Passionately, madly in love with Lexus

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

At first no one could diagnose it. The disease manifested with the shakes.

After a long day's slog, I would get into the Lexus and suddenly feel revitalised. Consciously or not, I would pass the off-ramp towards home every time without fail. Once home I would get the shakes and go back to the car. The shops would beckon and I'd end up buying milk - the second carton that day. When my bed beckoned, the shakes and a deep sense of longing would envelope me . I had to see the doctor.

"Well mister, there's nothing physically wrong with you," he said. A chance comment about a long drive home led him to enquire what was I driving.

"Aha," he said, like Saul on the road to Damascus. "It's called Lexusilitis."

It made sense that the car was at the centre of my problem. H e asked for a quick test drive. Abandoning his patients, we went on what was supposed to be a quick drive. I dropped him off later. He was shaking. The bug had bitten him.

The last I heard, he'd called in his locum for the rest of the day and the next day he'd bought himself a new Lexus IS250.

I fell in love - completely and utterly - with the Lexus IS250. I couldn't help it. I'm still nursing a broken heart after having to take the car back.

The smooth drive, the stature, its sleek lines, the bright interior, the well-contoured ergonomics: everything about the car gave me the shakes, so to speak.

Apparently IS stands for "intell(rr)igent" and "sporty".

The makers of this premium brand say they wanted to create something with three areas of focus. The car had to be "personal and individual", they wanted me to treasure my time in the car, referred to as "time and moments", and the IS experience had to be unlike anything before, an experience in "sensory immersion".

This is big English coming from the Japanese, but the feeling was true for me and my immediate cohorts.

The powerplant is a 4GR-FSE quad cam 24-valve V6. Displacing 2500cc, the six-cylinder engine develops 153kW at 6400rpm and 252Nm of torque at 4800rpm.

Our manual version is far outclassed by the automatic transmission model I had the pleasure of driving for a day or so.

The manual IS250 can accelerate to 100kmh in 8,1 seconds and on to a top speed of 230kmh. The manufacturer claims a fuel consumption of 9,3litres for 100km in a combined cycle.

I still have the shakes and one day, maybe one day, I will be cured.