While sharing the powertrain and front-end styling of the IS200 saloon, the SportCross pays careful attention to structural rigidity and weight distribution, including the use of an aluminium tailgate, to ensure that it handles as well as the best sports saloons.
Clever interior design ensures that while having a rear profile similar to a sleek coupé, the IS200 SportCross can accommodate over 340 litres of luggage under its parcel cover with rear seats upright. A further 36 litres of space is available in additional covered storage boxes, while with seats folded items over 2.6m long can be carried.
The Lexus IS200 and IS300 SportCross models share the same platform as the IS saloon models, but have a slightly increased length of 4505mm, while the wheelbase remains identical at 2670mm. Although both models share similar front-end styling, a reprofiled front bumper exclusive to the SportCross gives the model a more sporting and wider, more robust appearance.
The sharply wedged silhouette commences with a powerful bulging bonnet line dipping sharply down towards the grille, emphasising the dynamic overall shape and significantly improving air flow over the body. The familiar Lexus grille features three horizontal bars. It is combined with angled headlamps, low slung spoiler and built-in fog lamps to add to the sports effect.
The side mouldings on both the saloon and the SportCross give the cars a strong stance and offer a high level of protection. Made out of polypropylene, they give a reduction in weight as well as improving recyclability.
The rear bumper styling links smoothly with the alloy rear door, that wraps around the side, while the rear door glass has been given a rounded shape, expressing a feeling of solidity.
The rear tailgate handle is operated by a micro-switch, allowing a traditional locking key cylinder to be removed. As soon as the switch is activated, either manually or using the remote control, the door can be opened. However it automatically remains locked if the central locking is applied or the vehicle is in motion.
Subtle aerodynamic aids allow the achievement of a low co-efficient of drag (Cd) of 0.30 (only 0.01 up from the saloon’s Cd 0.29) for improved fuel consumption at speed and also actively utilise the airflow to contribute both to the straight-line stability and during high-speed cornering.
Further airflow enhancements include the rounding of the lower part of the front bumper and bonnet lip, resulting in both smoother airflow and reduced drag.
The grille design features a dramatically reduced aperture to further control underbonnet airflow. While the grille itself remains the same size, 80 per cent of its openings are now sealed to reduce turbulence and drag.
This is a 22-year+ news article, from our Lexus archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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