Lexus commences facelift IS teaser, prospects for South Africa unknown


Lexus has officially kicked-off the teaser campaign for what is likely to be the final series of updates for now the seven year old third generation IS.

In a post on its Facebook page, the automaker's entry-level sedan sports a new full-length light bar similar in design to that of the UX, with prior reports having made reference to new LED headlights and the latest Spindle Grille derived from the LS.

The first major facelift since 2016, the IS' interior will also be updated with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as plusher materials and a new dashboard. Expect the Lexus Safety System+ to star with features such as Lane Tracing Assist and Cyclist Detection for the Pre-Crash system.

In what will also be the final hurrah for the New N Platform which will be replaced in 2026 by the new Mazda co-developed rear-wheel-drive architecture, a new sporting model, rumoured to be called IS 500, will top the range in place of the discontinued IS F. While still to be confirmed outright, motivation will reportedly come from the LS' same 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 with the output of 310kW/600Nm likely to be carried over.

Confirmed for unveiling on 9 June, the IS will, for the first, not be offered in Europe with a report from Dutch publication, Auto Week, attributing the decision to the popularity of SUVs and declining sedan sales. It remains to be seen though whether this would be expanded to South Africa where sales have struggling against the likes of the segment dominating Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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