New F Sport model is based on the ancient dye that inspired Japan's football kit.

Lexus has updated its 3 Series-rivalling IS saloon for 2020 with the addition of a new high-spec, limited-edition version with a distinctly blue theme.

Dubbed the F Sport I Blue, the new model is essentially a sporty F Sport model with a few extra goodies bolted on. The name - and the blue theme - is inspired by ‘ai-iro’, the ancient indigo plant dye that became known as ‘Japan blue’. It’s the colour featured on the Japanese football team’s kit, and the official logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to Nagoya-based car maker Lexus, more than 100 shades of ai-iro are recognised in Japan, but the company Lexus chose the ‘kachi-iro’ shade for the wooden steering wheel trim in what the manufacturer calls “a good luck touch”, as kachi means ‘to win’. The blue theme is replicated on the panels around the window controls on the doors and inserts, as well as stitching in the black and grey Tahara “leather-like” upholstery.

2020 Lexus IS I Blue

But for all the blue on the inside, you don’t have to have blue paintwork. Of course, there’s always the Azure Blue seen in these images, but customers can also go for Sonic White or Graphite Black.

And aside from the blue theme, Lexus has also given the car some more conventional upgrades to help buyers justify the price hike over the standard F Sport. There’s glossy black trim for the front grille, while the door mirrors get shiny black casings.

That’s all in addition to the standard F Sport additions of 18-inch F Sport alloy wheels and black trim around the fog lights, as well as the aluminium sports pedals, sports suspension and sports front seats. The I Blue, however, does add Premium Navigation with a 10-inch display, power-adjustable front seats with ventilation and a memory setting, plus auto-folding and auto-dimming functions for the door mirrors.

2020 Lexus IS I Blue

As an optional extra, customers will be able to specify a Premium Pack that adds triple-LED headlights with automatic high beam, smart entry and start, as well as a reversing camera and steering wheel heater.

And the £39,520 I Blue model isn’t the only change to the IS range for 2020. Other models will get the option of a new paint colour – Manganese Lustre – and there’s a new Sport Pack option trim with Black and Noble Brown Tahara upholstery, as well as black metal inlays on the dashboard.

Gallery: Lexus IS F Sport I Blue