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Car of the Week - September 3, 2001

2002 Lexus IS 300

Lexus IS 300

We recently testdrove the new 2002 IS 300s both on the winding roads beyond Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak International Raceway - and as you might have guessed, this impressive quality car performed with style and grace. Building on the momentum of the 2001 models, here are the salient features:

2002 will see 2 new versions of the IS 300: the IS 300 SportCross with its +1-door body style and a second IS 300 sedan featuring a five-speed manual transmission and specially tuned suspension. The two new models join the original IS 300 E-Shift sport sedan introduced for 2001, which continues for 2002 with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Two new safety systems include Brake Assist and front side curtain airbags supplemental restraint system (SRS). The Lexus Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) system helps control traction and stability while cornering on slippery or dry road surfaces by using throttle intervention and/or applying individual wheel braking to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading.

Lexus IS 300

New comfort features for all IS 300 models include an auto-dimming inside electrochromic rearview mirror with compass, a driver's side electrochromic rearview mirror and a new front center armrest. The dashboard features more black coverage and softer materials.

The Lexus Navigation System uses a DVD for map storage, containing the entire contiguous United States, plus Canada, on one disc. Compared to previous Lexus navigation systems, this new system includes a new navigation computer. The resulting improvements include multi-language selection and route calculation that's twice as fast as before, with speedier map scrolling, as well. New functions include multi-route calculation, route preview, simplified highway junction graphics and a dual-map screen mode.

Lexus IS 300

The IS 300's 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine -- shared with the larger GS 300 sedan -- produces 215 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 218 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,800 rpm. The engine delivers both high-revving power and strong low-end and mid-range torque, due in large part to Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). Engine specifications are the same for all IS 300 models.

- Editor

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