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Next-Generation Lexus IS Sedan to be Offered with BMW Inline-Six Turbo Engine?

Lexus IS Next-Generation Front

Best Car Magazine in Japan is reporting that the next-generation Lexus IS sedan will be offered with the same BMW Inline-6 turbo engine that powers the all-new Toyota Supra.

The I6 engine, which is rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque in the Supra, would be one of four engines for the Lexus sedan — a 2.0L turbo, 2.4L turbo, and 2.5L hybrid engine would also be available based on region.

Lexus IS Next-Generation Rear

Best Car also reports that the IS is unlikely to change in size, and will weigh approximately 3,395 lbs. For referenece, the current IS tips the scales at 3,737 lbs.

(Finally, the magazine reiterates the rumor that a next-generation IS F sedan will be resurrected with the twin-turbo V6 engine from the LS flagship.)

Comments
So, 7+ year generation cycle then is what we should expect from Lexus? :expressionless:

Despite that, I think they are on the right track with the reshuffling of their car lineup — if the rumors of GS being honed into more of an A7 competitor rather than the typical 5-box sedan. ES becomes the main midsize model and the IS gets slightly bigger.
Merrill Lynch appears to have forgotten about the RC, which occupies the same segment as a potential IS coupe or IS convertible. Doubling up on models in this niche category would be a bold move when the luxury entry coupe segment is in steep decline.
Calling the possibility of an IS coupe and convertible sitting alongside RC a "bold move" is a very politically correct way to describe it. I'd say that an act of lunacy, insanity, a nonsensical move or notgonnahappen.com are more accurate assessments of the possibility of 2-door IS and RC models sitting side-by-side at the same time within the Lexus lineup.

The logic behind the RC name is the fact that it is a standalone coupe line that straddles IS and GS in the lineup. Granted, Lexus could decide to align the 2nd-gen RC more closely to IS (especially if GS dies, as some rumors suggest). Even then, the "S" in IS stands for sedan, and a so-called IS coupe or convertible would more likely wear an IC moniker. And such an IC would replace RC. Or else RC will see a second generation with IC being a non-starter.

As Krew correctly noted, the luxury entry coupe segment is in steep decline. And even the German luxury 3, whose higher worldwide sales volumes vs Lexus allow them to indulge in all sorts of microniches far more profitably than Lexus, are showing signs of pulling back from this segment. Audi's 2nd-generation A5 coupe and convertible sales are being reportedly obliterated by the new A5 Sportback 5-door hatch.

Meanwhile, over at Mercedes, rumors suggest that the SLC (née SLK) is in its final generation, that either the E-Class or S-Class coupe and convertible will also be dropped after this generation or, alternately, the latter will be replaced by an SL stretched into a full-fledged, Lexus LC-like 2+2.

Will we see another IS F high-performance sedan?
I think so, but it'll wait until 4IS. No way they'll make an IS F from the current 3IS so late into its cycle. I wouldn't expect the next IS F to be V8-powered, though. With BMW's latest M3 returning to 6-cylinders, as does Cadillac's ATS-V, I'd predict a new IS F to be powered by the 5LS's V35A-FTS twin turbo V6.
Joaquin Ruhi
Calling the possibility of an IS coupe and convertible sitting alongside RC a "bold move" is a very politically correct way to describe it. I'd say that an act of lunacy, insanity, a nonsensical move or notgonnahappen.com are more accurate assessments of the possibility of 2-door IS and RC models sitting side-by-side at the same time within the Lexus lineup.

The logic behind the RC name is the fact that it is a standalone coupe line that straddles IS and GS in the lineup. Granted, Lexus could decide to align the 2nd-gen RC more closely to IS (especially if GS dies, as some rumors suggest). Even then, the "S" in IS stands for sedan, and a so-called IS coupe or convertible would more likely wear an IC moniker. And such an IC would replace RC. Or else RC will see a second generation with IC being a non-starter.

As Krew correctly noted, the luxury entry coupe segment is in steep decline. And even the German luxury 3, whose higher worldwide sales volumes vs Lexus allow them to indulge in all sorts of microniches far more profitably than Lexus, are showing signs of pulling back from this segment. Audi's 2nd-generation A5 coupe and convertible sales are being reportedly obliterated by the new A5 Sportback 5-door hatch.

Meanwhile, over at Mercedes, rumors suggest that the SLC (née SLK) is in its final generation, that either the E-Class or S-Class coupe and convertible will also be dropped after this generation or, alternately, the latter will be replaced by an SL stretched into a full-fledged, Lexus LC-like 2+2.


