Is the Lexus IS F Being Discontinued?


Lexus IS F

In his review of the 2013 Lexus IS F, James Healey of USA Today claims that the high-performance sedan will be discontinued:

The redesigned 2014 Lexus IS model that’s going on sale this summer will have sport variants, but no F high-performance version. The 2013 is so truly, lovably, enjoyably sporty that it seems quite odd for a brand seeking a sportier image — which it swears it’ll earn through its products rather than its marketing — to discontinue it.

But as a consolation prize, Lexus says it’ll keep the 2013 IS F on sale through year’s end.

Given the context and the lack of an official statement, there’s a few different ways to look at this information:

  1. Healey could be unaware that most high-performance variants (like the IS F or BMW M3) are released a couple years after the standard model.
  2. It could be a guess by Healey, with the thought that the IS F SPORT will replace the IS F in the lineup.
  3. A Lexus source told Healey the IS F will indeed be cancelled.

The first possibility seems unlikely when Healey directly references the unavailability of the BMW M3 in his article — that leaves a guessing game between the second & third options.

For the sake of argument, let’s jump straight to the possibility that there will not be a new super-sedan based on the third-generation IS — why would Lexus cancel its most powerful model when performance is clearly a major focus for the brand?

It could be for a simple reason — rather than a high-performance sedan, Lexus might prefer to center their resources on a high-performance coupe.

Consider these facts — a production coupe based on the LF-CC as been all but confirmed by the president of Lexus International, Lexus has already trademarked RC & RC F as the nameplate of the new coupe, and even the chief engineer was taciturn when answering a recent question about the IS F:

“Well, IS F, so many people express very strong interest in IS F, and they all ask the same question [when a new model is coming],” mused Furuyama-san.

“For the time being, our plan is to retain the current model for a while. As to what we are going to do next, I’m not in a position of disclosing.

“All I can say is we’re thinking very hard about what we should [do]…”

This leads to a bigger question — even if this rumor ends up being false, which model would most enthusiasts choose if there was an IS F & RC F in the Lexus lineup?

[Source: USA Today] (Thanks everyone!)

Comments


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayo-Doc-Shugz-Mkize/770784233 Ayo Doc Shugz Mkize

    I think Lexus should keep the IS F as a Sedan high performance in the IS range. but also introduce the RC-F coupe as a high performance in the new RC range. then at later stage decide wether to keep the F Sedan or phase it out depeing on the need and sales.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeZPerformance Joe Z Performance

    I had my reservations about the article as well!!!

    However, dropping the 4 door IS-F would be a huge mistake for the “F” brand..

    The IS-F is the building blocks of the “F” Marque..

    Some recent research I have completed along with interviewing Lexus Chief Engineer Yaguchi-San last summer, suggests that we have recently passed over 11,000 units sold Globally from 2008 to current date..

    I hope to see the Lexus IS-F live on and into the next generation IS platform.

    ~ Joe Z =)

  • darkride

    I wouldn’t be sad to see the end of an IS-F if it meant the birth of the RC-F. No reason to have a 4-door performance vehicle when every other competitors performance vehicle is a coupe.

  • BOSS

    I call BS! I would be sad/outrageous for Lexus not to have a high performance lineup to battle the rest. I have no doubt they will keep the F line and produce more in the future. (cross fingers)

  • z2cents

    No true…there is a 4-door M3 and a C63AMG and an RS4

  • z2cents

    I am not complaining..guess this makes my ISF more valuable ;)

  • yosafbridge

    Almost certainly there will be a full-fledged F car in the future. It’s just a question of whether it’ll be 4 door or 2 door OR both variants will be offered.

  • Justindmps

    This is sad sigh off to bmw then….

  • PG

    Lexus definitely shouldn’t drop the IS F, even if replaced by an RC F. The reason is simple: Lexus tries to cash in on F-Sport branded “sporty” versions of their models (think RX F-Sport, CT F-Sport). This might work in the short run, but eventually they’ll need proper F versions (not F-Sport) to bolster the image of Lexus as a performance-minded manufacturer and F as a true performance line. THEN, they can cash in by selling all sorts of F-Sport models and all show, no go accessories. That’s how the Germans did it. BMW first developed M as a true racing/performance brand before slapping that badge on anything they make. Same story with AMG and the Audi S/RS line.

    The F brand currently consists of only the LFA (which is no longer being produced) and the IS F. If Lexus wants to establish F as a serious performance brand, they really need to step up their efforts and ideally introduce F versions of as many models as possible (at least the rear-wheel drive ones). Of course, Lexus is in a more challenging position than the Germans due to the lack of high-output engines (apart from the V8 in the IS, which is outperformed by the current gen 63 AMGs and forced-induction BMWs and Audis)…

    Anyway, dropping the IS F is definitely not a step in the right direction.

  • GuestGuy

    Let’s consider what BMW is doing. BMW will launch a new segment, the 4 series, which will have an M4 variant. If Lexus is canceling their IS F, then Beamer may be planning cancel their M3 to cover costs for the M4 variant. And since Lexus and BMW have been working with one another over the past couple of years, there may be some truth to the whole idea of these two manufacturers starting a new segment ((smaller than the GS/6 series) luxury sport coupes). 

  • BlackDynamiteOnline

    This guy smells like a Option #1, that’s for sure!

    The ISF will appear for the 2015 model year.  
    Write it down, take a picture of it, I don’t give a……
    BD

  • GuestGuy

    Hence the RC-F

  • darkride

    I could be mistaken, I have browsed all the competitor websites for North America and there is no mention of M3 4-Door in North America for current model year. As for the C63 there is a 4-door but I was referring to Black Edition. And RS4 is only available as Wagon (in Europe) haven’t seen it in North America.

