More Next-Generation Lexus IS Rumors


Lexus IS Rumors

Let’s circle back to an AutoGuide story from last month regarding the next-generation IS:

“I have driven an early prototype and it’s amazing,” said Ketan Renade, Lexus product planner for the ES and LS sedans.

“On the IS we realized it needs to be more focused,” he continued, pointing out a unique advantage Lexus has in this area. While rivals have carefully balanced the hard-edge performance wants with luxury ride quality, “The IS doesn’t have to play a comfort role for us,” he continued. Instead, Lexus offers the ES350 (as well as the new ES300h) to suit that demand.

With competitors doing their best to balance comfort and performance in their entry level models, having the ES in the lineup does afford Lexus an opportunity to sharpen the performance of the IS — however, it’s worth noting that the sixth-generation ES is a much (much) larger car than the IS, and that additional size will not appeal to all customers looking for comfort.

(This quote also brings up another point — the IS is a global vehicle, whereas the ES is not. If Lexus is counting on the ES to balance out the next-generation IS, it will be interesting to see which non-traditional markets wil be getting the ES when the right-hand-drive variant debuts next year.)

One other quote from the AutoGuide article:

Speaking with other product planners over dinner at a launch event for the 2013 ES, they were surprised by the new Cadillac ATS, describing the styling as “conservative”, a strong hint that Lexus will go a more dramatic route. In fact, product planner Ben Mitchell confirmed that the dash of the 2014 IS will take inspiration from the brand’s LFA supercar.

Of all the models that should be sharing design cues with the LFA, the IS would be my first choice — hopefully it extends to the exterior as well.

[Source: AutoGuide]

Comments


  • http://twitter.com/CruxFiveTen Crux

    Agreed, it needs to be stunning inside out. But the most important aspect though is the performance. It needs to handle like an M3 or close to it, with the raw power of an AMG/M V8 power train..

    BMW copp’d out to the damn ecofcks by putting turbos on the forthcoming M3, sh*t pisses me off. N/A all the way!

  • Farhan Haider

    I hope the whole comfort thing is being overplayed, as much of a sports car this needs to be they have to retain luxury aspect of it. dont make it boring but dont make the ride harsh. IS’s are used year round. 

  • Super Sedan

     I like the idea of handling like the M3 with raw power of a AMG power train.  However, I don’t have a problem with turbos as long as they are done well — small turbos with very small lag, delivering gobs of torque, way down low and flat.   Also, for those of us at altitude, it’s nice to have some compensation for lack of air.  I would love to see an twin-turbo 5.0 in the next IS-F.  

  • brian jou

    Let’s just hope the 250 gets a bigger power bumpi say around 20-30 hp along with torque

  • Alex

    The new IS definitely needs to be a looker, but it could also use an 8-speed auto (globally) and more diesel options (Europe)

  • F1

    The only reason BMW went Turbo is because they knew they could no longer compete with Lexus with N/A engines..

    Let’s assume Lexus goes turbo I guarantee it will be better then everyone else, because Lexus usually always wins out on the technical numbers etc.. The objective parts..

  • LFA-II?

    The next 250 needs at least 250 horses along with the torque. The current IS is enough for everyday use but where I live in Riverside where its 100+ in the summer it’s just laboring when going up hills..

  • LexusLVR

    ““The IS doesn’t have to play a comfort role for us,” he continued.
    Instead, Lexus offers the ES350 (as well as the new ES300h) to suit that
    demand.”

    To me this is the wrong attitude. You’re going to cater to the enthusiasts, but not the customers. Customers in the end are more important than enthusiasts as they make up the vast majority of your buyers. You have to appeal to their needs and not those of the enthusiasts (just look what BMW has done with the 5er for example – made it softer to appeal to the majority of buyers who shop in this class).

    I’m going to throw out some random numbers here to make a point. Out of 100 Lexus IS buyers, 90 are going to be interested in the car for reasons other than sport or driving dynamics. This is already evident by the sheer number of IS250s sold over the IS350.

    Lexus is better off making the IS a balanced car that offers both good handling and comfort. Next, they should offer a type of professional sport package for the IS at a good price that transform the car from well-balanced to “extremely dynamic/sporty”. The few driving enthusiasts who want an IS are going to be prepared to pay for this sport package.

    Many brands now offer a sport package for their cars that actively changes the suspension character.

  • IS350

     That’s why they have the 350.

