The current-generation Lexus IS range has been around since 2006, making it the oldest model in the medium luxury segment. This has been an issue for Lexus, since the Germans have revamped their models on a tighter lifecycle. As a result, the Japanese company's next major release will be the new IS range, currently undergoing testing using the old body style sitting atop the new drivetrain and platform.

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The new Lexus IS range is likely to be in dealerships next year with high hopes that it will take sales away from the very popular Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series. Year to date, Mercedes-Benz Australia has sold almost three times as many C-Class cars as Lexus has IS.

Although there are currently no official details on the third generation IS range, we suspect it will carry a similar variant format as the current model, with the IS250, IS350 and IS-F continuing on. It's also more than likely that Lexus will introduce an IS hybrid variant as well, with a potential IS450h nameplate.

These photos show the IS mule wearing a modified body of the current generation IS350 utilising the new platform. Lexus is testing the drivetrain, suspension and other components without giving away the new shape.