  • wasapasserby

    The problem is Lexus doesn’t have an engine, nor does it have one under development to the best of my knowledge; Lexus is focusing on powertrain development for the bread&butter 250/350 models.  The 2UR-GSE, while competitive when it debuted 7 years ago, is outshined by the recent powertrains from M and AMG. The LFA V10 is prohibitively expensive; no one would be willing to pay six figures for a base IS-F.

  • Willbarn2377

    This car isn’t going no where and anyone think that doesn’t know Lexus it’s just another journalism story the people them that think they know everything… Lexus Performance is on a start up the IS F is the start up then comes RC F hopefully in the future GS F … Why would Lexus waste its time and money on the LFA just to cancel the ISF

  • MT

    Just cause…

    Lexus does lots of “just cause” decisions lately.

  • Miek DeLOrca

    Your thoughts are with mine—–either 4-door or 2-door or both variants will be offered. Seems likely to spread more offerings to increase market share.   Too much F mind set prepared over the last sevaral years to destroy all of the effort…….unless a surprise is coming our way….

  • Carmaker1

    BMW is MOST certainly NOT even pondering the cancellation of the M3, and F80 development is fully ahead of the M4 with scheduled production to commence soon. The M3 is even expected to debut later this year. Either that or the M4 coupe will find themselves in my garage since Lexus and Infiniti decided against offering what I want in a compact and I would never consider the C-Class nor the S4(no 6MT & RWD).

  • Brendan

    Any chance Lexus PR/ marketing has given some misinformation “off-the-record”. If the IS F sales have already started to dip (they of course, have), and the new IS is debuting this summer, providing misinformation about the IS F “no longer being available…but we will sell you one through this year” is a great way to unload a few more copies of the current model. Just a thought. 

  • Travis

    no.. no .. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  please let this be bull***t. I will write Lexus a 100000 hate letters -_-

  • Mohammed Taha

    Even if they held hands while walking down the beach, those 2 companies would NEVER agree to cancel the production of any of their vehicles. That decision is an executive decision not a mutual agreement between 2 companies that agreed to share experience and technologies in the name of saving a buck or two.

    The author of that article has no clue what he’s talking about. The world LOVES 4 door high performance sedans. Almost every single manufacturer produces one. Why the hell would Lexus start it and then kill it? It takes time to get it right. It’s not a simple case of slap an engine into a car and call it a day.

    The car will come and I’m hoping a GS-F will as well.

    They need to re-think every aspect of that car; even the Logo. It’s a really good logo but they need to give it flare. It’s too bland and doesn’t give off the impression of a fast car. The TMG logo on the other hand … 

  • Travis

    I call BS too. The ISF has gotten too many great review. I think lexus is stopping the current ISF but will start work on a new one… people getting a bit too jumpy

  • leozno1

    Well he specifically said that the 2014 Model will not have an IS-F variant but that doesn’t mean there can’t be an IS-F for the 2015 model year.

  • z2cents

    M3 sedan is comming in 2014. The RS4 did exist from 06-08 as a sedan (i reaced one once, its a awesome) and i would not be surprised if it cam back at some point in this generation. And sry, i dont believe you were talking about the Black edition (when the regular AMG is the actual competitioin(, it ok to admit you did not know.
    Either way, your statement that “have a 4-door performance vehicle when every other competitors performance vehicle is a coupe” is not true.

  • F1orce

    Get real HAHAAA Lexus will not drop the ISF line

    But to be fair the performance jump from the IS350 to the ISF isn’t as big as the IS250 to IS350

    Performance wise

  • LexusNN

    This is just poor reporting based on the current body style and inferring that the whole line will be stopped. The new ISF will be out in a couple years

  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard Yong Thian Ding

    Why would they drop the IS F ? :

  • Lexus Cohen

    I strongly agree with your statement, they trademarked RC for a reason. It would be pointless to chop the ISF if they have plans for a GSF in the future to rival M and AMG.

  • Lexus Cohen

    If this happens, they’ll lose a loyal customer. My wife and I both have LEXUSes and we’re planning on trading up to the ISF and GS350 Fsport. I’ve driven the ISF multiple times and was so tempted to leave with the car but we heard about the redesign coming up and decided to wait. Now to hear this crap, it better not be true, I wouldn’t want to go back to bmw!

  • Lexus Cohen

    If this happens I will go back to bmw

  • http://www.facebook.com/nate.vongshotivat Nate Vongshotivat

    If this is the truth….. I really don’t understand why they drop the IS-F. They started the F performance vehicle with the IS-F and it’s got positive reviewed. For me there is no reason to drop the IS-F.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.persiano Michael Persiano

    I am expecting the 2 door, although I am perfectly happy with my pseudo-four-door 2012 F. I can’t imagine anyone comfortably sitting behind me when I am in my optimal driving position.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.persiano Michael Persiano

    Then you have not driven an F lately. They loan me an IS350 when the F is in for a service. There is no comparison. The only thing they share is two letters–IS.

  • Michael Persiano

    Expect a 2015 coupe with a souped up V8. IS or RC…it will be the “F”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/max.bramante Max Bramante

    Who cares of what audi does: they have the most boring line up of the world and no driving pleasure at all, i prefer to see an RC-F rather than another 4 door sedan,aniway the E90 M3 has been a fiasco.

  • cmtredneck

    lexus isf from 2008-2013 DEAD already lol

  • cmtredneck

    cuz it sux… they don’t stop production of vehicles if sales are great do they?

  • Yong Thian Ding

    Why not just produce 2nd generation IS-F based on new IS ? But then they’re produce RC F now , it doesn’t make any sense .