Lexus reckons its new hybrid model is ready to take on the established and dominant diesel cars which currently steal much of the company car market.
The new IS 300h offers a cost of ownership unmatched by any of its 2.0 litre diesel rivals in the premium saloon market thanks to its combination of low maintenance and running costs and tax benefits secured by its efficient full hybrid powertrain.
Featuring the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain in the IS at the first time, the model now achieves fuel economy as strong as 65.7 mpg and emissions of just 99g/km CO2.
Thanks to this hybrid drivetrain, maintenance costs are kept to a minimum too. It has no clutch; the starter motor and alternator are integrated into the hybrid system, so require no servicing or replacement during the vehicle’s lifetime; and instead of a timing belt, it uses a maintenance-free timing chain.
For owners this means lower servicing bills and savings on replacement parts.
Lexus Hybrid Drive also has an impact on brake and tyre wear: the system’s regenerative braking delivers the initial braking force, which significantly reduces wear on pads and discs.
Lexus hybrids run with 20 per cent higher tyre pressure, which helps reduce shoulder wear while the IS’s balanced weight distribution also means less wear on the front tyre treads.
Compared to rival 2.0-litre diesel automatic models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the IS 300h is expected to offer savings on service, maintenance and repair costs alone of up to £443 over three years, reflecting the reduced labour time required.
Then there is the tax advantages; thanks to its sub 100g/km CO2 emissions, the IS 300h also attracts low BiK charges and no annual road tax.
Low benefit-in-kind company car tax rates mean a 40 per cent tax payer is likely to pay as much as £923 a year less than the driver of a new Audi A4 2.0 TDI SE Multitronic over the first three years of ownership.
Likewise a business adding the hybrid Lexus to its fleet will appreciate the lower fuel, insurance and service, maintenance and repair costs.
The new IS range will be launched in the UK in July, with prices for the IS 300h starting at £29,495 for the SE version.