According to MotorTrend, the 2021 IS will ride on the same platform that underpins the current model rather than transitioning to the newer TNGA architecture.
Despite this, engineers have reportedly made a host of changes including upgrades to the chassis and suspension. While the report doesn’t delve into specifics, it says the IS was the first Lexus developed at Toyota’s research and development center in Shimoyama. That’s notable as the facility boasts a miniature version of the Nordschliefe which measures 3.3 miles (5.3 km) long.
Getting back to the IS, engine options will look pretty familiar as choices are rumored to include an entry-level turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 241 hp (180 kW / 244 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. There could also be two 3.5-liter V6 engines with outputs of 260 hp (194 kW / 264 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) as well as 311 hp (232 kW / 315 PS) and 277 lb-ft (375 Nm).
All three engines carryover, but the report suggests an eight-speed automatic will be the only option. That would be a slight change as current all-wheel drive variants have a six-speed automatic.
The report also backs up earlier claims that there won’t be a new IS F. However, the publication suggests there could be a performance-oriented variant called the IS 500. If approved, the model would use a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 416 hp (310 kW / 422 PS) and 442 lb-ft (599 Nm) of torque.
On the styling front, the car is expected to follow in the footsteps of the LS and adopt a toned down spindle grille. The report also says we can expect new lighting units, an updated rear end and a wider rear track. There could also be a new dashboard and a modern infotainment system.
While a lot of questions remain, we might not have to wait long to see the car. The report says the model was originally scheduled to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show, but it’s now slated to be debut at a standalone event this summer.