2021 Lexus IS Shows Just a Little Leg; New Debut Date Revealed
Well, this week’s debut of the new Lexus IS didn’t go as planned, what with company execs opting to wait until things cooled down in the streets and Twitter feeds of America.
Turns out we didn’t have long to wait. The 2021 IS, already teased in a shadowy image released by Lexus earlier this month, will make an online appearance on Monday, June 15th. Lexus offered up a few new views of the thing, too. Your day is made!
Expected to ride atop a reworked version of its existing platform, the IS is in line to receive a much needed styling update. Lexus seems awfully eager to show off this sedan’s new ass, choosing to highlight a full-width taillight array that appears to avoid the current generation’s rear-end excess. The existing IS haunts my dreams and pollutes my days.
That said, it appears that the rear lamps migrate forward along the car’s flanks, rather than trailing downward to the rear wheel well. Nothing could top what came before in terms of unpleasantness, but I shouldn’t get carried away on a rant here.
While we can’t see much of the vehicle’s flanks, the upward sweep of the lower window edge reminds this viewer more of the recent Lexus ES than the current IS.
The model on display here, an IS 350 F Sport, seems to confirm that V6 power will not go the way of polite online discourse for the model’s new generation. It’s assumed a turbocharged 2.0-liter returns to tempt bottom-end buyers. Last month, Motor Trend reported that the engine roster will carry over, with two flavors of 3.5-liter V6 at the top end. It also stated that the IS’ rear track stands to gain width, improving roadholding.
While Lexus seems to be sticking with an existing mold here, there’s valid reasons for doing so. For starters, IS sales pale in comparison to that of more popular models. The segment it finds itself in is one of the fastest-shrinking in the industry. As well, with the GS gone for 2021, the IS needs to carry on the attainable rear-drive sedan role single-handedly. Sticking with the existing recipe made more sense for Lexus, it seems, though there’s word that a hybrid variant and perhaps even a range-topping brute might make an appearance in the near future.
ElSnuggles on Jun 13, 2020
The last rental car I had before COVID kicked in was this. And it was...crap. My wife joined me on a business trip to Florida and we were staying the weekend so I kicked in a little extra to have a luxury. The delta between this and an another SUV was minimal. I can't imagine paying a premium to drive this permanently.
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