2021 Lexus IS debuts new stylish design but without power bump

Updated Jun 16, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates
It seems like the V8 Lexus IS is not happening anytime soon.

The Lexus IS started off as a rebadged model of the Toyota Altezza way back in 1999. It is introduced as an entry-level sport model in Lexus’ lineup. For the 2021 model, Lexus introduced the IS with its second facelift.

Looking at the 2021 model for the first time, it appears to be showing plenty of updates. The new Lexus IS comes with restyled headlights with triple-beam LED headlights as an option.

It also comes with a full-width LED taillight bar that seems to be the likely trend in today’s auto scene. The brand’s signature spindle grill got larger giving the new IS a more aggressive visual.

The new 2021 Lexus IS

The new design updates gave the IS a sportier look

>>> Related: 2021 Lexus IS sedan teased ahead of June debut

New 18-inch wheels come standard on lower trims while new 19-inch BBS wheels are equipped with its Sport variant. Aesthetically speaking, the IS still gives a distinct Lexus design despite having new and muscular body profiles.

Under the hood, however, could be a disappointment to some as the 2021 model was rumored to be equipped with a V8 engine found on the Lexus GS F. Rather, the IS still uses the exact engine from its previous model.

Interior view of the Lexus IS

How do you like its new Circuit Red interior color?

>>> Related: Lexus IS 350 2020 Philippines Review: A perfect balance of luxury and speed

The base rear-wheel-drive IS 300 uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 241 hp and 386 Nm of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

On the other hand, the all-wheel-drive IS 300 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 260 hp and 320 Nm of torque that is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The top-spec rear-wheel-drive IS 350 uses the same 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 hp and 380 Nm of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, it kept most of its interior design other than the new circular air vents, restyled trim in the door cards, and new stitching across the dash. It also comes with a new Circuit Red interior color, and a new HVAC panel. The touchpad and cupholders have also been rearranged.

Rear view of the Lexus IS

Needless to say, this instantly leaves a sport sedan impression

Tech features of the IS received a significant amount of updates. The 2021 Lexus IS comes with a standard eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that is now configured closer to the driver by three inches.

It also comes with an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen. Both infotainment systems can be navigated using a touchpad and support Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa.

With no remarkable performance updates, it will be interesting to see how the new Lexus IS will compete in the sport sedan market. The Lexus IS is expected to go on sale in late 2020 with its official pricing yet to be disclosed.

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Rex Sanchez

Rex found his passion for cars at a young age. He loves anything with an engine – which includes cars and planes. Right now, he is pleased to impart that passion for cars to a professional level under Philkotse.