A new side pole impact design rule, known locally as ADR 85, will require Lexus to cancel the IS sedan, RC coupe, and CT hatchback in the Australian market effective October 31. ADR 85 requires all new cars sold from November 1, 2021, to pass a difficult new side impact test that Lexus claims is yet to be introduced in other markets.
The new Australian regulation is aligned closely with the European ECE135 standard but has not been adopted in other markets such as the United States. As such, the IS and RC will continue on in the North American market but the CT was removed from the lineup there in 2017.
After the retirement of the GS sedan in 2020, this change will leave only the ES, LS, and LC as Lexus’ range of passenger cars down under. Lexus will maintain the UX, NX, and RX crossovers in the lineup.
While many Lexus enthusiasts have praised the design of the 2021 IS, it’s removal from much of Europe due to emissions regulations, and now subsequent removal from the Australian market due to crash test standards, seem to be proof that an all-new IS will be required if Lexus wants to maintain the nameplate outside of North America.