I think so, but it'll wait until 4IS. No way they'll make an IS F from the current 3IS so late into its cycle. I wouldn't expect the next IS F to be V8-powered, though. With BMW's latest M3 returning to 6-cylinders, as does Cadillac's ATS-V, I'd predict a new IS F to be powered by the 5LS's V35A-FTS twin turbo V6.
But I think that would have to be further modified. 415 horsepower is barely competitive in this segment with cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulia QF and Mercedes-AMG C 63S having more than 500 ponies in THIS generation, let alone the next generation of this segment which the new IS F would be competing with.
meth.ix
But I think that would have to be further modified. 415 horsepower is barely competitive in this segment with cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulia QF and Mercedes-AMG C 63S having more than 500 ponies in THIS generation, let alone the next generation of this segment which the new IS F would be competing with.
True.

I've said and written on multiple occasions that Lexus will make its cars as powerful as possible as long as they avoid the U.S. EPA Gas Guzzler Tax (LFA excepted) and that cylinder deactivation is not an option for getting there. A reborn IS F is surely bound to be notably lighter than the 5LS executive sedan, and can thus produce more than 415 hp within those parameters.
I think the position of both IS / RC will never change, slightly taller that's all as the new ES will be the one and only mid size sedan in the lineup with the GS / Sport Cross / GX versions of it as LF-S / LF-X, same as Legacy / Outback / Ascent,
With the shift to new drive-train technologies, changing markets etc., the different segments will get blurred. Cars a getting bigger, allowing for new smaller models (A3 Sedan, 1 Series Sedan, A Class Sedan,...). With less demand for sedans, compared to crossovers, car makers will have to cut down on the number of sizes and variants. I repeat, the issue with most products are that they do not differentiate enough, weather within the brand or between brands. The new LS is already more sporty, Panamera-ish. For Lexus to make the GS like an A7, is to make an even more Panamera-ish car, while being inferior. If competing with the Germans does not work, rivals have to forge their own way, something I though Lexus did, but they do a half job, meaning that the Germans can do it too. How will the LC fair against the new 8 Series? Maybe not that well, because the most powerful LC will be a good sounding NA V8, but the new M8 will have AWD with +600 PS. Just as the present 6 Series, the best selling model will be the GranCoupe, something Lexus does not have, unless the GS (GSedan) becomes a GC (GCoupe). Where does that leave the IS? I see more NX than IS on the road here in Europe. The new 3 Series will have an electric version, it will also have RWS, an interior closer (expected to) to the 5 Series, because BMW's new entry level sedan will no more be the RWD 3 Series, but the FWD 1 Series. Lexus did the the F line, the same thing BMW did the their i Line, they lost steam with inferior products, and slow progress. Where is BMW i's mainstream electric car? Where is Lexus F's non-exotic high performance car?
I believe the most important issue to address with the 4IS is weight. The weight has steadily climbed and it's simply too heavy now:

1IS: 1360-1476kg
2IS: 1558-1600kg
3IS: 1723kg! (and that's for the 2.0t)

Compare that to the best driving competitor, the Alfa Giulia with a base curb weight of 1374 kg - almost at 1IS levels!

Improve the weight issue and you get instant improvements in acceleration, handling and braking. These are extremely important figures for the sports oriented small luxury sedan segment.

I believe the 3IS pre-facelift F-sport is incredibly good looking and I like the interior (for the price range). Right now there is only one 3IS for sale where I live. It is a 300h with paddle shifters... paddle shifter in a car with eCVT... I will keep my CT200h for the time being and am eagerly awaiting the 4IS.
The IS has been a huge hit and I'm sure the natural upgrades the next generation will get will work well. They need an IS F, it must be one of the most talked about hypothetical questions or comments I see from people.
LDeleuran
I believe the most important issue to address with the 4IS is weight. The weight has steadily climbed and it's simply too heavy now. Improve the weight issue and you get instant improvements in acceleration, handling and braking.
... also... almost most importantly: efficiency. Lexus could use some help with increasing MPG and decreasing weight is one of the best ways to do it.
LDeleuran
Compare that to the best driving competitor, the Alfa Giulia with a base curb weight of 1374 kg - almost at 1IS levels!

Improve the weight issue and you get instant improvements in acceleration, handling and braking. These are extremely important figures for the sports oriented small luxury sedan segment.
Well someone on this forum will immediately point out that you have to increase weight for body rigidity and suspension quality. Oh wait...

