New IS mid-sized sedan will retain rear-wheel-drive design, which should help satisfy fans of the bigger GS sedan when it is retired.
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Update, June 16: the new 2021 Lexus IS is now official. Full story here.

Update, June 15: The new IS has now been revealed through leaked photos. See our story here.

Update, June 12: Lexus has now confirmed it will unveil the new-generation 2021 Lexus IS on June 16 at 9am, AEST. To go along with this latest development, two new teasers have been released – a still image and a short, six-second video – shown above and below.

UPDATE, June 9: Lexus has announced it will postpone the unveiling of its new-generation IS sedan, paying respect to the rioting and turmoil that has sprung up in the US in recent weeks. A new date will be announced soon, the company says.



June 1: Skipping the drawn-out teaser campaign favoured by many, the new 2021 Lexus IS will be revealed next Wednesday – less than two weeks after this first teaser image has been released.

There is little in the way of detail to be seen here, apart from a familiar L-shaped lighting signature connected through a slim lit band across the bootlid.

Our enhanced version of the image reveals as much as Lexus will let our snoopy efforts reveal, showing the general silhouette of the new IS as seen directly from the rear.

Replacing the third-generation IS, first revealed in January 2013, the new sedan remains a mystery in terms of official information.

According to US publisher Motor Trend, the new IS will ride on an updated version of the existing model's rear-wheel-drive architecture – rather than adopt the new TNGA-L luxury rear-drive architecture used by the big Lexus LS sedan and LC two-door models – with significant structural and suspension upgrades in the mix.

A wider rear track is also reported.

Above: the current, facelifted IS.

Powertrains are also expected to be a mostly carry-over affair, which would point to 232kW/380Nm 3.5-litre V6, 133kW/221Nm four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid and 180kW/350Nm turbo petrol four-cylinder options. Changes to outputs and efficiency could figure among the updates, though.

The performance-focused F badge is expected to evade the IS sedan once again, but committed fans may at least be blessed with a solid base on which to develop their own F model: according to Motor Trend, a new IS500 flagship variant is being considered, driven by the same 310kW/600Nm twin turbo 3.5-litre V6 that drives the LS500.

Spy photos of the new model have yet to surface, thanks no doubt to the privacy afforded by Toyota's own development precinct in Aichi, Japan – featuring 11 separate testing tracks and its own 'mini Nurburgring'.

Watch for the covers to come off the new IS next Wednesday morning, June 10, at 9am AEST.

Update, June 16: the new 2021 Lexus IS is now official. Full story here.