How to Make Lexus IS 200t Faster [Performance Upgrades]

The Lexus IS 200t is a sleek and refined compact luxury sedan that has captivated the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide. Known for its balance of comfort and sportiness, this vehicle embodies the perfect blend of elegance and performance.

However, for those seeking an extra thrill on the road, there’s always an innate desire to push the boundaries of speed and performance. In this article, we’ll look at easy ways to make your Lexus IS 200t faster as well as enhance the overall driving experience.

About Lexus IS 200t

The Lexus IS 200t is a compact luxury sedan produced by Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. It is part of the Lexus IS (Intelligent Sport) series, which has been in production since the late 1990s. The IS 200t was introduced as part of the third generation of the IS series, which debuted for the 2014 model year.

As a Lexus model, the IS 200t comes equipped with a range of luxury features and amenities, including premium materials, advanced technology, and comfort-oriented features such as leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and a premium sound system.

Lexus IS 200t Specifications

Engine Type: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
Power: 179 kW
Displacement: 1,998 cc (122 cu in)
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Rev. at Max Power: 4,800 – 5,600 rpm
Horsepower: Approximately 244 HP
Torque: 258 lb-ft.
Engine Oil: Synthetic Oil (0W-20 | 5W-20 | 5W-30)
Transmission Type: 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain: RWD
Speed PerformanceBrakes
Top Speed: 143 mph (electronically limited)
Acceleration, 0-100 km/h: 7 sec
Acceleration, 0-60 mph: 6.9 sec
Front Brakes: Ventilated Discs
Rear Brakes: Ventilated Discs
Brake Assist: ABS, TCS, EBA
Fuel Type: Premium Unleaded (recommended)
Fuel Tank Capacity: Approximately 17.4 gallons (65.8 liters)
Fuel Economy: 9.2 l/100km city, 5.8 l/100km, highway 7 l/100km combined
Length: Approximately 183.7 inches
Width: Approximately 71.3 inches
Height: Approximately 56.3 inches
Wheelbase: Approximately 110.2 inches
Ground Clearance: 4.8 inches
Curb Weight: Approximately 3,704 lbs.
Cargo Capacity: 981 lbs.
Roof Load: 165 lbs.
Number of Bolts: 5
Nut/Bolt Dimensions: M12x1.5
Fastening Type: Lug Nuts
Rim Type: Disc Wheel
Chassis and BodyLights
Chassis: Sedan
Number of Doors: 4
Main Beam: LED
Low Beam: LED
Rear Lights: LED
How to Make Lexus IS 200t Faster

How to Make Lexus IS 200t Faster

The speed or performance of a vehicle like the Lexus IS 200t can be relative and subjective, depending on individual preferences and comparisons with other vehicles. But generally, the Lexus IS 200t can be considered moderately fast within its class of compact luxury sedans.

However, if you’re seeking to make the Lexus IS 200t faster, you should consider various aftermarket modifications and performance upgrades to help enhance its power, acceleration, and overall performance. Some of these modifications include engine tuning, turbocharger upgrades, intake and exhaust enhancements, intercooler upgrades, and suspension and chassis upgrades, among others.

Lexus IS 200t Performance Upgrades

Engine Upgrades

Upgrading the engine can contribute to a significant increase in performance, allowing your Lexus IS 200t to accelerate quicker, achieve higher speeds more easily, and provide a more exhilarating driving experience overall.

This may involve modifying elements like engine management system, installing forced induction (turbochargers or superchargers), upgrading fuel and cooling systems, and upgrading internal engine components.

Engine Tuning

Tuning the engine management system is the best way to ensure that your IS 200t operates at its peak performance. This involves adjusting parameters such as fuel delivery, ignition timing, and boost levels to optimize power output and throttle response. Proper engine tuning not only enhances performance but also improves fuel efficiency and drivability.

You can tune the engine manually by adjusting parameters directly within the engine management system’s software or through the use of aftermarket tuning devices or software. Professional tuners often utilize dynamometers to accurately measure engine performance and make fine-tuned adjustments to achieve optimal results while ensuring the engine’s longevity.

