An all-new model might not be what we expected.
The current-generation Lexus IS has been on the market since 2013, meaning it is several years older than competitors such as the BMW 3 Series, Genesis G70, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Volvo S60. It is clearly time for an update, and some recent rumors have predicted that the 2021 IS will arrive sporting a new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Meanwhile, others claim an IS 500 model will sport the same 5.0-liter V8 found in the RC F and GS F.
Either of these rumors being true would likely please Lexus fans, but a recent report by Motor Trend paints a slightly less rosy outlook for the company's smallest sedan. Previous rumors have estimated that the next-generation IS will ride on Toyota's TNGA-L luxury rear-drive architecture, but sources close to the company now say it will continue to use the existing New N platform.
This is pretty disappointing news if true, as the TNGA-L platform would have helped the IS cut down on weight. The platform of choice going forward may not be all-new, but Lexus is reportedly working on revising the chassis and suspension tuning to create a better-driving sport sedan. As such, Lexus will wrap these changes in a revised body that more closely resembles its most recent sedans such as the LS 500. We can expect a slightly toned down Spindle grille, revised LED headlights, and a wider rear end to give a sportier appearance.
Inside, there should also be some much-needed improvements to the cabin tech, hopefully bringing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the dashboard. Sadly, these most recent reports don't predict any changes under the hood, meaning a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 241 horsepower will act as the base motor with a 3.5-liter V6 producing 311 hp on the top model. Even with the current GS being killed off, Lexus is not currently planning to revive the IS F using the V8 engine from its current F models.
Lexus was reportedly set to reveal this updated IS at the currently postponed 2020 New York Auto Show but is now planning to reveal the car during its own event sometime later in the summer. Since this is not an all-new model as we previously anticipated, pricing should be similar to the current car.