Lexus is the latest automaker to tease its upcoming announcement at the Beijing Auto Show, where it will reveal an all-new version of the entry-luxury IS line.
One of the oldest models in its line-up, the fourth-generation Lexus IS will “bring exciting breakthroughs,” the maker suggested in a terse statement. Among other things, it is expected to adopt a more dramatic design than the current model based on the maker’s new L-finesse styling language.
“The bold evolution of design with greatly enhanced visual impact will absolutely ignite people’s desire to put their hands on the steering wheel,” declared the breathless release.
The Lexus IS is the second best-selling model in the luxury division’s line-up, behind only the RX utility vehicle. And, a senior insider told TheDetroitBureau.com, it is one of the three most profitable models offered by parent Toyota Motor Co.
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That said, the IS has traditionally opted for a rather bland and stodgy design, something that Toyota boss Akio Toyoda has openly declared war on. Over the last several years, new Lexus products have been adopting more dynamic designs, perhaps best highlighted by the Detroit Auto Show debut of the new LC 500h sports coupe earlier this year.
Lexus is offering only a glimpse at the new IS nose in advance of the sedan’s Beijing unveiling. The headlights appear to be using new LED bulbs, and are accented by the hockey stick-shaped LED running lights seen on other recent Lexus models.
It also appears likely that the 2017 Lexus IS will adopt the latest take on the brand’s signature spindle grille design which has grown steadily larger on recent models, such as the refreshed Lexus GS.
Lexus has been revising its interiors, as well, and the cabin of the new IS will almost certainly adopt a bit more of a horizontal design, with three distinct zones for climate, infotainment, and driver information systems. An updated version of the brand’s infotainment system is expected, along with a new driver interface likely to pick up the laptop computer-style touchpad other Lexus models are now using.
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Since Lexus already updated the IS powertrain package a year ago, few changes are anticipated under the hood – though a modest bump in mileage might be in store.
In the current, 2016 Lexus IS, buyers can choose from the base, 241-horsepower turbocharged four, or a more powerful, 3.5-liter six. That larger engine is available in both 255 and 306-hp configurations. All-wheel-drive is also available on some packages, such as the Lexus IS F.
The outgoing sedan starts around $38,000 and runs into the $45,000 for the IS F.
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