2014 Lexus IS 350Enlarge Photo
At the 2014 Beijing Auto Show last month, Lexus unveiled its new NX compact crossover and confirmed that the base model for the U.S. would be a NX 200t powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The engine, Lexus’ first turbo, will eventually make its way into other models from the Japanese brand, with the next recipient expected to be the IS sedan.
Now it’s been revealed that the Japanese automaker has filed for the trademark “IS 200t” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This suggests Lexus is about to launch a turbocharged version of the IS. The trademark was filed on May 23, 2014.
What’s not clear is whether the turbo model will replace the current IS 250, which is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter V-6, or complement it. We think the IS 200t will end up replacing the IS 250 since Lexus’ turbocharged engine delivers 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque while the V-6 in the IS 250 only musters up 204 hp and 185 lb-ft.
In addition to the new IS 200t, it’s also possible that the IS range will receive the IS 300h hybrid model currently offered overseas, giving the car a three-model lineup (IS 200t, IS 300h and IS 350). The IS 300h’s hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine running an Atkinson cycle with an electric motor, and is common to the NX 300h and RC 300h models. However, a trademark for “IS 300h” is yet to be filed with the USPTO.
For more on the Lexus IS, read our first drive report.