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Lost amidst the NAIAS hoopla over the 2006 Lexus GS and 2005 RX400h was the announcement of the 2004 Lexus IS SportDesign. The main changes vs the 2003 SD include a new Alabaster Metallic exterior color (Thundercloud Gray and Black Onyx carry over from '03 SD) and, for manual versions, a Euro-tuned Suspension, with a 20 percent higher dampening rate and a thicker rear stabilizer bar. (Always a plus in our book).Naturally, there are several unique cosmetic touches as well.

The 11-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels are finished in silver for Alabaster models and charcoal for all others. The head, fog and tail lights have titanium-finish housings. There's a special tailpipe diffuser finished in a double layer of chrome,a black metallic front grille and black pearl SportDesign badging.The full leather interior is available in either black or smoke (gray).The 2004 IS 300 SportDesign goes on sale in late January 2004. Approximately 2,000 units are being produced and carry a premium of $1,715 (which includes the leather package) above the current base model IS 300 price of $29,435.
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