Official 4th Generation IS Discussion Thread

F1 Silver Arrows

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One of the problems I find with all of your 'hypothetical lineups' is ignoring Lexus as a value brand compared to BBA. Lexus has historically offered more engine power for the same price, NOT LESS. It's just that their engine options don't go far up so Lexus couldn't compete at the high end.

Has anyone considered the possibility that Lexus will not offer the 2.0t 300 at all in NA? The IS350 is already priced similar to 2.0t competition. So it's entirely possible the entry-level gas option will be the 2.5t, with the 300h option to complete the low end.

And why they have to detune the V35A-FTS to compete against the M340/C43/S4 is completely beyond me. Why should they cripple their own product's competitiveness? There is zero cost saving to do that. This makes no sense at all.
THANK YOU! JUST KEEP IT 416 HORSEPOWER. It's literally V8-level power right there and if they really lighten it up then everything will be fantastic. Oh right also want a good AWD system as well. :^)
 

Carmaker1

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As long as the XE30 IS 350 sees no improvements and no hybrid is offered stateside, IS sales will continue to decline. And yes, my focus is North America and not Europe where it isn't offered with the 2GR. As long as there's pricing parity with NX and ES, IS 300 potential buyers will skip the IS and go straight to them, when the latter is larger and more powerful than the turbo IS300.

The idea that it will be a 2022 model makes me laugh and shows how some product planners at Toyota don't think very well, on the fact an 8-year life cycle would even be a thought. We'll see indeed, with some of the predictions by the press. An IS 350 replacement and F variant should be made in tandem.

If Audi provides an S4 and RS4, MB a C43 AMG and C63 AMG/S, BMW M340i and M3, what the hell is Lexus doing then? Even Infiniti has tried to have both the Red Sport 400 and Eau Rouge (hurt by internal politics). Thankfully the RC-F exists, but to dismiss at least a range-topping variant for the 4th generation IS, shows some of us accept and tolerate mediocrity from Lexus and not excelling at what they're more than capable of doing.

Having just one Dynamic Force V6 is fine and one application of it in use, is fine for now. Not preparing and delivering a detuned unit, fit for range topping duty in the main IS line-up, will not be acceptable. An IS-F needs to return, as well. At the end of the day, the US market is the primary one for Lexus. US IS 350 buyers, are going to be a bit different from those buying IS 300 RWD turbos and those in other markets, where the general populace is sensitive to penalties charged on litre size.

At this point (as many of us have pointed out), the 2GR is being outmatched in numerous measures. So, I definitely cringe at anyone suggesting they retain that in the next generation and then use the V35A-FTS in the IS-F? A vehicle with the same power output as it's predecessor launched in 2007? Hell no. I really don't want to hear again about why it is sensible to retain the 2GR in RWD luxury sport sedan in 2021. As someone that has worked in product planning, it's nonsensical to me, if the class you're in is shooting above that already.

I once accepted why the IS-F skipped a generation, which is fine thanks to the RC-F. I say that because, the famed BMW M3 E46 was never sold as a sedan from 2000 to 2006. The first M3 sedan E36 iteration ran from 1994 to December 1997, then resumed in early 2008 with the E90 generation M3. Lexus can easily pickup where they left off, using that BMW template without borrowing any power trains.

Also something I highly doubt, as they compete in the same segment to even be supplying treasured engines to Lexus. That rumour is BS or they've lost their minds big time. B58 has no business in a Toyota, let alone a competitive Lexus.

Look at how the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 were setup to fail by MB, by ensuring they cost more to produce than their A-Class and GLA basis. I don't want that to happen with the IS.
 
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spwolf

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As long as the XE30 IS 350 sees no improvements and no hybrid is offered stateside, IS sales will continue to decline. And yes, my focus is North America and not Europe where it isn't offered with the 2GR. As long as there's pricing parity with NX and ES, IS 300 potential buyers will skip the IS and go straight to them, when the latter is larger and more powerful than the turbo IS300.

