Lexus isn’t quite ready to share all the details surrounding the all-new 2014 Lexus IS with you – but for whatever reason, it is ready to show you the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport in its entirety, days before the car makes its official debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
If there was any remaining doubt that last year’s LF-CC concept was a sneak preview of the new IS, one look at these new photos should eliminate it outright. Although we’re only being shown the IS in sedan guise at this point in time, the car’s profile and design cues nearly mirror those of the show car, which debuted at last year’s Paris motor show.
Lexus’ spindle grille dominates the tapered front fascia, whose upper character lines flow through the hood and fenders to form strong, chiseled shoulders that run along the length of the car. LED running lamps are again incorporated beneath the headlamps in an inverted L shape, but they’re no longer integrated into the headlamps. Like the LF-CC and LF-LC, these elements are now independent of the projector headlamp assemblies, and help amplify the front fascia’s tapering effect. A curvaceous lower swage line arcs upwards from the rocker sills, carrying through the rear wheel wells and forms the lower edge of the large, wrap-around tail lamp assemblies.
The 2014 IS’ cabin blends cues seen in a number of other Lexus models, perhaps most notably the 2012 GS sedan and – of all things – the LFA supercar. The general layout of the instrument panel reminds us of the GS, but the rising center console/ stack, along with the digital “chronometer-style” instrument display, is certainly an LFA touch. The F-Sport models shown here also boast two-tone color schemes with vibrant red leather seating and door trim; platinum-hued trim accents; and black and red contrast stitching on the seats and steering wheel, respectively.
Lexus says both the IS 250 and IS 350 models return for the 2014 model year, while a new IS 300h hybrid model will join the range – at least “in Europe, Japan, and other international markets.” F Sport models – like those shown here in these photographs – will allegedly be offered across the entire IS range, and will likely incorporate a stiffer suspension, larger wheels/tires, and other styling bits that set them apart from lesser IS models.
At this point in time, what we lack are firm technical specifications on the new IS. We’ve been told the 2014 IS 350 will again use a direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6, albeit this time with an eight-speed automatic transmission (we’re still unsure as to whether the current IS 350’s 306-hp rating remains unchanged) We wouldn’t be surprised if the IS 250’s smaller 2.5-liter V-6 is ported over from the present IS range with few modifications, nor would we be shocked to discover the IS 300h’s driveline is much like that of the 2013 ES 300h, which pairs a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 with a pair of electric motors.
All this shall be revealed in short order, as the 2014 IS will be formally unveiled at the Detroit auto show on January 9th. Stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest news surrounding the 2014 Lexus IS and the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
Photo Credit: Patrick M. Hoey, Lexus