As next month’s 2010 Paris Auto Show approaches, more and more of the event’s highlights are starting to be revealed in the lead up. The latest is the mid-cycle facelift for the 2011 Lexus IS, the most significant changes to the IS range since launch back in 2005.

The most obvious change is to the car’s styling, with new headlight and rear light designs, a revised front grille design, plus new exterior colors and alloy wheel designs. There are also new LED daytime running lights added to the headlights.

Under the hood, the entire IS engine range has been made cleaner, achieving better fuel economy and CO2 emissions with no penalty in performance.

The sporty F-Sport model has also been upgraded, which now echoes even more loudly the looks of its ultra-high-performance sister, the IS F. For 2011, the F-Sport specification includes a new deep front spoiler with faired-in fog lights, a new grille design and a rear spoiler with integrated stop light. The new-design 18 inch alloy wheels have a dark silver finish and black center Lexus roundel, directly inspired by the IS F.

Inside the sports factor continues with an F-Sport steering wheel, gear lever and sports pedals and front seats finished in leather and Alcantara. Extra touches of titanium-effect trim and a dark, anthracite roof liner are also introduced.

Expect all pricing and specification details to be released closer to the launch of the 2011 Lexus IS range towards the end of this year.