I am pretty sure IS300h will be available in the US for next model, they seem to be pushing it really hard for other models and lowering the prices.
 

thtupid

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As long as the XE30 IS 350 sees no improvements and no hybrid is offered stateside, IS sales will continue to decline. And yes, my focus is North America and not Europe where it isn't offered with the 2GR. As long as there's pricing parity with NX and ES, IS 300 potential buyers will skip the IS and go straight to them, when the latter is larger and more powerful than the turbo IS300.
Tbh, the ES is newer, has more tech and is more practical while being similarly priced to the IS. The worst thing about the IS (other than its age) is the lack of practicality inside! It has no sunglasses holder (not a biggie...I've realised the heat from the roof has actually damaged my lenses now), no random pockets to put miscellaneous goods (such as sunglasses), absolutely midget glove box...the centre console is large enough to fit only my sunglasses case. I cant stick in a tall USB stick as it wont close properly, I cant put in a box of tissues and will have to resort to having a box in the passenger footwell...yeah all minor gripes. But if I wasn't so in love with the thing, I wouldn't have gotten the car. It is majorly flawed in a practicality sense.

I mean it is nice to have a car that makes you feel special like the IS does. But some practicality wouldn't be amiss. So, apart from improvements in the engine department, looks and maybe size, interior practicality would be pretty important too I reckon.
 

Gecko

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Tbh, the ES is newer, has more tech and is more practical while being similarly priced to the IS. The worst thing about the IS (other than its age) is the lack of practicality inside! It has no sunglasses holder (not a biggie...I've realised the heat from the roof has actually damaged my lenses now), no random pockets to put miscellaneous goods (such as sunglasses), absolutely midget glove box...the centre console is large enough to fit only my sunglasses case. I cant stick in a tall USB stick as it wont close properly, I cant put in a box of tissues and will have to resort to having a box in the passenger footwell...yeah all minor gripes. But if I wasn't so in love with the thing, I wouldn't have gotten the car. It is majorly flawed in a practicality sense.

I mean it is nice to have a car that makes you feel special like the IS does. But some practicality wouldn't be amiss. So, apart from improvements in the engine department, looks and maybe size, interior practicality would be pretty important too I reckon.
Practicality is really the least of the car's problems - it is far behind in infotainment, powertrains, technology, luxury features and safety.

Lexus thinks IS buyers are so very different from ES buyers - and will be standing in line eager to have the latest and greatest when the new model comes out, but they are wrong. Just like with ES/GS, a lot of people are payment shoppers and looking for the "most car" at a certain price. Even ES is no longer stodgy and boring, let alone how competitors have progressed compared to IS. I think ES stands to hurt IS as much as it did the GS.

Even as someone who likes to drive aggressively, if 2020 brings ES 350 F Sport AWD, I would probably choose that over an IS 350 at this point for similar money. Many others will feel similarly considering the newer platform and tech, similar horsepower, bigger interior and better infotainment. The only reason I can think someone would purchase an IS over an ES right now is if they have to have RWD (which most shoppers don't even know the difference) or if they just prefer a smaller car.

I will not be surprised if the ES begins to cannibalize the IS, similar to the GS:
- A rapidly shrinking passenger car market means more scrutiny and competition
- ES now comes with an F Sport package and soon, AWD, for the same amount of money as IS - in a car that's much larger and now very good looking
- Competitors have fully redesigned their models - and introduced new ones - once or twice already over the 3IS lifecycle
- Mixed signals and news on powertrains makes me think this could be another lukewarm product release

I know a lot of people who have left Lexus and specifically the IS line as their leases end or they get tired of the car, and gone to BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Why? IS has barely changed over a decade. It used to be the hot rod of the entry level luxury sedan class but Lexus gave that title up long ago - it offers no standout features, functionality or personality.

The 3IS has different sheetmetal and a sharper interior, but there is no massive, wholesale evolutionary change that says "Lexus is leading" in this segment. Same V6, has-been 2.0T, lack of F model, no hybrid, lack of customization, no plug in, no diversity on F Sport models, barely even new wheel designs, etc. Those people probably aren't coming back unless Lexus comes out with something like a Macan or Stelvio.

When people leave, they get sucked into a different ecosystem with brands who offer fresh product lines and good reason to trade up every 2-3 years. Whether it's organizational change, poor product planning, both or something else, Lexus has not given people much reason to trade up over the last decade - and the sales are proof of that.

