Detroit 2013: Lexus Caves To Leaks, Unveils New IS

By Brandon Turkus

January 09, 2013

Remember what we said yesterday about teasers in our preview of the Hyundai HCD-14 Concept? Well, the other side of that token is illicit leaks. The latest victim is the all-new Lexus IS, which was leaked on a Chinese website, before being picked up by Speed:Sport:Life’s Twitter account. After posts by other publications, Lexus has finally just said “To hell with it,” and released a press release and some hi-res images of the 2014 IS.
Our first reaction? It looks like it was styled by an angry man with a samurai sword. That isn’t a bad thing. It’s exactly the sort of aggressive design we’ve been waiting for from Lexus, and there’s perhaps no more important of a vehicle for it to appear on than one that’s meant to do battle with the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3-Series.
The front fascia is the most aggressive iteration of Lexus’s “spindle grille.” Its sharp angles are flanked by a pair of LEDs that are actually separate from the headlights themselves. It stays far more true to the concept car that previewed it, the LF-LC, than we thought it would. The taillights dive aggressively away from the centerline of the car, forming the latter part of a character line that extends up from the rocker panels.
The interior is more driver-centric than the last IS. The instrument cluster and steering wheel on this F-Sport model is heavily influenced by the LF-A supercar. Overall, we’re quite excited to see the new IS in person.
The press release doesn’t mention specifics on powertrains, but we do know that there will be an IS250 and an IS350, both of which will benefit from F-Sport trims. The 2014 IS will also be getting a hybrid variant, called the IS300h.
We’ll have full details when the IS makes its live debut on Tuesday, January 15 in Detroit.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Lexus.
Lexus Releases First Official Photos of the Next Generation IS
All-new exterior featuring Lexus spindle grille design and Lexus-first independent L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
New interior design with LFA-inspired, driver-focused cockpit
F SPORT exclusive interior/exterior features
TORRANCE, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2013) - The all-new Lexus IS compact sport sedan will make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 15, 2013. A press conference will be held in the Cobo Center at 9:30 a.m. EST, and live webcast streaming of the event will be available at and on the Lexus Facebook page.
The all-new IS model range will include IS 250, IS 350, and the first IS to feature Lexus Hybrid Drive, the IS 300h, which will be available in Europe, Japan and other international markets. F SPORT models will be available across the full range. Today, Lexus released photos of the all-new IS 250/350 F SPORT in advance of next week’s World Premiere.   
Exterior Design
The all-new IS features the new Lexus spindle grille frontal design, awarding the compact sedan a combination of aggressive elegance, a more powerful road presence and a stronger brand identity.
The tight, sporting proportions of the body are formed by powerful character lines generated by the shape of the spindle grille, which passes through the base of the A-pillars then tightens up as it flows toward the rear. They clearly delineate the body from the cabin, emphasizing the wide flare of the wheel arches to give the new IS a broad, powerful stance.
In profile, the strong horizontal beltline shows off the large rear tires and its low center of gravity. The mass of the cabin itself is concentrated rearwards, visually applying weight to the rear tires to enhance the perception of traction.
A rising crease line flowing from the lower body, through the rear wheel arch and into the rear lamp clusters adds the sweeping elegance to the sedan’s sporty profile.
The exterior design incorporates a new, powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with Lexus trademark, L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.
F SPORT models are instantly recognized by an exclusive grille and front bumper design. The ‘waistline’ of the grille is higher than on standard models, increasing the area of the lower grille to make it capable of drawing in a larger volume of cooling air appropriate to sporty performance.
Interior Design
The new IS interior design creates a focused, ergonomically ideal environment from within, which the driver can fully exploit the new Lexus compact sedan’s superb driving dynamics.
The new IS’ increased width and longer wheelbase provide significantly improved rear seat comfort. The combination of the extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design generates best-in-class knee room and improved accessibility. And new, 60:40 split/folding rear seats, provide expansive luggage capacity.
Cabin material, trim and finish refinement is complimented by the latest advances in HMI technology and a high quality analog clock with surface-emitting illumination. The center console incorporates Lexus-first, electrostatic switches to control the air conditioning temperature with the touch of a finger.
Both the seat hip point and the angle of the new, LFA-inspired steering wheel have been lowered and steering reach adjustment increased, creating a more sporting driving position. F SPORT models feature the LFA’s innovative driver’s meter with a moving center ring.
F SPORT trim detailing includes a perforated leather finish to the steering wheel and shift knob, metal film 3-D-effect ornamentation, black seat stitching, and aluminium pedals and scuff plates.
A choice of three F SPORT interior color schemes includes a new Rioja Red finish, which is exclusive to the marque.