The covers will come off next week.
We recently waved goodbye to the Lexus GS, but the Lexus IS sports sedan will live on with a major update for the 2021 model year. The current-generation Lexus IS has been on the market since 2013, making it severely outdated compared to its newer rivals such as the BMW 3 Series, Genesis G70, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, so the time is right for a refresh. That time will finally come next week when Lexus belatedly lifts the wraps off the new 2021 Lexus IS on June 9 at 7 pm EDT.
Originally, the 2021 Lexus IS was going to be unveiled at the 2020 New York Auto Show back in April, but its debut was delayed after the event was canceled. Lexus says the 2021 IS will be "dressed to thrill" with a refreshed design when the covers come off.
In our first look at the 2021 Lexus IS, an official teaser image highlights its new redesigned, slim full-width taillights that will no doubt make the updated sedan look more stylish than the outgoing model. It also appears to have a wider rear track, giving the 2021 Lexus IS a sportier stance.
Other styling details are difficult to make out in the dark shadowy teaser image and no prototypes have been spotted by our spies to gives us some clues about the new styling direction. With the Lexus GS being discontinued, we're expecting the 2021 Lexus IS to adopt a more premium design. Styling changes from recent Lexus models like the LS 500 will also carry over, such as a toned-down Spindle grille and tweaked LED headlights. Inside, the infotainment system is expected to get an upgrade and finally introduce Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
There have also been conflicting reports about the car's underpinnings. Sources have suggested the 2021 Lexus IS will switch to a new rear-wheel-drive platform co-developed by Mazda, but since this isn't an all-new model it's more likely to ride on the same New N platform it's been using since 2013. Lexus has reportedly retuned the chassis and suspension to improve the handling, however.
Engine options for the 2021 Lexus IS should carry over, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine available with up to 311 hp and 277 lb-ft. A range-topping IS 500 will reportedly join the US model lineup packing a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, but this hasn't been confirmed. All will be revealed next week, so stay tuned.