I am hoping 4IS is dramatic and unexpected... if it's not, it is probably DOA. With this market, 3er and C reign supreme and nobody is pining for a small Lexus sedan just because it's a Lexus. The car needs to come out looking something like a swept back four door coupe, 285-300hp 4-cyl base engine, 416hp F Sport model, hybrid, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 10.5" touchscreen standard, 12.3" touchscreen optional, multiple package options for wheels as well as internal/external colors, track packages, triple LED headlights, etc. Even if nobody who buys these cars needs a 3.5L TT V6 monster with a track handling package, let's face it... cars are going to become emotional purchases just like coupes. SUVs are what is rational and expected. If Lexus goes down that route, they're going to be in trouble.
 

ssun30

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The idea that it will be a 2022 model makes me laugh and shows how some product planners at Toyota don't think very well, on the fact an 8-year life cycle would even be a thought. We'll see indeed, with some of the predictions by the press. An IS 350 replacement and F variant should be made in tandem.
What have you heard about the rumored HS/'CT Sedan' spotted by Mag-X? How confident are you that the next IS will absolutely be based on the RWD GA-N platform?

Lexus enthusiasts should be very worried about sighting of this vehicle because this points to the (unfathomable) possibility of the next-gen IS switching to FWD and going down the lineup as an entry-level vehicle, or be replaced altogether. The scariest part is that they WILL do it if the business case is viable; they have done it once already (see ES vs. GS).

While you are right that U.S. is their primary market today, it is also true that their american buyers want nothing but crossovers. They are very unlikely to salvage the situation IS is in now matter how hard they try. This is why I repeatedly say Lexus will build its future sedan lineup mainly for China, their second largest (and in a few years the largest) market and the last bastion of sedans. An entry-level mid-size FWD sedan just makes too much sense for China. It could either be based on GA-K as a shrink of the ES or based on GA-C as an enlarged Corolla.

A HS/CT Sedan/FWD IS would have tons of interior space (the Corolla has more legroom than the GS) which is crucial to success in China. Give it the standard 200/260h powertrain option and they will sell 100k of those a year. It would easily help them get past 300k annual sales. By comparison current generation IS literally does nothing for them: it is not cheap enough as a gateway product nor does it address any market above the ES.

The only situation that I can see the IS surviving in its current layout is Akio Toyoda himself shutting down the idea of the FWD IS/HS. But he has made a lot of enemies within the company already by asking for three sports cars (way too many).

But how could they possibly make a performance F model? It's a trivial problem. Ask Tesla.
 

ssun30

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I will not be surprised if the ES begins to cannibalize the IS, similar to the GS:
This is why logically the next IS or whatever they call it will not occupy the same price segment as the ES. It will either be a cheap gateway product or a more expensive replacement for the GS. The current pricing structure will not stay, period.

The GS failed because the segment it was in is now dead, nobody buy these sedans anymore and as a result the new IS will not be placed above the ES. This leaves the very troubling possibility of the IS going down the lineup, which almost certainly necessitates a switch to a transverse FWD platform.

The only positive thing is that for PHV/BEV, it doesn't matter what layout the parent platform uses (although a longitudinal platform has the advantage of longer wheelbase=more space for battery packs).
 

Gecko

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This is why logically the next IS or whatever they call it will not occupy the same price segment as the ES. It will either be a cheap gateway product or a more expensive replacement for the GS. The current pricing structure will not stay, period.

The GS failed because the segment it was in is now dead, nobody buy these sedans anymore and as a result the new IS will not be placed above the ES. This leaves the very troubling possibility of the IS going down the lineup, which almost certainly necessitates a switch to a transverse FWD platform.

The only positive thing is that for PHV/BEV, it doesn't matter what layout the parent platform uses (although a longitudinal platform has the advantage of longer wheelbase=more space for battery packs).
I don't exactly understand your post... E/5/A6 are dead? You mean the traditional, three box midsize sedan?
 
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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.
How 'bout a 6-cyl turbo with 444hp, RWD, 4doors, & not a so big size & weight...I'd love to go kick ass of those M2 Comp owners in my IS F
 
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According to Carmaker1's most recent post on the subject, it should enter production in July 2020 for the 2021 model year. Given that, an early March 2020 public unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show seems to be the safest bet.
Thanks.Im hoping the next gen Is comes with a dynamic force turbocharged four cylinder, hybrid, TT V6 from the LS, and a TT V8 dynamic force for the IS F with 485 plus hp.
 

Ian Schmidt

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I don't exactly understand your post... E/5/A6 are dead? You mean the traditional, three box midsize sedan?
In terms of what you see on the road, the CUV versions of that segment are far more common than the OG sedan versions ever were (particularly the X5, but the GLE does make a showing too). In a perfect world, Lexus would put out a "GSX" that was a lifted TNGA GS, offer a choice of hybrid, V6, or A35A, and proceed to print money. It'd cannibalize the RX fairly hard though, I'd imagine.
 

Gecko

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In terms of what you see on the road, the CUV versions of that segment are far more common than the OG sedan versions ever were (particularly the X5, but the GLE does make a showing too). In a perfect world, Lexus would put out a "GSX" that was a lifted TNGA GS, offer a choice of hybrid, V6, or A35A, and proceed to print money. It'd cannibalize the RX fairly hard though, I'd imagine.
In execution, I think that ends up being the LF-1? The whole SUV segment is growing and changing so fast that it's hard to keep up with the niches and changes.

The RX traps Lexus in the same cycle as the ES... it's so successful, that they don't want to mess with success. But as the market is changing, what the RX really needs is a revolutionary transformation: more powerful engines, legitimate F Sport models, RX F, more hybrid trims, etc.
 

Ian Schmidt

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In execution, I think that ends up being the LF-1? The whole SUV segment is growing and changing so fast that it's hard to keep up with the niches and changes.
I'd visualized LF-1 as a flagship-level CUV (X7/GLS) rather than mid-tier, although as you say the segment is changing so fast it's hard to wrap your head around.
 

flexus

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In execution, I think that ends up being the LF-1? The whole SUV segment is growing and changing so fast that it's hard to keep up with the niches and changes.

The RX traps Lexus in the same cycle as the ES... it's so successful, that they don't want to mess with success. But as the market is changing, what the RX really needs is a revolutionary transformation: more powerful engines, legitimate F Sport models, RX F, more hybrid trims, etc.
I'd say they need RX PHEVfor Europe. Also 300h for Japan and Europe.
 

F1 Silver Arrows

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What have you heard about the rumored HS/'CT Sedan' spotted by Mag-X? How confident are you that the next IS will absolutely be based on the RWD GA-N platform?

Lexus enthusiasts should be very worried about sighting of this vehicle because this points to the (unfathomable) possibility of the next-gen IS switching to FWD and going down the lineup as an entry-level vehicle, or be replaced altogether. The scariest part is that they WILL do it if the business case is viable; they have done it once already (see ES vs. GS).

While you are right that U.S. is their primary market today, it is also true that their american buyers want nothing but crossovers. They are very unlikely to salvage the situation IS is in now matter how hard they try. This is why I repeatedly say Lexus will build its future sedan lineup mainly for China, their second largest (and in a few years the largest) market and the last bastion of sedans. An entry-level mid-size FWD sedan just makes too much sense for China. It could either be based on GA-K as a shrink of the ES or based on GA-C as an enlarged Corolla.

A HS/CT Sedan/FWD IS would have tons of interior space (the Corolla has more legroom than the GS) which is crucial to success in China. Give it the standard 200/260h powertrain option and they will sell 100k of those a year. It would easily help them get past 300k annual sales. By comparison current generation IS literally does nothing for them: it is not cheap enough as a gateway product nor does it address any market above the ES.

The only situation that I can see the IS surviving in its current layout is Akio Toyoda himself shutting down the idea of the FWD IS/HS. But he has made a lot of enemies within the company already by asking for three sports cars (way too many).

But how could they possibly make a performance F model? It's a trivial problem. Ask Tesla.
Those "enemies" can literally piss off and go down a ditch. It's his company. He knows what's best. And he has brought the greatest success to TMC more than anyone else in the Toyoda family. TMC was always an emotional company and cared about their customers. Bean counters don't like it? They can screw off.
 
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ThePenguin

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The 3IS has different sheetmetal and a sharper interior, but there is no massive, wholesale evolutionary change that says "Lexus is leading" in this segment. Same V6, has-been 2.0T, lack of F model, no hybrid, lack of customization, no plug in, no diversity on F Sport models, barely even new wheel designs, etc. Those people probably aren't coming back unless Lexus comes out with something like a Macan or Stelvio.

When people leave, they get sucked into a different ecosystem with brands who offer fresh product lines and good reason to trade up every 2-3 years. Whether it's organizational change, poor product planning, both or something else, Lexus has not given people much reason to trade up over the last decade - and the sales are proof of that.
Spot on.
 
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