2021 Lexus IS Unveiled as the Luxury Performance Sedan We Were Waiting For

2021 Lexus IS 11 photos
Photo: Lexus
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It’s been 20 years or so since the Lexus IS luxury sedan debuted in the U.S. and the nameplate is still strong in a segment that despite all odds is still as lucrative as it ever was. That’s why the launch of the new, improved version as a 2021 model year comes as no surprise.
The new IS is meant to debut a lineup-wide engineering language the carmaker calls Lexus Driving Signature. It involves improvements in body rigidity to reduce noise and vibration and increase comfort and driving performance, weight reduction, and improved suspension.

There are several visual upgrades made, including when it comes to the wheels. The IS will drop the use of the standard 17-inch ones in favor of larger 18-inch hardware, and for the first time in the range 19-inch wheels will also be available.

Powertrain wise, the new IS lineup is offered in both rear- and all-wheel drive options, with three engine choices under the hood.

The IS300 packs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission that should deliver 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This model is essentially a rear-wheel drive, but an all-wheel drive is also offered with a bigger engine (3.5-liter V6) and a tad more power - 260 hp.

The top of the range is the IS350 that uses the 3.5-liter V6 linked to the same transmission as on the IS300. It too is offered in both wheel drive configurations, but with only one power rating: 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of peak torque.

The IS350 will also be available as the F Sport variant with visual and performance upgrades, including front bumper with functional aerodynamic enhancements, rear bumper, grille surround, rear lip spoiler, and rocker molding among others.

The IS will not sell in the U.S. alone, of course. The Japanese will bring the new model starting this fall in some 40 countries around the world. Prices have not yet been announced. You can find the full details on the new IS in the press release section below.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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