2021 Lexus IS Shows Just a Little Leg; New Debut Date Revealed

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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.

[Images: Lexus]

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • ElSnuggles 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.

  • Akear Akear on Jul 08, 2020

    Every GM vehicle that gets reviewed needs only these three words - "What a disgrace!"

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.