The numbers don't lie.
In just one week, the 2021 Lexus IS facelift will make its world debut. This will be an important update as the sports sedan needs to be modernized to compete with its newer rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Rumors have also suggested the new range-topping IS 500 will join the 2021 Lexus IS range in the US.
However, the 2021 Lexus IS will not be going on sale in Europe or the UK according to a new report by AutoWeek citing the official Lexus importer for the Netherlands. This will be the first time the Lexus IS has not been sold in Europe and the UK since it first debuted way back in 1998.
Unfortunately, the writing was already on the wall. Sedan sales have been falling, while demand for SUVs and crossovers has boomed. To put this in perspective, 80 percent of Lexus models sold in Europe were crossovers and SUVs. The larger Lexus ES, which has replaced the Lexus GS, is also outselling the IS in the UK and Europe, so it's hard to justify keeping it alive.
This week, Lexus gave us our first look at the 2021 IS in a shadowy teaser image previewing its new full-width taillight design and wider track.
The LS 500 also gives us a few clues of what to expect from the refreshed design, such as restyled LED headlights and a slimmer Spindle grille.
Reports have claimed the 2021 Lexus IS will be underpinned by a new rear-wheel-drive platform co-developed by Mazda but this hasn't been confirmed. Remember, this isn't an all-new model, so we won't be surprised if it uses the same platform as the outgoing model. Expect the engine options to carry over, but the US-only IS 500 is expected to pack a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8. In the RC-F, this unit produces 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque.