Discussion in 'Lexus Lounge' started by krew, Dec 4, 2017.
Future Forecast: The Lexus IS Sedan
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So, 7+ year generation cycle then is what we should expect from Lexus?
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.
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.
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:
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.
... 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.