At least the weight for reliability argument still stands, as the Giulia has no reliability to speak of.
ssun30
Well someone on this forum will immediately point out that you have to increase weight for body rigidity and suspension quality. Oh wait...
When this comes up, it always makes me think of the RC F press launch when Lexus was flaunting the rigidity of the platform and using that as an excuse for the portly weight. I think it might have been someone from Motor Trend who asked Yaguchi if for all of Lexus' bragging, the RC F was more rigid than the M4. The response? "I don't know." The M4 weighs 450lbs less.

There are ways to build a rigid chassis outside of just adding weight... what materials you're using and how you're assembling the pieces together being two important ones.
ssun30
Well someone on this forum will immediately point out that you have to increase weight for body rigidity and suspension quality. Oh wait...

At least the weight for reliability argument still stands, as the Giulia has no reliability to speak of.
Anyone brave enough to get a Giulia, they are renting for sure...but AR is hoping that the values that Jeremy Clarkson and much of the press raved about the car will overcome its weaknesses. It would be a car enthusiast that would want one, not someone looking for a badge for sure.
LDeleuran
I believe the most important issue to address with the 4IS is weight. The weight has steadily climbed and it's simply too heavy now:

1IS: 1360-1476kg
2IS: 1558-1600kg
3IS: 1723kg! (and that's for the 2.0t)

Compare that to the best driving competitor, the Alfa Giulia with a base curb weight of 1374 kg - almost at 1IS levels!

Improve the weight issue and you get instant improvements in acceleration, handling and braking. These are extremely important figures for the sports oriented small luxury sedan segment.

I believe the 3IS pre-facelift F-sport is incredibly good looking and I like the interior (for the price range). Right now there is only one 3IS for sale where I live. It is a 300h with paddle shifters... paddle shifter in a car with eCVT... I will keep my CT200h for the time being and am eagerly awaiting the 4IS.
Tested weight of Giulia by MT was 3456lbs for 2.0t RWD... thats 400+ lbs more than what their specs say (1567kg).

Diesel is also much heavier by specs, i wonder how much in real life.

In the end, crazy to buy Giulia... interior is not luxurious enough, traditionally very crappy resale values and usually reliability and dealer network are shoddy at best.

But since you seem to be European, you know all about that.
Every Lexus has gotten heavier and safer. The only light IS was the IS 300 and that is because it had its own platform. When cars start sharing platforms the smaller cars suffer weight penalties.

Secondly, I don't think this market cares 1 iota of weight. Its an internet thing.
J
i hope the 4IS addresses the weight issues mentioned here, and the lag of the 2 liter turbo engine i think they should offer these models:
IS300 RWD
IS300 AWD (w/ refined 2 liter engine)
IS350/400 RWD (TTV6)
IS350/400 AWD (TTV6)
IS-F (TTV6 ~450-500 HP)
I know I am not going to make many friends here with my comment.... but, I think Lexus needs to get the IS replacement out as fast as possible. The current car is not competitive with the A4, 3 series, C Class etc.... all the magazines call this out. Even consumer reports is not a fan. Car and Driver has the IS as the 10th best car in the class. This is one of the reasons why the sales numbers are decreasing, along with the illogical shift to SUVs. Waiting until 2020 seems like a mistake. Let's see what the sales numbers are the next couple of years with this model....

I agree weight reduction should be a priority in the next model, I also feel a major interior upgrade is in order as well.
MichaelL
I know I am not going to make many friends here with my comment.... but, I think Lexus needs to get the IS replacement out as fast as possible. The current car is not competitive with the A4, 3 series, C Class etc.... all the magazines call this out. Even consumer reports is not a fan. Car and Driver has the IS as the 10th best car in the class. This is one of the reasons why the sales numbers are decreasing, along with the illogical shift to SUVs. Waiting until 2020 seems like a mistake. Let's see what the sales numbers are the next couple of years with this model....

I agree weight reduction should be a priority in the next model, I also feel a major interior upgrade is in order as well.
It had to be said...I don't want to say that the styling is what hurt the vehicle, but it isn't stopping many buyers from leasing the Germans. As much as I want to say they're still a popular choice for buyers where I live, that is just a microcosm of total sales in the nation. Did the Germans pull the stops to incentivize their leases?

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2017/12/small-midsize-luxury-cars-sales-america-november-2017/
J
MichaelL
I know I am not going to make many friends here with my comment.... but, I think Lexus needs to get the IS replacement out as fast as possible. The current car is not competitive with the A4, 3 series, C Class etc.... all the magazines call this out. Even consumer reports is not a fan. Car and Driver has the IS as the 10th best car in the class. This is one of the reasons why the sales numbers are decreasing, along with the illogical shift to SUVs. Waiting until 2020 seems like a mistake. Let's see what the sales numbers are the next couple of years with this model....