  • Charles

    Since 2014 was mentioned in this article, I guess there is no chance we will see this car by year’s end

  • darkride

    If what the new GS has told us is that we can hope for a F-Sport Package to offer a more aggressive than stock look. Don’t forget that they have to update the IS-F. Which they could go even farther aggressive and sport tuned. A Coupe would be nice fit for the IS-F to give it a complete  different look. The engines are most likely to stay the same, as did the GS’s. 

    We should be seeing IS250/IS250c, IS300h, IS350/IS350c, and IS-F *possibly coupe*. Plus add F-Sport packages and accessories to the mix and you’ll have quite the options that can cater to enthusiasts and comfort/luxury lovers. 
    If the interior are to take from the LFA, it would most likely have the ergonomic slopping middle similar to CT/ES, and have Nav under central air vents, with the dash being sqaurish and straight like the LFA which would set it apart from GS and ES luxury.

    If Lexus were serious about performance, wouldn’t having a IS-F coupe, GS-F four door, SC hybrid (similar to LF-LC), and LFA be the perfect line up. With the new execs in Lexus management pushing for performance and extraordinary cars, I can see a bright future for Lexus.

  • LFA-II?

    That’s why you should send me the difference amount between the 250 and 350 so I can get the 350 :)))

  • emptystreets130

    There is also the IS300 in some markets with 256hp.

  • Lexus LFA

    Not nessacrilly 2014 just means that the car will start selling into 2013. the car could be debuting at an autoshow late this year. 

    Fingers Crossed!   :))

  • BlackDynamiteNY

    What is expected with the next IS:

    Adjustable suspension/driving settings (See GS and ES)
    Hybrid from Camry/ES
    Slight weight reduction
    Larger Rear seating
    More aggressive styling (But I love the current car’s style, and think it needs the least work in the lineup)

    I, personally, would ad 15-20 HP in the 350, and more like 40HP in the 250, but I’m not expecting that to actually happen……
    BD

  • MT

    They will put in the same engines as in the current one. The 4GR-FSE, the 2GR-FSE und the 2UR-GSE and add the 2AR-FXE-hybrid.

    While the just retuned (for the GS) 2GR is a great engine, the 4GR gets me worried. It is so far behind in fuel economy. The 4GR gets same mileage as the 2GR, but the 2GR is 100hp morre powerful. 

    Also compared to the competition the GS250 is 25% behind the Benz E250 for fuel economy on the european drive cycle, but the E250 does the 0-60mph sprint 0,9 seconds faster.

  • BlackDynamiteNY

    If that engine comes back for a second time around, any sales off of it are pure profit.

    No real driver is gonna buy that engine.  Purely a business move……
    BD

  • HAHA

    SHI@ honestly right slap a new engine in the IS for christ sakes. I was hoping the next is come out with a hot engine, if they put the same engine in the next gen is, im switchin elsewere…

  • http://www.facebook.com/amerf Amer Ferhatovic

    Please give us a stronger diesel for Europe! I am hoping for a 3.0 diesel with 300 hp!

  • F1

    I seriously do not understand why people choose the IS250 over the IS350

    Also the 2GR-FE (ES engine) is another good engine..

    But that 4GR-FSE needs to go or dramatically change.. 

  • F1

    the engine in the IS350 (2GR-FSE) is very good..

    Just the IS250’s (4GR-FSE) is rubbish 

  • Adas

    Make up your mind.. In other posts you criticize Lexus for not being ‘European’ 

    Now you’re saying Lexus should do what they’ve always have been doing from the beginning..

  • LexusLVR

    Please show me where I criticize Lexus for “not being European”, because I have never criticized Lexus for not being European.

    I have criticized Lexus for not adapting to the European market. What works for Lexus in the US does not work for Lexus in Europe. And to be honest, what Lexus is planning with an entry-level V6 hybrid GS for Europe is not going to work. They need a basic 4-cylinder diesel and gasoline engine. It’s that simple.

    You kids need to learn to listen to criticism and live with it. I am after all a Lexus customer and owner and if Lexus doesn’t offer me what I want, then I’ll go elsewhere. It’s that simple. Lexus isn’t perfect and can equally learn a lot from their rivals just as they can learn a lot from Lexus.

