Currently reading: New Lexus IS features fresh styling, new tech and enhanced chassis
Saloon is heavily updated but sits on same platform and uses same engines. It won't be sold in Europe
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2 mins read
16 June 2020

Lexus has officially revealed its 2021 IS as an extensively updated version of today's compact executive saloon.

The BMW 3 Series rival will now only be sold in the US, Japan and other Asian markets, with no European or UK debut on the cards. Lexus UK claims the newer and larger ES saloon outsells the IS by two to one, while 80% of the brand's European sales are of SUVs. 

The new IS features an exterior redesign inspired by the look of the ES. It's 30mm longer and 30mm wider than its predecessor, with extended wheel arches to accommodate bigger 19in wheel options. 

Lexus claims the widened and lowered stance "nods to the inherently high level of driving performance the IS possesses", while additional styling lines aim to enhance visual aggression. F-Sport models feature a unique version of the car's 3D spindle grille, using a mesh pattern and adding a lower air intake. 

New triple-beam LED headlights are available, sitting inside redesigned clusters, while a sloping rear quarter pillar and lowered rear deck join a new "blade-style" light bar that extends the full width of the tailgate. Five new paint colours also feature.

The interior layout will be familiar to drivers of current Lexus models, but the technology has been updated in the new IS. Base models feature a new 8.0in infotainment touchscreen that has been moved 3.0in closer to the driver, while models with navigation feature a 10.3in touchscreen. Both now feature Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa integration as standard.

The Mark Levinson sound system is also improved to feature 17 speakers and a total output of 1800 watts. Safety assistance technology is also boosted, with a raft of new features bringing it into line with the class standard. A new augmented-reality smartphone app also allows you to interact with the car in multiple ways. 

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Powertrains are broadly similar to the old US-spec IS. The base version is a 238bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol, before two 3.5-litre V6s making 256bhp and 307bhp respectively. 

Lexus makes substantial claims about the IS's chassis improvements, which were worked on extensively by the brand's Japanese engineers. Body rigidity has been enhanced to improve noise, vibration, harshness and ride comfort, while the suspension has been redesigned to accommodate larger wheel choices.

Despite this, unsprung weight is said to be reduced, with 20% lighter coil springs and lighter materials, including forged aluminium, for other unsprung components. Finally, new swing valve shock absorbers with velocity valves are claimed to provide more consistent responsiveness and ride quality. 

The current IS remains available to order in the UK and is likely to remain so for some time until the new car goes on sale in the US and other markets later this year. 

READ MORE:

Lexus LC coupé loses weight and gains tech for 2020

Lexus UX 300e: more details revealed for Lexus' first EV

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Comments
25

1 June 2020

I had an IS for a company car for a few years. Felt like it would last forever,  good handling, very refined, quite quick when required (CVT thing never bothered me). Infotainment system rubbish but I forgave this for all the other good things. Real shame...

17 June 2020

Toyota / Lexus have been consistently releasing some of the most interesting, most exciting, and most attractive vehicles for the last few yeasr now.  Great work.  

1 June 2020

If this car isn't coming to the UK, why is a story about if featured on a UK car website? 

Completely irrelevant.

1 June 2020

To let me know there won't be a replacement.

I'm on the lookout for a premium car of this size. Ah well  - it'll probably be a 3 series then...

1 June 2020
martin_66 wrote:

If this car isn't coming to the UK, why is a story about if featured on a UK car website? 

Completely irrelevant.

 

Because it's of interest to automobile enthusiasts, irrespectove of where it's sold.

1 June 2020
aatbloke wrote:

martin_66 wrote:

If this car isn't coming to the UK, why is a story about if featured on a UK car website? 

Completely irrelevant.

 

Because it's of interest to automobile enthusiasts, irrespectove of where it's sold.

*irrespective

1 June 2020
aatbloke wrote:

martin_66 wrote:

If this car isn't coming to the UK, why is a story about if featured on a UK car website? 

Completely irrelevant.

 

Because it's of interest to automobile enthusiasts, irrespectove of where it's sold.

It is only of interest to people like Lemming who might be interested in buying a new IS.  If he is really that interested though, he could always ring the salesman at the local Lexus dealer.

Why would anybody else who is not interested in buying a Lexus care?

16 June 2020

It's a car, it's a car magazine. I didn't know it wasn't on sale here, now I do. Thank you Autocar.

1 June 2020

Its a shame its not coming here, but they are correct that people (sadly) just want SUVs, and most IS models around the world still come with a 3.5V6, as i imagine the next one will. I wonder if they will even bother with a hybrid as outside of Europe no one really wants or needs one.

1 June 2020

 What countries do they sell it and, drive on the same side of the road?, cost you though!

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