Lexus has taken the wraps off of its new IS sport sedan, including previewing a meaty looking F SPORT variant, ahead of the car’s official launch at the Detroit Auto Show next week. The new IS 250, IS 350, and IS 300h – the first hybrid in the IS series – feature a far bolder spindle grille upfront, distilled from the company’s larger models, with more dramatic styling that ramps up the sense of drama from the somewhat conservative current model.
The IS 350 F SPORT model takes that grille one step further, with a higher waistline that maximizes potential air-intake. Both regular and F SPORT models have a rising beltline and chunky rear three-quarters – Lexus says that’s to emphasize the large rear wheels – while L-shaped daytime running lamps get their own place on the front lighting cluster.
Inside, meanwhile, there’s more room for people in the rear seats, since the IS is now wider and has a longer wheelbase; Lexus has also used svelter front seats to give those in the back space for their knees. 60/40 split seats add to the load capacity.
Electrostatic, touch-sensitive switchgear for the HVAC system, and an eye-catching analog clock dominate the dashboard, while the wheel is lower and has more adjustability than the outgoing model. F SPORT models get more driving-centric data in the cluster, as well as perforated leather on the wheel and shifter, metal trim, and aluminum pedals.
We’ll have to wait until next week to find out all the details, such as powerplants, pricing, and release dates.