We’re now hearing both rumors. Which is true?
It's not that the current generation Lexus IS is a bad car, it's just that there are some better choices out there, namely courtesy of its German competitors. On top of this, sedan sales, both luxury and mainstream, are on the downswing, and Lexus may be less inclined to replace the IS when the time comes. We heard that rumor last month, which also claimed the larger GS will receive the death blow as well. And then earlier this month word came that Lexus is considering adding a high performance IS F with potentially up to 400 hp in 2020 – assuming a fourth generation model receives the green light.
The latest word today seems to acknowledge that a new IS will happen (still no word about the GS's fate) and that it could potentially grow in size. According to Lexus Enthusiast via Japanese magazine Mag-X, the next-generation Lexus IS will be unveiled in 2020 with dimensions much closer to those of the current GS. This does make sense, especially if the GS is a goner. It sounds like Lexus is combining the two sedans into one, but will retain the IS name. Sources say the 2020 IS will have a longer wheelbase and shorter overall length than today's GS, but that translates into potentially shorter front and rear overhangs.
It would also make complete sense for the next IS to share a platform, although shortened, with the current LC and LS. Under the hood could be a new 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder as well as a 2.5-liter hybrid option. Mag-X makes no mention of that rumored 400-hp IS F, but it wouldn't be too much of a task for Lexus to further utilize the also upcoming LC F's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. Hopefully, we'll hear from Lexus in the coming months regarding its sedan lineup's future, but one thing is for certain: either the IS or GS won't be around much longer. Our money is on the latter.