Turbocharger Modifications

Lexus IS 200t comes with a turbocharged engine to provide a balance of power and efficiency. Upgrading the turbocharger can have a profound impact on the performance of a vehicle, including improved acceleration, higher top speeds, and enhanced overall driving dynamics.

Ideally, using a larger turbocharger helps deliver higher volumes of compressed air to the engine, enabling it to generate more power during combustion. In addition, Lexus IS 200t turbo upgrade provides a noticeable boost in horsepower and torque, making the vehicle accelerate quicker and more aggressively.

The turbocharged engine may also benefit from an aftermarket Lexus IS 200t blow-off valve. Installing a performance-oriented BOV helps improve turbo response by reducing the lag between throttle input changes. This helps ensure that excess boost pressure is released quickly when the throttle is closed, which allows the turbocharger to maintain its speed more effectively between gear changes or during rapid throttle transition.

Install a Supercharger

A supercharger is a mechanical device that helps to force more air into an internal combustion engine’s cylinders. Unlike turbochargers, which rely on exhaust gases to drive a turbine, superchargers provide instant power gains as they are directly connected to the engine’s rotational speed.

One key advantage of installing a supercharger is its ability to enhance low-end torque and overall engine response. As such, installing one in your Lexus IS 200t can provide significant performance gains and enhance the driving experience.

Fuel System Upgrades

Upgrading the fuel system ensures that the engine receives an adequate fuel supply to support the increased power output. This may involve installing high-performance fuel injectors as well as modifying the fuel pump and fuel lines to handle higher fuel demands. These mods translate to improved acceleration, better throttle response, and enhanced performance, making the vehicle faster and more exhilarating to drive.

Modifying Intercooler

For turbocharged engines, upgrading the intercooler is essential to maximize performance. Turbocharged engines often benefit from higher boost levels to achieve greater power output. However, as boost pressure increases, so does the temperature of the compressed air. As such, you may want to install an intercooler with a larger surface area and more efficient cooling properties that can effectively dissipate the additional heat generated by higher boost levels.

Intake System Upgrade

Upgrading the intake system of a Lexus IS 200t can positively impact its engine’s performance and the driving experience. This often entails replacing the factory air filter, airbox, and intake piping with aftermarket components designed to improve airflow. This allows the engine to breathe more freely, resulting in increased air intake volume and improved performance.

Furthermore, factory intake systems are often designed with restrictions to reduce engine noise and meet emissions standards. Upgrading to a less restrictive aftermarket intake system helps minimize airflow restrictions, allowing the engine to ingest air more efficiently. As a result, the engine receives a greater volume of air, leading to improved throttle response and increased horsepower.

Exhaust System Modifications

Upgrading the exhaust system is a popular modification among enthusiasts looking to enhance their vehicle’s performance and driving experience. Aftermarket exhaust systems typically feature larger diameter piping, less restrictive mufflers, and optimized exhaust routing compared to the stock exhaust system.

This enables the engine to breathe more efficiently, leading to power gains and enhanced performance. With improved exhaust flow, the engine can expel exhaust gases more quickly and effectively. This allows the engine to generate more power, leading to improved acceleration and higher top speeds.

Suspension and Handling

Improving the suspension and handling of a Lexus IS 200t is also crucial in making the vehicle faster. For instance, installing stiffer springs and shocks helps reduce body roll and maintain better control over the vehicle’s weight transfer during acceleration, braking, and cornering. This stability allows the vehicle to maintain higher speeds with confidence, thereby improving overall straight-line performance.

On the other hand, lowering the ride height of the vehicle can also improve handling by lowering the car’s center of gravity. This, in turn, helps to reduce body roll further and enhance stability, particularly during high-speed cornering. Overall, enhancing these aspects allows the driver to push the limits of the vehicle’s performance and achieve faster lap times.

Transmission Upgrades

Another simple way to enhance the speed of a Lexus IS 200t is by upgrading its transmission. Tweaking the transmission of a Lexus IS 200t has a direct impact on its speed and overall performance. Upgrading the transmission often involves various modifications, such as;

A High-Performance Clutch

Installing a high-performance clutch is one of the best ways of improving the transmission’s ability to handle increased power levels. Aftermarket clutches are designed to provide better engagement and durability, ensuring that the transmission can efficiently transfer power from the engine to the wheels without slipping or experiencing premature wear. With improved performance, the vehicle can accelerate more aggressively and maintain higher speeds without compromising reliability.

