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First Look: Redesigned 2021 Lexus IS teased ahead of its June 9 debut

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

On June 9, Lexus will reveal its redesigned IS sedan. The IS had been scheduled to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April but that show was postponed, then cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the luxury arm of Toyota distributed a teaser image of the new car.

The IS is the smallest of the three Lexus sedans offered for sale in the U.S. It slots below the ES and LS, but is larger than the Lexus RC, a two-door sports coupe.

Lexus has sold the luxury sports car since 1999.Though the car has often been positioned as sporty, it usually only hits those notes when compared to the Lexus ES. If rumors are to be believed, the next-generation IS will be sportier than the last. How? That remains, for now, largely unseen.

Speculation has mounted saying that the car could have the powerful V8 engine that is found in the 2020 Lexus RC F. However, it’s more than likely we’ll see a four-cylinder base engine (possibly electrified). If Lexus was to present a hybrid powertrain, it might choose to go the same route its sister company Toyota did with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, delivering the sportiest model with the highest amount of horsepower as a plug-in hybrid.

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There’s likely to be a 2021 Lexus IS F-Sport variant as well. F-Sport models traditionally get a tuning upgrade and sportier features like larger, intricate wheels and sport seats. These models typically retail for thousands more than the base model.

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The car sports a new light signature.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The teaser image distributed by the automaker reveals a new company rear light signature that spans the width of the entire backside of the car connecting the taillights. Adjusting the brightness on the image in Photoshop reveals a body that is more athletic than the previous generation and has a rear diffuser.

Turn up brightness on the shadows and vertical rear lights are revealed, pointing to where dual exhaust pipes might be. The fenders become more pronounced and the grounded look of the car becomes more evident.

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A rear diffuser is evident in tuned versions of the image.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Stay tuned for more insight when the car is unveiled on June 9.

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