Lexus will relaunch the IS compact exec with a facelifted version in autumn 2008. Expect to see the new saloon in the fourth quarter, which points to an unveiling at the Paris motor show 2008.
This isn’t a big facelift, with only some minor visual tweaks centering on the front end – hence the disguise around this prototype’s snout. It’s the sort of facelift where the indicators move to the door mirrors, that sort of minor detail shuffling.
Lexus IS facelift: the new engines
Lexus will also revise the range structure, with a simpler model ladder and we hear the current range of engines (a 2.5- and 5.0-litre petrol, plus 2.2-litre turbodiesel) will be only lightly revised.
Although every other Lexus model range now includes a hybrid, there are no plans for a petrol-electric IS just yet. However, CAR Online understands that a folding hard-top IS convertible is very much on the cards.
The IS is the mainstay of Lexus’s UK range, selling around 8000 units a year. Expect prices to stick close to today’s range of £24,000 to £51,000 for the madcap IS-F.
Click here to see CAR Online’s video of the IS-F in action against the BMW M3 saloon and Mercedes C63 AMG.