Transmission Software Tuning

Modifying the transmission’s software helps optimize shift points, shift speed, and torque converter lockup, allowing for quicker gear changes and improved acceleration. The best part yet, you can customize the tuning to suit your vehicle’s specific performance goals and driving preferences.

Performance Torque Converter

Getting a performance torque converter is a great way to improve the transmission’s efficiency by transferring power more effectively from the engine to the wheels. A performance torque converter is designed to reduce slippage and maximize torque multiplication, resulting in faster acceleration and better overall performance.

Shift Kits

Installing a shift kit helps modify the transmission’s hydraulic circuitry to improve shift firmness and reduce shift times. This result in quicker gear changes and improved acceleration, which helps enhance the vehicle’s overall speed and responsiveness

Transmission Cooler

Adding a transmission cooler can help maintain optimal operating temperatures, especially during intense driving situations or in hot climates. Keeping the transmission fluid cool helps prevent overheating and ensures consistent performance, which allows the vehicle to maintain its speed and performance for longer periods.

ECU Remapping

ECU remapping is a highly effective method for increasing the speed and overall performance of a Lexus IS 200t. This involves adjusting the software parameters within the engine control unit to optimize fuel delivery, ignition timing, and other engine management settings.

Ideally, fine-tuning these parameters helps unleash additional horsepower and torque that may be restricted by factory settings. This allows the engine to operate more efficiently and produce more power, ultimately enhancing the vehicle’s speed and acceleration.

Weight Reduction

Weight reduction is a crucial aspect of making the Lexus IS 200t faster and more responsive. Generally, a lighter vehicle tends to have better handling characteristics, as there’s less mass to control during cornering and maneuvering.

In addition, reduced weight allows the vehicle to change direction more quickly and respond more precisely to driver inputs, leading to improved agility and overall driving dynamics. Some of the common methods you can use to reduce weight in a Lexus IS 200t include;

  • Removing non-essential components such as spare tires, rear seats (if not regularly used), and interior trim pieces.
  • Replacing heavy components with lightweight alternatives. For example, you can swap out heavy factory wheels for lighter alloy wheels to reduce unsprung weight and improve handling/acceleration.
  • Upgrading to lightweight materials carbon fiber body panels or aluminum suspension parts can help reduce overall vehicle weight without sacrificing structural integrity.
  • While sound deadening is essential for reducing road noise and vibrations, excessive amounts can add unnecessary weight to the vehicle. As such, you may want to consider optimizing the amount and placement of sound deadening material to achieve a balance between cabin comfort and weight savings. This may entail using lighter-weight materials or strategically placing sound deadening material in areas where it’s most effective.

Tires and Wheels

Upgrading tires and wheels is often considered one of the easiest ways to improve a car’s performance. The combination of high-performance tires and wheels can significantly improve the handling characteristics of a vehicle. With better grip, the car can corner at higher speeds with more confidence and stability, making it feel more responsive and agile.

In addition, performance wheels are often made from lightweight materials such as forged aluminum or carbon fiber. This material helps reduce unsprung weight (weight not supported by the car’s suspension), thereby enhancing overall vehicle dynamics, including acceleration, braking, and cornering performance.

High-performance tires can also improve braking performance by providing better traction and shorter stopping distances, especially under high-speed or heavy braking conditions. This can contribute to overall faster lap times and safer driving.

Some high-performance tires are engineered to minimize rolling resistance, which can improve fuel efficiency and reduce wasted energy. This will, in turn, allow more power from the engine to be transferred to the road.

The Bottom Line

Lexus IS 200t might not scream about its power and speed, but its design and engine are quite impressive. The IS 200t provides a fun driving experience, although maybe not enough to get hardcore car enthusiasts as excited. However, the addition of turbo power and other performance mods takes this model to a whole new level compared to what people usually expect from Lexus.

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