Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lexus Chief Engineer Says New IS' Goal is to Overtake the BMW 3-Series

For close to three decades now, the BMW 3-Series has been the benchmark for premium sport sedans. Over the years, many luxury carmakers tried but none has really succeeded in knocking down the 3-Series from its throne.

After GM and the new Cadillac ATS, it's the Toyota group's turn to take another swipe at BMW's best-seller with the completely redesigned 2014 Lexus IS.

In the latest episode of "The Downshift", Motor Trend magazine sits down and talks with Junichi Furuyama, the new Chief Engineer of the Lexus IS about the significant changes made to the sedan model.

"My mission is to overtake the BMW 3-Series as number one in the compact sedan category," says Furuyama. "That is the way I see it. That is the task we are assigned."

Furuyama admits that the previous IS fell short of expectations in terms of driving pleasure.

"As soon as I was assigned to be IS chief engineers of the IS, I drove all the rival cars and studies all the differences," he says. "Unfortunately, while I thought the IS was one of the sportier and more enjoyable cars in this segment, I found out that the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class were actually a few steps ahead of us. That was my initial feeling."

You can view the entire interview in the video that follows.


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