The next IS has been shrouded in mystery for some time now. Everyone knows there’ll be a new one soon, but we’ve had no idea what it’ll be like. Now we’ve got word that next IS will be a completely new car. So expect a revolutionary IS come 2014, not just a revision.
Autoguide spoke to marketing manager Peter Evans from Lexus Australia, concerning the fate of the IS. He admitted that “When you’re a challenger brand and you’re number four [in sales], you can’t afford to be evolutionary.” That leads us to believe the new IS will, at least, be a completely new model. Ketan Renade, Lexus product planner for the ES and LS has also admitted that “the IS doesn’t have to play a comfort role for us.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a new sporty car to me.
As it stands, Lexus has several new platforms for a sporty sedan. They could use a stretched version of the FR-S platform for a four door coupe, a la the CLS. Or, they could simply build the new is on the current chassis, for a legitimate coupe. Naturally, I would expect for Lexus to call that and SC-somethingortheother, but it could well be the case.
There’s also the recently announced partnership with BMW to take into account. They haven’t agreed to platform sharing outside of the power-train, but whose to say that won’t change? They’ve also already admitted to developing the architecture and components for a sports vehicle. We definitely won’t see a IS built on the three series platform, but they might share some tech. Who knows?