It was supposed to happen June 9, but...
Last Monday, Lexus announced the online premiere of the heavily revised 2021 Lexus IS would take place this coming Tuesday, June 9. A teaser image was also revealed. Late Friday night, however, the Japanese luxury automaker issued an extremely brief press lease delaying that event until further notice. "Considering the recent global situation, Lexus has respectfully postponed the premiere of the new IS." No new reveal date has been announced but Lexus promises it'll happen soon.
The "recent global situation" is likely a few situations combined, specifically the multi-city protests across America against racial injustice over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There are simply too many more important things happening in the world at the moment than the reveal of a new vehicle. Lexus made the respectful and right decision.
Despite the delay, there are still many questions regarding the 2021 IS that remained unanswered.
We've heard several rumors over the past several months claiming it won't be a complete redesign but rather a heavily updated version of the current third-generation model, which initially debuted back in 2013. It last received an update in 2016 by way of new headlights, taillights, front fascia, and hood. The interior also came with a larger 10.3-inch infotainment screen and a new steering wheel. This time around, however, the updates are expected to be far more extensive.
Both the exterior and interior will be quite different than they are currently. For example, the aforementioned teaser image revealed slim full-width taillights. The compact luxury sport sedan is also expected to feature a wider track for an even sportier stance.
It's also important to note that the Lexus GS RWD mid-size sedan is being discontinued following the 2020 model year, meaning the 2021 IS will immediately be doing double duty; there will be no sedan between it and the LS flagship.
Although it may not be revealed at first, rumor also has it a range-topping IS 500 will join the US lineup packing the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8. The rest of the engine options should carry over to 2021, specifically the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 hp and 277 lb-ft of twist.
Hopefully, Lexus will announce its rescheduled 2021 IS premiere date in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned.