The Lexus IS is a series of entry-level luxury cars / compact executive cars sold by Lexus since 1998. The IS was introduced as an entry-level sport model slotted below the ES in the Lexus lineup (and outside of North America, the Lexus GS). The IS was originally sold under the Toyota Altezza nameplate in Japan (the word "altezza" is Italian for "highness") until the introduction of the Lexus brand and the second generation Lexus IS design in 2006. The Altezza name is still used at times to refer to chromed car taillights like those fitted to the first generation model, known as 'Altezza lights' or 'Lexus-style' lights.
On 6 December 2006, Lexus officially confirmed the existence of a high-performance variant of the second generation IS called the IS F. The Lexus IS F sedan (USE20) premiered at the 2007 North American International Auto Show on January 8, 2007 as the launch product of Lexus' F marque lineup of performance-focused vehicles. The IS F went on sale several months later in North America and Europe. The IS F is capable of 0–100 kph (0–62.1 mph) in 4.6 seconds, and has an electronically-limited top speed of 170 mph (270 km/h).
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