The first Lexus to be designed for the European market,the Lexus IS, has just topped one million sales worldwide.

A huge achievement for a car that has blazed a trail for Lexus since its introduction in 1999, the Lexus IS range has helped to bring the sporty aspects of the brand onto the world stage. The car has picked up a collection of awards along its exciting journey, including being ranked the top model in the WhatCar? and J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey in 2011, as well as winning the public vote for Britain’s Best New Car under its most recent incarnation in the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power honours.

Designed to bring new, younger customers to the brand, the Lexus IS’s sporty demeanour coupled with sharp styling offered a responsive straight-six 2.0-litre engine and rear-wheel drive. It was the third Lexus to make its debut in Europe, behind the LS and GS models, and the high-class driving performance matched with equally impressive equipment and safety features to dominate a large and highly competitive part of the premium car market.

The second generation IS made its global debut in 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show with a new look rooted in Lexus’ new L-finesse design philosophy. The IS 250 offered a highly refined look with superior performance, powered by a 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which was followed only a year later by Lexus’ first diesel vehicle, the IS 220d.

Next to come was the fierce and focused Lexus IS F, the first to wear the prestigious F badge that now adorns the LFA supercar. The IS F was race track-bred, going through gruelling tests on both the Fuji Speedway in Japan and the Nürburgring in Germany. Every component from the engine to the tyres were engineered for dedicated performance, making it a true sports vehicle.

In 2009, Lexus pushed the boundaries of the IS’s versatility even further by introducing the IS 250C, a sleek four-seat coupé convertible with a three-part folding hardtop. The generous space both in the front and back, plus the fastest-operating roof mechanism on the market at the time meant that this model made a splash in both the style and comfort categories.

The current, third generation IS brings success in a new area for the model, with the introduction of Lexus Hybrid Drive. The IS 300h offers a fully hybrid drive, delivering superb smoothness and efficiency with the classic style that puts Lexus above the rest. Since the model’s launch in 2013, it has claimed 90% of IS sales in Europe.

Discover the Lexus IS today, and experience driving the way it was meant to be.