Before that happens a fourth generation model needs approval.
Many say the current generation Lexus IS has not quite lived up to its full potential despite the fact there’s a higher performance IS F available as well. But according to Lexus Enthusiast via Australian website Driving Enthusiast, there’s a rumor that the next generation Lexus IS, due in 2020 (if at all), could receive the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 currently found in the latest LS 500 flagship sedan. This engine is capable of producing over 400 hp.
If Lexus does proceed with this plan then the 2020 IS (400?) would become a direct rival to the likes of the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport and Jaguar XE S, powered by a twin-turbo 3.0 V6 and supercharged 3.0-liter V6, respectively. Now, it’s important to bear in mind this is nothing more than a rumor and Lexus has yet to make an official comment. Heck, the original story source did not provide a source of its own, such as an anonymous Lexus employee. In other words, take this all with a grain of extra fine salt. Also bear in mind that sedan sales across the spectrum are in a state of decline, and Lexus has clearly taken notice. The luxury brand now has a nearly complete range of crossovers while Lexus IS sales continue to be in a state of decline according to GoodCarBadCar.
The current generation went on sale for 2014 and 52,358 examples were sold that year. The following year that figured dipped to 46,430. By the end of 2017 only 26,482 units left dealership lots. So Lexus can either do one of two things: kill the IS or launch a fourth generation that offers something grand, setting it apart from the competition.