2014 Lexus IS to Sharpen Sporty Focus, Take Inspiration from LFA

2014 Lexus IS to Sharpen Sporty Focus, Take Inspiration from LFA

Set to arrive next year, the third-generation IS sports sedan from Lexus will move further into the sporty realm to help it better compete with the segment leading BMW 3 Series.

“I have driven an early prototype and it’s amazing,” said Ketan Renade, Lexus product planner for the ES and LS sedans.

“On the IS we realized it needs to be more focused,” he continued, pointing out a unique advantage Lexus has in this area. While rivals have carefully balanced the hard-edge performance wants with luxury ride quality, “The IS doesn’t have to play a comfort role for us,” he continued. Instead, Lexus offers the ES350 (as well as the new ES300h) to suit that demand.

When pressed about how far Lexus will push the performance envelope on the next-generation IS Renade would only say that a sport model will be offered, “maybe an F Sport”. He stopped short of confirming an next-generation IS-F, though it does without saying that such a car is necessary to keep Lexus relevant in the segment.

As for how it will look, expect to see a more engaging design, as we’ve seen Lexus considerably beef up its aesthetics as of late with new products like the GS and now the ES too. The brand’s large spindle grille design is certain to dominate the front of the car.

Speaking with other product planners over dinner at a launch event for the 2013 ES, they were surprised by the new Cadillac ATS, describing the styling as “conservative”, a strong hint that Lexus will go a more dramatic route. In fact, product planner Ben Mitchell confirmed that the dash of the 2014 IS will take inspiration from the brand’s LFA supercar.

  • Johnny Tightlips

    Love the old IS, but its looking a bit long in the tooth. Hopefully it really is more than just a new grille on an old body.

  • Greg Conrad

    That’s all good and well to go dramatic without comfort but what about countries that don’t get the ES or people that don’t like it or want it? 

    Car prices in Australia are twice that of most other countries even at parity exchange rates.The IS offers much better value over the MB and BMW equivalent. It’s got a good balance of luxury/comfort and then sport when required. This is whats gotten it along this far along all these years without major changes. Take it too far and Lexus will isolate the loyal buyers that the IS helped bring to the brand in the first place.

    I’m eyeing the C-Class coupe but don’t see the value in it so I’m holding off for the new IS. If they f – it up, Hello C-class.

  • Will be an awesome car, that’s for sure.

  • asdub

    agreed – make it “bold” but not a boy racer’s dream! Inspiration from LFA / LC-LF would be great. Keep it elegant too though!

  • Gken1me

    I’m hoping it won’t have the Fast and Furious kit car grille of the ES and the GS!!!