The Japanese automaker has successfully delivered more than one million units of the IS series, a contender in the BMW 3 Series category, a full 17 years since the model was first introduced.
Back late last month, the Lexus IS took home this important milestone when the production lines rolled the millionth example. The IS series was first launched no less than 17 years ago, in 1999 and it was the first product coming out of the Lexus drawing boards takes to specifically comply with European tastes, designed to take on compact luxury sedans such as the BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes C Class. Back then, the IS was motivated by a 2.0-liter, straight-six engine packing 150 ponies – followed by a larger three liter and the SportCross wagon – which also holds the title of Lexus’ one and only station wagon ever designed and manufactured.
The model is a great contender in the class and helped establish Lexus’ global claims – but it may also be recalled mostly, and oddly, thanks to its rear lights. They were jewel-like lamps in a chrome-effect housing with a clear cover – this style became immensely popular on the tuning scene. The second generation was introduced in 2004 and came up with the first ever Lexus diesel engine, as well as the mind-controlling V8-powered, 420 hp IS F. The third generation came in 2013 complete with the latest design pattern and Lexus says about 6000 examples are sold each month – so doing the math translates into 14 years for the next million.