I agree weight reduction should be a priority in the next model, I also feel a major interior upgrade is in order as well.
actually, i think a lot of us including me as an IS owner, agree with your statement. every other car in this segment had significant power bumps which the IS needs as well, and sales will decrease more and more until they push the new model out
Lexus is rebuilding the brand top-down. It's very likely they will keep focusing on the flagships (and obviously the cash cows) for a while.
james_m300
i hope the 4IS addresses the weight issues mentioned here, and the lag of the 2 liter turbo engine i think they should offer these models:
IS300 RWD
IS300 AWD (w/ refined 2 liter engine)
IS350/400 RWD (TTV6)
IS350/400 AWD (TTV6)
IS-F (TTV6 ~450-500 HP)
I agree Lexus needs to expand the IS line to include an IS F to compete with the M3, also bring the IS 300h to North America as well and bring back the IS Sportcross (wagon).

IS 300h
IS 300 RWD
IS 300 AWD
IS 350/400 RWD
IS 350/400 AWD
IS F
IS Sportcross (wagon)
IS F Sportcross
Trexus
I agree Lexus needs to expand the IS line to include an IS F to compete with the M3, also bring the IS 300h to North America as well and bring back the IS Sportcross (wagon).

IS 300h
IS 300 RWD
IS 300 AWD
IS 350/400 RWD
IS 350/400 AWD
IS F
IS Sportcross (wagon)
IS F Sportcross
Even an IS SportCross in America is pushing it, let alone an F variant, sure it'd make lots of the M3 Wagon fans happy, but it just makes no sense financially.
MichaelL
I know I am not going to make many friends here with my comment.... but, I think Lexus needs to get the IS replacement out as fast as possible. The current car is not competitive with the A4, 3 series, C Class etc.... all the magazines call this out. Even consumer reports is not a fan. Car and Driver has the IS as the 10th best car in the class. This is one of the reasons why the sales numbers are decreasing, along with the illogical shift to SUVs. Waiting until 2020 seems like a mistake. Let's see what the sales numbers are the next couple of years with this model....
james_m300
actually, i think a lot of us including me as an IS owner, agree with your statement. every other car in this segment had significant power bumps which the IS needs as well, and sales will decrease more and more until they push the new model out
The only reason I don't want to see a new IS sooner is because of my current lease -- only reason whatsoever. Honestly, I think the product pipeline is full until 2020.
B
I've been driving an IS since 2008 and the lack of HP has always been an issue. As is the gas mileage. But I'm keeping my current 2015 to term for the first time because I refuse to let go of my Matador Red Mica and my RWD normally aspirated V6. The move to the turbo 4 and the exaggerated F Sport front end design are deal breakers for me.
I've been swayed towards two possibilities in the future, when my lease matures.
I positively love driving my 2015 ES350, and have always longed for any F Sport model. If they build it, V6, Matador Red Mica- I'm most likely going there.
If not, a recent rental experience with an Audi Q5 followed by a test drive of the newly redesigned and dominant 2018 Q5 would get the nod.
Pretty much bored with Lexus after 11 years and 8 cars. Recent interactions at the dealership in sales, service and body shop as well as my Lexus Enform being down for almost three months earlier this year and over three weeks up to a few days ago for unknown reasons requiring five follow up phone calls to get it functional point to severe slippage to an American car brand level.
My unwavering loyalty to the IS just isn't there anymore.
I honestly think Sedans/Wagons are dead, and with SUVs becoming Crossovers, the new car era tat has already started is a Crossover (at least until driverless pods for urban districts) in various sized and design elements. Remember what cars looked like before?

The first car was the carriage, a box on wheels.


The first cars with steam engines and ICE do not look very different, except for the lack of horses.

First cars then added mudguards above the wheels, then mudguards, became more integral to the cars' design. Later mudguards were no more visible and were completely integrated to into the car's design. Cars had metal bumpers, then plastic bumpers, then bumpers integrated with the whole car and became part of its design/shape. First cars had separate trunks/boots, then they got more flowing with the car until they completely intergrated and become a 3-box sedan. I am just mentioning some examples.



Now with electric drivetrains, and SUVs not really being off-road vehicles, they do not have to be boxy, and the layout changes completely. The new era of cars resembles this:



Lexus LF-UX and LF-1 show that also. As I already mentioned, the classical sedan has to redefine itself to succeed.
Levi
I honestly think Sedans/Wagons are dead, and with SUVs becoming Crossovers, the new car era tat has already started is a Crossover (at least until driverless pods for urban districts) in various sized and design elements.

