2023 Lexus IS Unveiled With New Special Appearance Package

Special Editions / 10 Comments

Slick new styling and more features form part of the 2023 updates for the Lexus IS.

Following a major makeover in 2021, the Lexus IS was much better equipped to battle the competition. But with a facelifted BMW 3 Series and new Mercedes C-Class on the scene, Lexus can't be left behind. As such, Lexus has updated the IS for 2023 with additional standard features and more options than before. And, there's a new limited edition variant of the range-topping IS 500.

It seems Lexus has forgotten about the 300 derivatives, as most of the changes pertain to the performance-minded 350 F Sport and IS 500 models.

Starting at the lower end of things, the IS 350 is available in either RWD or AWD with the V6-powered model offered in a new F Sport Design trim. 19-inch wheels and F Sport exterior bits such as sportier bumpers, a rear lip spoiler, revised grille, and badging form part of the look.


New options will also be added to the mix. The Handling Package introduces Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Drive Mode Select with Sport S/S+ and Custom settings. Rear-wheel drive models also receive a Torsen limited-slip rear differential. Buyers can add slick-looking 19-inch BBS forged wheels painted in Matte Black.

Additionally, the 350 F Sport will be made available with a new Special Appearance Package. This pairs an exclusive Incognito paint finish with an Obsidian black hood and roof. The looks are finished off with 19-inch Enkei wheels. These will be highly limited, however, as Lexus plans on making 480 examples. Expect it to hit dealership floors this fall.

Power remains unchanged; the V6 produces 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. RWD models use an eight-speed automatic, while AWD variants receive a six-speed auto 'box.


Moving on to the IS 500, new 19-inch Enkei wheels are standard fitment for 2023. The popularity of the IS 500 Launch Edition has motivated Lexus to keep the 19-inch Matte Black BBS forged wheels as an option, for the F Sport Performance models.

The Special Appearance Package will be made available for the IS 500 too, albeit with some changes. The V8-powered model receives Molten Pearl paintwork, complemented by the BBS wheels. The package also includes color-matched floor-trimmed mats and key gloves. Even fewer models will be made (just 150) and, like the 350, will go on sale this fall.

Again, the rumbly 5.0-liter V8 hasn't been fettled with. As a reminder, power is pegged at 472 hp and 395 lb-ft, sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

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For some reason, the regular IS 300 twins haven't received any changes for the new model year. Still, we can discuss the generous standard features. The front seats are power-adjustable (10-way for the driver, eight-way for the passenger), and there's dual-zone climate control and NuLuxe (synthetic leather) upholstery.

The rear-wheel-drive model receives a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 241 hp and 258 lb-ft, while the AWD model gets the 3.5-liter V6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft. It's a shame the lesser variants didn't get an update, as it's much needed.

Pricing is as follows: IS 300 ($39,435), IS 350 F Sport Design, ($42,510), and IS 350 F Sport ($43,760). All-wheel drive models command a $2,000 premium. The 500 F Sport carries a $57,120 price tag, while the Premium derivative is $61,620. The figures quoted here don't include the $1,150 delivery fee.


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