2014 Lexus IS spy shots
However, some lucky journos have already test driven a prototype version and have managed to learn many of its new details.
Those details include confirmation that the car will be available in IS 250, IS 300h and IS 350 trims, the latter getting a brand new hybrid drivetrain previewed in the recent Lexus LF-CC concept car. On top of this, there will also be F Sport packages available on all of these.
While we’ll have to wait until the car’s Detroit debut to learn of U.S. specifications, we can confirm that the base IS 250 will be powered by a 2.5-liter V-6 engine, a more expensive IS 300h gets a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired in parallel to an electric motor, while a range-topping IS 350 gets the same 3.5-liter V-6 offered in the GS 350.
Unfortunately, there's been no mention of a turbocharger for the hybrid, like on the LF-CC concept, and to make matters worse it’s unlikely the IS 300h will even be offered in the U.S. Lexus is promoting hybrids as an alternative to diesel for its customers in Europe.
The IS 300h is expected to deliver 240 horsepower and be capable of 0-60 mph acceleration of around 7.0 seconds. Overall weight of this hybrid model is said to be a portly 3,900 pounds. The IS 350, meanwhile, should get close to 306 horsepower and a 0-60 time of less than 6 seconds, while the IS 250 will be slowest of the bunch with its output just eclipsing the 200-horsepower mark.
The new 2014 IS shares its platform with the larger GS, though its wheelbase is shorter and its track slightly narrower. The platform has been made stiff thanks to extra adhesives and spot welds, as well as a new construction technique called laser screw welding.
The suspension consists of double wishbones up front and a multi-link setup in the rear. There are also anti-roll bars at both ends and softer spring rates aimed at improving ride comfort. Interestingly, the transmission on the hybrid is a CVT. The regular IS 250 and IS 350 get Lexus’ own eight-speed automatic.
Stay tuned for the 2014 Lexus IS’ official reveal in just a few weeks, but in the meantime head over to Automobile Magazine to read their initial driving impressions of the prototype IS 350 F Sport.