2014 Lexus IS teaserEnlarge Photo
We first saw this with the latest GS range and later with the ES, both of which look rather dashing in their current form and worlds apart from the rather dull models they replace.
Next in the pipeline is the replacement for the LS flagship sedan and beyond that we should see a redesigned IS range, the latter is expected to be revealed late next year before starting sales early in 2014.
Sportier and more upmarket
Previously, we heard the new IS, which is expected to launch as a 2014 model, will be based on a stretched version of the rear-wheel drive platform underpinning the Scion FR-S and its Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 cousins.
Sharing this platform would mean Lexus could spread the cost of development with Toyota and also pave the way for a new IS coupe and possibly another convertible. In return the Scion FR-S and its corporate cousins would then also get a convertible option.
Though adopting a Toyota platform is yet to be confirmed, another major departure for the IS could be its exterior styling. Speaking with Drive, the marketing chief for Lexus Australia Peter Evans has revealed that the design of the new IS will be “revolutionary.” He explained that Lexus cannot afford to be careful anymore and that a dramatic design is needed to take on strong competitors coming from Germany but also the U.S., in particular the new Cadillac ATS.
New hybrid and IS F in the works
Lexus’ now trademark spindle grille will feature, as confirmed by a previous teaser video that revealed the automaker’s entire lineup would eventually feature the unique grille design. And it will be joined by a more coupe-like body, improved dynamics and a richer and more upmarket feel inside the cabin.
As for the powertrain lineup, a new four-cylinder engine is expected to replace the current IS 250’s 2.5-liter V-6, while the new IS 350 should pick up the 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 found in the GS 350. Further down the track a new hybrid model will be launched, as will a high-performance IS F model, though it’s unclear at this point whether it will stick with a V-8 or downsize to a force-fed V-6.