    The IS might be the sportiest car in the regular Lexus lineup, but the majority of people buying it are still interested in a comfortable ride, not sport. I sincerely believe that Lexus should simply offer a capable sport package for the car that enthusiasts are willing to pay for. Enthusiasts have different priorities than regular customers so an enthusiast who wishes to drive a Lexus IS that handles will invest in the sport package. A regular consumer won’t. It’s good business for Lexus.

    Making the IS to sports-biased is in my eyes a risky strategy since you risk alienating customers. And that’s my problem with the new GS. It seems to be to sports-biased. Yeah, the magazines love it and all that but I personally know two people who passed on the new GS and got a Jaguar XF and Mercedes E class respectively because they felt it was more balanced as a daily driver (comfortable and good-handling).

  • Guest

    Not a fan of the LFA interior, love the current IS interior with touch screen etc. The current IS with a bit more grunt for the 250 and a more aggressive look would be good! :>

  • MD

    Naturally aspirated is the best way to go for Lexus. They can use a lot of the lineage of the LFA and in order to build a proper exciting car, naturally aspirated is a must.

    BMW turbo engines are plagued with problems with people in the thousands who had HPFP failure issues and it cost tens of thousands to people who had no warranty.

    BMW switched to turboes only to cut back costs and be able to use the same engine right across the series line up with the ability to tweak power by simply changing the boost. It cuts back cost by hundreds of millions of dollars. That is why the 1M got such bad reviews because people thought it was really just a 135 M sport with only a bit extra power as opposed to the E90/E92 M3 that has a dedicated high-revving V8.

  • MD

    Please bring a 6 speed manual on a powerful engine. I hope Lexus does not make automatic as the only option.

  • MD

    That is simply the wrong way to look at it.

    Lexus needs to broaden their customer base. Having too many baby boomers buying Lexus has brought average Lexus buyer age to 57 – 58. That is terrible for business.

    The IS had an identity confusion where it was neither the best buy for baby boomers nor a best buy for young buyers. Lexus needed to make a decision and with so many cars catering to baby boomers, they needed something to attract the young buyers.

    They must attract the successful professional younger customer base that can easily afford a Lexus IS who are in their 30s or 40s. The only way Lexus can do that is through making a hard edged performance car that does not give up on practicality or luxury. The IS could do a perfect job at that.

  • MD

    LFA’s interior is objectively better than the IS in every measurable way so it is more like a personal preference where you see the current IS interior as better.

  • HAHA

    The price difference between them?

  • HUH

    Yes this dude is always bashing Lexus, seems as though he works for MT or something a typical german fanboy

  • darkride

    What if Lexus is gonna dump the 250 and go with a 300h for entry IS. This would create great fuel economy and have the ability to be comfort oriented with a bit of sport. This would also heighten Lexus’s commitment to being hybrid leaders. 

  • MT

    The entry level will be gasoline only. Even in the more expensive GS the entry level is non hybrid gasoline.

  • kr_metal

    So your logic is… a Corvette is not a good buy because it doesn’t offer the same family moving capabilities as an X5?
    It’s like how the FR-S is made to be a fun-to-drive machine, and not the usual bland sedan with tons of leg-room for the rear passengers and cargo.

  • Super Sedan

    Did the MKIV, designed by Toyota in the late 80s, have turbo longevity issues?

  • Super Sedan

    Did the MKIV, designed by Toyota in the late 80s, have turbo longevity issues?

  • Super Sedan

    For the current generation, though, Lexus did a great job on the 5.0.  As a matter of fact, the Coyote 5.0 has quite a few similarities, of course, coming out later.   Both motors are much better to drive around town with than the M3 highrevving V8.  You have to beat it to get anything of it.   This is part of the reason why a Mustang GT with a track pack and beat an M3 out of the turns!

  • Super Sedan

    For the current generation, though, Lexus did a great job on the 5.0.  As a matter of fact, the Coyote 5.0 has quite a few similarities, of course, coming out later.   Both motors are much better to drive around town with than the M3 highrevving V8.  You have to beat it to get anything of it.   This is part of the reason why a Mustang GT with a track pack and beat an M3 out of the turns!

  • Super Sedan

    Sorry, I swear I wrote “Supra” in there, yeesh.

  • Daniel

    I hope it gets the spindle grille and an interior based of the gs interior

  • MD

    It i because you don’t really understand what high revving engines are about. They are firmly rooted in motorsport racing. Nothing is more rewarding than the throttle response and the sound it generates while approaching 8400 rpm. Trust me, I have driven one and I fully intend on buying a M3 E90 sedan in about a year.