As I already mentioned, the classical sedan has to redefine itself to succeed.
In a more general sense, variety is the result of a lack of optimization. The history of mankind has always been a history of optimization. Just like natural selection, inefficient artificial creations are eliminated or marginalized.

There is ONLY ONE efficient way to make cars, so as we become better and better at optimizing car designs, ineffcient designs get eliminated by the free market. This is already evident from the reduction of ICE variety: V4, I5, V10, V16, H6, and rotaries are heading to their graves; I6, V8, and V12 will follow a decade later, because the ONLY efficient ICE layout is I4 (I3 and V6 will have their niche, but that does not mean they are more efficient).

Similarly, sedans and wagons are doomed because crossovers are objectively more efficient as daily commuters. Minivans will stay because they are objectively the best people mover; pick-up trucks will stay because they are objectively the best cargo hauler. Sedan will basically be competing against coupe (also dying) for a tiny slice of the sportscar market, because apparently there will be more and more performance crossovers.

In the past we have all kinds of smartphone designs also with different OS, network, and internal components. Today all smartphones look the same, use the same component, and are compatible with all types of network. This is because that's the ONLY efficient way to build smartphones. All passenger aircraft are twin-engine, subsonic, and single decked, because that's the ONLY efficient way to build a passenger aircraft.

We as a civilization is becoming better and better at optimizing things, so variety will become a thing of the past.
Indeed. Bad new for those that can't fit in. I'm yet there with the two old smartphones, Nokia N8 and N9, the N8 with a camera unrivaled till today and the N9 with an OS unrivaled till today.

And yet with all this, I have ideas, costly but doable, to make Crossovers even better, but unfortunately most people accept mediocrity.
R
IMO, It’s improbable Lexus will can the GS to cause the brand’s lineup to be without a proper RWD 5-series/E-Class challenger, much like how the IS has been the designated 3-series fighter for Lexus.
renyeo
IMO, It’s improbable Lexus will can the GS to cause the brand’s lineup to be without a proper RWD 5-series/E-Class challenger, much like how the IS has been the designated 3-series fighter for Lexus.
In theory, you're absolutely right.

In practice, however, Lexus has been down this road before. The current (4th-gen) GS was on the verge of cancellation but received an 11-th hour reprieve and was built. Similar rumors are now making the rounds about 5GS, and, given the precipitous drops in sedan sales numbers in general, may well happen this time.

Per current rumors, Lexus wouldn't really abandon the mid-size luxury sedan segment. Instead, the ES would broaden its model lineup to add enthusiast-oriented AWD and F-Sport variants to its current comfort-oriented FWD base models. In other words, such a 7ES would be more akin to the FWD-centric Audi A6 (which goes from base FWD to Quattro to S6 to all-out RS6) than to the RWD-centric BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class.
renyeo
IMO, It’s improbable Lexus will can the GS to cause the brand’s lineup to be without a proper RWD 5-series/E-Class challenger, much like how the IS has been the designated 3-series fighter for Lexus.
I agree as well. Lexus needs to keep the GS to compete with the 5 Series and E Class just as the IS competes the 3 Series and C Class.

However the ES does so well sales wise. The ES is Lexus highest selling sedan. So in practice just like Joaquin mentioned maybe Lexus will elevate the ES as a midsize sedan to compete with the 5 Series, E Class and A6.

It's funny because when Lexus arrived in 1990 the ES was the entry level sedan.

ES 250
GS 300
LS 400

Even when the IS arrived, Lexus positioned the ES as entry level comfort/plush sedan and the IS was entry level sporty sedan.

ES 300/330/IS 300
GS 300/400/430
LS 400/430

Now the ES has moved up.

IS 200t/300/350
GS 350/ES 350/300h
LS 460/500/500h

In the end IMO and I agree with renyeo Lexus should keep the GS, increase variants to go head to head with the 5 Series and E Class.

GS 300
GS 300h
GS 350
GS 500 (V35A-FTS)
GS 500h (8GR-FXS)
GS F (TTV8)
R
It’s funny customers are buying more ESes because they are purportedly to be cheaper than the GS. Does this means the Lexus brand has been competing in the lower pricepoint market attracting buyer demographics that are different from the German cars customers?

Anyhow, it’d be great if Lexus could sell a new RWD ES (built on the GA-L platform no less) for less money than the GS going forward.

R
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