With an all-new model based on the equally novel rear-wheel-drive platform co-developed with Mazda set to be introduced in 2026, the reported final update for the Lexus IS has been previewed ahead of its unveiling later this year.
According to an extensive report by MotorTrend, the current third generation IS, which has been around since 2013 notwithstanding a major facelift four years ago, will sport a new front-end facia complete with the latest Spindle Grille, restyled headlights with the integrated L-shaped daytime running LEDs and a subtly revised rear-end likely to include new light clusters and a redesigned bumper.
Inside, the interior is expected to receive upgraded materials, a new dashboard and a tweaked infotainment system supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition, Lexus’s Safety System+ will be revised to include tech such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Cyclist Detection for the Pre-Crash system, Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist to name but a few.
Underneath its skin, the IS will soldier on with the New N platform also used by the RC, but according to the report in question, with significant revisions such as a reworked chassis and retuned suspension.
In accordance with the current model, engine options will comprise of the 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo in the IS 300, a 3.5-litre V6 tuned to produce 190kW/320Nm in the IS 350 and 232kW/380Nm in the IS 350 F Sport and the 2.5-litre hybrid in the IS 300h rated at 221 kW. Bar the latter, which will continue with a CVT, the remainder of the range will come as standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, in the case of the 350, with the option of all-wheel-drive.
At the sharp-end, a sporting replacement for the IS F is reportedly mulled, and while alleged to be called IS 500, will not be equipped with the normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 from the RC F. Instead, it will feature the 310kW/600Nm 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 from the LS 500, but at present, it remains to be seen whether the green light for production will be given.
Initially planned for unveiling at the New York Auto Show, an event which has since been rescheduled from April to August due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the IS won’t however have its moment in the Big Apple, but rather at a standalone event set to take place during the North American summer.