Once considered a black art, turbocharging is everywhere you look today – and for good reason. Big outputs from small capacity engines and a clean burn with fuel efficiency through direct injection are some of the reasons why manufacturers are turning to forced induction. It’s good news for enthusiasts – and here’s some more: Lexus is finally giving its IS sedan the boost it’s been crying out for with the announcement of the long-awaited IS 200t.
Available from September, the 200t replaces the lethargic 2.5-litre V6 powered IS 250, using the 2.0-litre four cylinder 8AR-FTS engine – Lexus’s first turbocharged petrol powerplant – borrowed from the 2015 NX 200t crossover, albeit in a slightly retuned form.
With 241hp and 350Nm, Lexus claims the IS 200t will go 0-100km/h in seven seconds and reach a top speed of 230km/h (143mph) – numbers that definitely aren’t going to set the performance sedan world alight when compared to machines like the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, but not a bad place to start for angrier and more focused ‘F’ variants in the not to distant future – if we’re lucky.
Through D4-ST injection, a cylinder head integrated exhaust manifold with twin-scroll turbocharger and an air-to-liquid intercooler mounted directly on the engine, Lexus says the IS 200t will benefit from “fast throttle response, instantaneous torque, minimal turbo lag and strong fuel economy.” Furthermore, drive is transferred to the rear wheels via an intuitive 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission originally developed for the high performance RC F coupe.
Whether there’s any real performance potential here remains to be seen for time being, but at least Lexus appears to be headed in the right direction with its entry-level IS sedan. And that said, what would you like to see in a boosted IS 200 F SPORT – or even a new turbocharged IS F version?
The world of Japanese domestic market automobiles is a large and exciting one. For decades people from across the world have been lusting after the special machines sold in Japan’s home market, and many of them are globally known and loved.
The Nissan Silvia is one of those cars, along with the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Celica and Subaru Impreza just to name a few. But along with those universally popular cars, Japanese automakers have also cranked out some much more obscure, but equally interesting vehicles over the years.
These cars might not enjoy the same recognition and international following as their more favored counterparts, but for Japanese car geeks they are every bit as cool. For every Integra Type R there’s a Honda City. For every Skyline GT-R there’s a Nissan Leopard. And for every AE86 there’s a Toyota Carina.
The Carina was introduced in 1970 as an intermediate model in Toyota’s lineup. Available as a coupe, a four-door sedan and later a wagon, the Carina slotted in between the small Corolla and Toyota’s larger sedan offerings. It was also aimed more toward the enthusiast side of the market, with the first generation cars sharing their underpinnings with the Celica.
While it never enjoyed the widespread popularity of the Celica, the Carina continued to occupy a unique space in Toyota’s range. It delivered a decent amount of space, along with a tighter, more sporting character than you’d find in larger cars like the Mark II, which were aimed more toward the luxury/comfort side of the market.
With the introduction of third generation A60 model in the 1980s, the Carina continued to serve as a unique choice for those looking for a practical rear-wheel drive experience. It was even used for competition in the Paris-Dakar rallies during the early part of the decade.
The A60 Carina was available with a few different engine options, including a 3T-GTE turbo four cylinder and the legendary twin cam 4A-GE made famous in the AE86.
And because it shared the Hachiroku‘s engine, as well as a similar footprint and styling, in many ways the A60 Carina sedan can be considered a four-door AE86. It’s thanks to those attributes that the Carina has developed a cult-like following among drifters and Toyota enthusiasts.