the Lexus Premium system with 8 speakers; and a 6-CD in-dash changer is also fitted. The audio system now comes with USB and AUX connection points, so music from personal devices can also be played for the listening pleasure of the car’s driver and occupants.

Lexus Malaysia also offers a Christmas wish-list Mark Levinson 14-speaker Premium Surround Sound system as an option for the IS 250 Luxury version. This audio system, specially engineered for the IS 250’s cabin by Mark Levinson, a leader in audio systems, has a 300-watt 10-channel power amplifier to satisfy the serious audiophiles. The system also plays DVDs (video and audio content).

Customers who choose the optional Mark Levinson system would also have to install the optional Lexus Navigation package as the display screen is integrated. The Lexus Navigation system comes with a 7-inch touch screen neatly housed in the dashboard and can be interfaced with the reverse camera system. Bluetooth connectivity is also in the Navigation Package, enabling mobile phones to be connected for handsfree conversations and calls through the steering wheel controls.

Maps of Malaysia (including Sabah & Sarawak), Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia are provided and have numerous points of interest (POIs) to help the driver locate petrol stations, restaurants, hotels and of course, Lexus service centres in each country.


The rear-wheel driven IS 250 is powered by a DOHC 24-valve 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a light aluminium die-cast cylinder block and intake manifold, and a resin-made intake chamber. Featuring the D4 direct-injection technology which affords this unit with a very high injection pressure, it develops a respectable 205hp at 6,400 rpm, and a class-leading 252 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. These figures give the IS 250 the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/ in 8.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 225 km/h.

The adoption of D-4 direct injection technology reduces the intake mixture temperature, which allows for a higher compression ratio, resulting in both enhanced power output and fuel efficiency. Unlike conventional petrol engines, this unit can control both injection timing and volume, for greater precision. In addition, compression stroke injection is applied during cold engine starts to increase exhaust gas temperature and expedite catalyst warm-up, starting the chemical reaction that converts the poisonous components in exhaust gases to harmless gases and moisture.

The engine also has Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) controlling both intake and exhaust camshafts to significantly enhance performance. Able to control intake and exhaust camshafts through angles of up to 40 and 35 degrees respectively, Dual VVT-i allows a greater intake/exhaust valve overlap, benefiting both low-end and top-end torque as well as contributing to a reduction in exhaust emissions and better starting performance.

With a dual-tube exhaust manifold construction, both heat-loss and noise are reduced, although some rumble and audible grunt from the V6 lumps that lays nestled under the front bonnet would be a boon rather than a bane for some. The enlarged dual main mufflers with variable back-pressure valves and a long-tail structure both reduce low-frequency booming noise – 7dB less at 1,200 rpm – and reduce high rpm back-pressure by 30 percent to enhance engine output.

A closely-spaced 6-speed automatic transmission with A.I. SHIFT Sport Driving Control is standard. This advanced transmission features paddle-shift control, with large dedicated upshift and downshift paddles so as not to confuse the driver, which has happened in other manufacturer’s models that have paddle shifters. The gear shift paddles are mounted directly on the back of the steering wheel, eliminating the need to readjust steering wheel grip, even when cornering. In addition, gear selection can also be performed through the conventional gear lever. Providing a faster downshift than fully automatic mode, the sequential mode, a favourite of the Traffic Mag crew, allows for greater driver involvement to exploit the IS 250’s dynamic abilities to the fullest.

AI-SHIFT Sport Driving Control (an Artificial Intelligence control program) automatically changes the gear shifting schedule according to road conditions and driving style. The ECT-Power mode enhances enthusiastic driving pleasure with a more responsive throttle and transmission setting, holding the gears for instantaneous acceleration. While an enhanced lock-up timing control improves fuel consumption in 5th and 6th gears, an automatic transmission fluid warmer helps benefits fuel economy during cold starts.

The IS 250’s front and rear suspension system provide superior handling dynamics with a high threshold for more spirited driving. The suspension design optimizes dynamic wheel alignment to help provide precise, confident handling and maximum tyre grip. A rear transverse brace between the rear suspension arms provide additional stiffness for better body control. All this is a clear indication that the 2011 IS 250 is a car that should do well in ‘Touge’ sessions, provided when put in the hands of an experienced driver.

With its high levels of performance, the IS 250 has to have enough stopping power too. This comes from 296-mm ventilated disc brakes front and 291-mm solid disc brakes at the rear with a brake-fade pressure compensation system. A link-type variable ratio brake pedal provides a progressive action combining optimum low-deceleration feel with maximum high-deceleration power.


Since the 2009 model year, the IS 250 has had Lexus Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM), a new concept of vehicle kinematics control that integrates brake control, drive power control, steering control and coordinated control with the automatic transmission. This is a very advanced form of vehicle stability control and helps the driver to retain control of the car in low traction conditions by automatically applying the brakes to counteract understeer or oversteer and at the same time, adjusting engine torque to match. Since the Traffic Crew is made up of a couple of daring, daredevil, motoring and motorsports enthusiasts, the Traffic Mag crew would not at all mind owning this beautiful piece of fine prestigious Japanese motoring, albeit without VDIM so that the thrills and spills of understeer and oversteer can be experienced and controlled by the driver. Though Traffic Mag does acknowledge that such a system is cutting edge, and is absolutely necessary for the well-being and safety of the car’s driver and occupants.

Other Active Safety features include 4-wheel ABS (anti-lock braking), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The brighter HID headlights provide better illumination of the road ahead while ingenious headlamp washers (integrated with the front bumper) send a high-pressure spray of water onto the headlights to remove dirt that may collect while driving in bad weather.

Inside the cabin, there are areas which are fitted with energy-absorbing material to reduce injuries to the passengers. These areas include the ceiling and roof pillars where the head may hit during an accident.

No less than 8 airbags surround the cabin to provide maximum protection for the occupants during an accident. During frontal collisions, the airbags for the front passenger and driver will deploy along with smaller airbags at knee level. If there is an impact on the side of the IS 250, airbags at the sides of each front seat will inflate and curtain airbags will also deploy over the windows, providing protection and reducing injuries. The airbag for the driver has a multi-stage inflation strategy where the severity of the impact will determine the speed of inflation.

Whiplash is a painful condition that occurs when an accident occurs from behind and the head is flung backwards, causing extreme stress on the spinal area. The front seats of the IS 250 have a special design to reduce such an injury.

As with most of the models offered by Lexus Malaysia, a division of UMW Toyota Motor, the new Lexus IS 250 Luxury and IS 250 come with a 36-month/100,000 kms (whichever occurs earlier after first registration) warranty, subject to conditions stated in the Owner’s Handbook.

For further information, please call Lexus’s Toll Free Line: 1 800 88 53987 (1-800-88-LEXUS), or log on to

words: Azdee Amir  pix: Lexus Malaysia


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