    The M3 with its competition package is a more comparable example to your mention of track pack Mustang and competition package M3 can only be beaten by Boss 302, which is not its direct competitor.

    At the end of the day, M3 wins every comparison and is always considered the benchmark for a reason, which is certainly not because it is the quickest, but because no other car does so many things so well.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    I think LexusLVR makes a valid point, though I also have a feeling that this focus on performance is likely being overstated by this Lexus executive.

    I’m sure the GS will serve as the IS template for the balance between sportiness & comfort.

  • Carmaker1

    The MKIV Supra was not designed in the late 80s, as the final production design wasn’t even ready until early 1991.

  • Jake

    Is this just coincidence or there’s something more?

    The new IS with its hybrid power train will arrive in 2013 and so as the new GS with a lower displacement engine. Does it make sense to think that they both are going to get the same engine (IS300h and GS300h)? I think they won’t get the one from the ES, they will developed a new one based on the IS250/GS250.

    The IS and the GS have never had the same engine as the ES when it comes to 2.5 liters.

  • Jake

    That would be a great move if they know how to price it correctly.

    That hybrid one needs to be seem as an alternative to a diesel. This is Lexus main product to make money, so if it doesn’t sell well, it will doom Lexus entire profits. Price it correctly as a equivalent diesel engine from the German makers and it will definitely sell. Take also into consideration the different tax savings from a hybrid cars. The petrol engine might be sold as well but I believe this decision will be taken by the local dealers of every country.

  • Jake

    We are talking about Europe where people are way more concerned about the HP and their emissions since the higher the more they have to pay in terms of taxes.

    Someone once said that the strategy used by Lexus for the States won’t work in Europe, and he’s definitely right. If Lexus doesn’t want diesel engines, and their best move is to offer real alternative to diesel engines, not high performance hybrid cars like the GS450h, RX450h, LS600h. IS300h, GS300h, RX300h does make a lot more sense to conquest or attract diesel customers.

  • Jake

    No, Lexus won’t offer any diesel engines. That’s just completely pointless if we see how they marketed theirselves as environmentally friendly and with all the hybrid cars marketing campaign. They will even drop the IS200d/IS220d in favor of the hybrid power trains.

  • Jake

    It will definitely get the spindle grille and inspiration from the GS/ES dashboard. That’s for sure. I believe the platform used will be a shrunken version of the GS one.

  • F1

    My theory is that Lexus will have the IS350 and IS300h .. But for the hybrid version the Camry 4-cyl 2AR-FXE won’t cut it..

    So they’ll use the 3GR-FSE 3.0L V6 with a hybrid system to achieve even better perfformance then the IS350

  • Carmaker1

     Well it is getting a spindle grille, there’s been blurry stills from an auto show of its front fascia with the spindle grille present. It’s been around since early January I think.

  • LexusLVR

    I agree that Lexus needs to make the IS appealing to enthusiasts. But at the same time they cannot ignore their core customers many of whom buy the IS simply because it’s a good car, but not because they want to experience a sporty drive. Many IS owners are women and they certainly don’t care much about sporty driving. They’re driving the car because it was bought for them by their husbands (or fathers if they’re young girls) because it’s a stylish lifestyle premium product.

    Lexus can target enthusiasts by offering a dedicated sport package for the IS. This means there will be the regular IS sedan and an IS sedan with an optional sport package that’ll transform it into a capable sports sedan a la BMW 3 series / Infiniti G.

    This to me seems the safer option rather than producing an all-out sports version. An extremely sporty IS will appeal to car magazines and enthusiasts – and those make up what? 5% of the IS customer base? Lexus shouldn’t ignore the remaining 95% of clients who want something else in an IS. That’s my whole point.

  • darkride

    Could you provide a photo? The only front fascia ones that were showed momentarily during a press shoot were of the CT, ES, GS, and what we believe to be the LS (as it matches the mule shots we’ve seen). They’ve also shown the updated LX fascia at some autoshows. If you do have a photo, we would love to see it!

  • MD

    If Lexus wants to succeed in Europe, they MUST have diesel. People over there could not give two S about hybrids because they are like rotary engines. Great on paper, but in real world they are simply a novelty item.

