Autocar is reporting that the next-generation Lexus IS will be offered as a wagon—and will be hybrid-only:
…while the original model did offer an estate variant, called SportCross, the current car – introduced in 2005 – has never been available in a wagon.
Lexus insiders now admit that this policy has hurt sales of the car in Europe, where it must face the 3-series Touring and A4 Avant.
The next IS is also likely to only be available as a hybrid, fitting in with the firm’s current push towards this technology.
With its position well established in the US, Lexus is focusing more and more on the European market. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a wagon version of the GS some time in the future, as well.
As for the IS going hybrid-only, that’s likely just a marketing decision in Europe similar to only offering the RX 450h in the UK. I wouldn’t expect this to happen in the North American market.
Other tidbit in the article—the next-generation IS should appear in 2011. Not a big surprise, but nice to hear regardless.