As with any new Lexus today, you’ll either love it or hate it.
While the future of the Lexus GS remains in doubt, the smaller IS isn’t going anywhere. The BMW 3 Series competitor has very much evolved since the first generation appeared in the US in 2000, with the latest third-gen model adapting the Japanese luxury brand’s still controversial styling. However, the current Lexus IS has been around since 2014 and the time is just about ripe for a complete redesign.
Thanks to some foreign sources, specifically Almuraba and Motor.ru, it appears we now have our first glimpse of the upcoming fourth-gen model in rendered images created by those who have seen the production car in-person.
Although these are scanned images they are revealing enough. We’re able to get a good look at the new IS from both a front- and rear three-quarters view. Honestly, at first glance, it looks very similar to today’s car, but there are some notable differences. Yes, the large spindle grille returns, as we expected it would, but it’s a bit more curved and features a new mesh pattern.
There’s also a new headlight design that we think is a marked improvement over what’s seen on today’s car. Everything is together in a single unit, unlike with the current Nike swoosh style lights. Out back looks fairly similar to today's IS in terms of dramatic styling. Either you’ll love it or hate it. Sound familiar?
However, take note of the beefier rear bumper, dual exhaust tips and horizontal reflectors. Everything here seems to be in line with the updated styling language Lexus has been deploying on other new models like the UX compact crossover, entry-level ES sedan, and the flagship LS. Assuming the GS will soon be out of the picture, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the 2021 IS will grow a bit inside and out. The just revealed G20 BMW 3 Series has also grown, so it’d make total sense for the next Lexus IS to do the same.
Lexus IS sales, at least in the US, have decreased since the latest model’s 2014 debut. That year saw a total of 51,358 units sold while last year that figure shrunk to 26,482. We doubt Lexus has plans to unveil the next generation IS this year, but the final design has definitely been locked down, and chances are it’s what we’re looking at here.