Lexus is planning to rival the BMW 320d for economy and emissions when it introduces its new hybrid IS300h saloon next June.

Speaking to BusinessCar at an exclusive drive of a pre-production IS, Lexus GB director Richard Balshaw admitted the firm is aiming to achieve below 100g/km CO2 plus around 64mpg, which was matched during a short test drive.

Lexus will not offer a diesel IS this time, while the hybrid is likely to account for around 80% of IS sales in the UK, the rest being petrol.

Official prices have yet to be announced but are likely to competitive against other prestige saloon 2.0-litre diesel autos.

A traditional petrol-powered IS250 with a 2.5-litre V6 will also be available with a 2.0-litre petrol likely to join the range in 2014.

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