Lexus to launch new IS at 2013 Detroit motor show

Published: 05 December 2012

Lexus will launch the new IS saloon earlier than expected, showing the new BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class rival off at the Detroit motor show in January 2013. It had previpusly been understood the new Lexus was slated for a Geneva show reveal in March 2013.

What do we know about the 2013 Lexus IS range?

Set to pinch the ‘spindle grille’ styling cues from the new GS and LS, Lexus says the new car will also include touches from the well-recevied LF-CC concept from the 2012 Paris motor show. Lexus also hinted the new model will feature recognisable inspiration from the £330,000 LFA supercar inside and out. CAR’s artist’s impression shown in the gallery on the right shows how the car could look when it arrives on these shores next year.

We’ll see the saloon model at Detroit; a BMW 4-series two-door coupe rival closer to the LF-CC’s template won’t appear until 2014. Though European buyers may be put off by the lack of a replacement for the IS220d diesel, Lexus will counter by at last offering the IS with a hybrid powertrain.

No diesels for a rep-mobile? Surely some mistake?

Not according to Lexus. Up until the present, the IS was the only model not offered with the company’s signature part-electric drive. The new car will get a 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor, which aims to match fun-yet-frugal sports saloons like the more conventional BMW 330d.

Expect to see the new IS on sale on in the UK in summer 2013, priced slightly higher than the current £24k-32k ballpark. Improved fuel-efficiency and higher standard equipment levels will seek to offset the price hike.

Is the lack of a diesel option an own-goal for the new Lexus IS? Click ‘Add your comment’ to tell us below.