  • Super Sedan

     I have driven the E90 at altitude and it’s a dog for casual driving on the streets which is what I do 99.9% of the time.  I think it could actually use a few more gears.   I like to be propelled like a rocket from 20 to 40 or 50 then shut it down.   I didn’t feel anything from that motor until was already 10 to 20 over.   A torquey motor is good for everyday motoring.    Now, that being said, on say the Autobahn, and straight tracks, all other things considered equal, it’s better to have a higher-revving engine so that you stay in gear longer, keeping with the torque multiplication the gear provides.  I can see certain situations where high-revving is better.  It was much more fun on the freeway.   And, of course, the overall “feeling” is subjective.  But, for me, that motor needs another 100 ft-lbs. :)  For powertrain, I would rather drive the 335is, especially at altitude.  Instant torque delivery, almost diesel-like.

  • Super Sedan

     Okay, so perhaps the design was started in the late 80s.  Even if it was started in 1990, the point to my argument was that Toyota made a turboed car that didn’t seem to suffer from major reliability problems, many moon ago.   If I am wrong on *this* then please let me know.  In that same era, the MR2 had a turbo option as well.

  • MD

    I don’t believe there is any core customer demographics for the IS. That is why Lexus is doing it.

    The IS by no means is a “comfortable” car anyway. The back seat is too small. It is completely all over the place. If you ever tried sitting in the rear seat of the IS, you would realize no lady or any other person who regularly use the rear seat for passengers would ever buy this car. 

    I am sure if IS was made hardcore performance oriented, there will be no love lost in customer’s eyes because they would simply pick the ES instead.

    It goes back to the identity confusion where it neither caters to the proper performance oriented demographics nor the people who look for a practical sedan.

    With so many cars catering to the baby boomers, Lexus has only once choice to go all out on performance on atleast one model in the line up and IS does the perfect job for it. 

  • MD

    Although all of your points are valid, but I simply don’t agree on the E90 views.

    I live at 3000 feet above sea level elevation and the M3 does a perfect job at driving every day. I drove the 6 speed manual and loved every second of it.

    It makes 300 ft-lbs down starting at 3000 rpm and that is more than enough torque in my view for every day driving for a 3600 lbs car.

  • LexusLVR

    I feel that by producing a regular IS and offering a capable sports package, Lexus can target two types of potential customers. By making the IS purely sports-focused, they’re only going to target one type of customer who is generally in the minority. There’s no profit in that.

    Look what BMW or Mercedes do with their 3er or C class. There is a standard 3er and C class and they can both be ordered with a sport package that improves the handling capabilities. THIS is what Lexus should do with the IS. Lexus needs to think of its customers, not the few enthusiasts who, let’s be honest, have zero impact on Lexus sales. Lexus can always produce a dedicated “affordable” enthusiast car, which currently is the IS-F.

    And Lexus should improve the cabin space of the IS, which is one of its biggest weaknesses right now. Even the driver’s seat is cramped for tall people and the transmission tunnel upfront is unusually wide and space-robbing.

  • Carmaker1

    I actually posted it before elsewhere and some mistakenly claim it wasn’t real. I’ll give you the link to where I got the still from and the images below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKjc4chzLQc (skip to 1:32-1:34).

  • Jake

    MD,

    Lexus won’t “succeed” as Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz in terms of sales. Europe will always be the last market for Lexus until they change their diesel engines regulations or giving them less taxes for being a hybrid engine.

  • Carmaker1

    The LS you’ve seen in testing is actually a full body prototype, not a mule. That why it’s significantly covered in similar material as the pre-production 2013 GS and ES testers were. It seems odd that no one ever spotted a 2014 LS mule unlike with the current XF40(back in ’05), the UCF30(in ’99), and the UCF20 in the summer of 1994.

  • Toptech Gorski

    apparently the new IS will also have Scratch proof paint. when the paint gets scratched you can heat it to a certain temperature it will get rid of the scratch. 

  • Thomas

    He’s not bashing Lexus. He is simply stating what would be the smarter strategic move for Lexus. The IS isnt a “sports-car” and it shouldt be. It’s a sedan made for transporting up to five people.
    The forthcoming IS should be roomier, quieter, more comfortable and still be powerfull and have good handling.

    The co-called “enthusiast” who is crying for a race-IS is typically not a person who would actually buy a new Lexus in the first place. Why would such a person even be looking at a Lexus in the first place, when we know that Lexus clearly isnt a harcore sports-car?!

  • Thomas

    Lexus in Sweden and Norway have vowed they will never sell a diesel powered Lexus ever again. This should give you a clue…