Car Review: 2016 Lexus IS200t, Comfortably Corporate And Plenty Of Fun

Who said corporate is all stiff shirts and no fun? Probably no-one who is actually corporate, we’re guessing.

Well the 2016 Lexus IS200t shows it’s quite easy to mix business, pleasure and party with refined balance… and not in an awkward mullet hairstyle kind of way like I saw plenty of when behind its wheel over the Clipsal 500 weekend.

Not that I have anything against the passionate tribes who flock to our spectacular eastside street circuit for what remains the best race on the V8 Supercar calendar… even when dumped upon from the heavens above.

It’s just that one expected to be a bit out of place when I ventured to the track in the Lexus IS200t. It was a fair contrast to the visit made to the East End and Producers Hotel for some Fringe goodness a few days earlier, one thought.

One was wrong.

It turns out a Lexus is just at home at our grand track as it is pulled up outside Le Carpe Diem Cafe Creperie on Grenfell Street (the Margaux for mine, btw).

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In fact, Sunday’s rain soaked Clipsal racing showed just how at home a Lexus is there among the race cars… the Lexus RC-F safety car spending more time at the front of the pack than any of the competitors.

There was a decent serving of praise from my motorhead mates for the IS200t I turned up in, and was later picked up in.

And rightly so.

While some cannot warm to its skin, and I have some dislikes mixed with approvals myself, a drive of the 2.0 litre turbo-charged four-cylinder upper-luxury market entry vehicle is likely to influence those thoughts.

It puts out an impressive 180kW of power and has a claimed fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km (our around town test coupled with an open road stretch to Minlaton on Yorke Peninsula, returned 9.9L/100km).

Most impressive though is its pin-sharp handling. It has been a while since I’ve muttered the words: “It’s on rails” (how very race-ready I was).

Paddle shifts to work your way through the 8-Speed Sequential Transmission add to the driving fun, and there’s Drive Mode Select with ECO, Normal and Sport options to also entertain the “drivers” out there.

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The paddle-pad controller for the central display initially seems harder to work out than pit stops and fuel loads for a rain interrupted Clipsal race, but my kid could work it out with only a couple of tries so it can be done.

There’s a great deal of standard kit on this one. And it’s delivered with class and quality materials, inside and out. The Lexus IS200t delivers your slice of corporate cake… and throws in the party to go with it.

Priced from $57,500 for the entry level Luxury model.

Where We Went

Little Miss Crab Shack – Pre-Fringe Show fun. No crabs were harmed in the making of said fun.

Producers Hotel – For a serving of Fringe Goodness and a somewhat appropriately titled performance – Beers About Songs – given the following week’s ventures.

Le Carpe Diem Cafe Creperie – Post-Fringe Show fun. Figs, and waistlines, were harmed in the making of said fun.

Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula – One can drive to, but not past, Minlaton Bakery. I dare one to try.

Clipsal 500 – Somewhere I’m sure we may see more Lexus vehicles in future. And not just trackside.

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