Such a Tease

Second Look: Fresh teaser photo, video of 2021 Lexus IS released after debut rescheduled

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Twelve says ago, Lexus released its first official image of the new IS. The teaser was meant to preview the redesigned car, which was set to debut on June 9. Lexus later postponed the debut of the IS citing social unrest. Now, the car has a fresh debut date (June 15) and we get a better look at the model.

The IS is the smallest of the three Lexus sedans offered for sale in the U.S. It slots below the ES and LS, but is larger than the Lexus RC, a two-door sports coupe.

Lexus has sold the luxury sports car since 1999.Though the car has often bee positioned as sporty, it usually only hits those notes when compared to the Lexus ES. If rumors are to be believed, the next-generation IS will be sportier than the last. How? That remains, for now, largely unseen.

Speculation has mounted saying that the car could have the powerful V8 engine that is found in the 2020 Lexus RC F. However, it's more than likely we'll see a four-cylinder base engine (possibly electrified). If Lexus was to present a hybrid powertrain, it might choose to go the same route its sister company Toyota did with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, delivering the sportiest model with the highest amount of horsepower as a plug-in hybrid.

There's likely to be a 2021 Lexus IS F-Sport variant as well. F-Sport models traditionally get a tuning upgrade and sportier features like larger, intricate wheels and sport seats. These models typically retail for thousands more than the base model.

The initial teaser image distributed by the automaker reveals a new company rear light signature that spans the width of the entire backside of the car connecting the taillights. Adjusting the brightness on the image in Photoshop reveals a body that is more athletic than the previous generation and has a rear diffuser.

2021 Lexus IS Lexus shared the first teaser image of the new car on June 1. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Turn up brightness on the shadows and vertical rear lights are revealed, pointing to where dual exhaust pipes might be. The fenders become more pronounced and the grounded look of the car becomes more evident.

Stay tuned for more insight when the car is unveiled on June15.

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Lexus took a different approach to launch the new IS.

Lexus

Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.



The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

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The LEGO Speed Champions series is adding two new Dodge models to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The new LEGO Speed Champions series is expanding by two. A 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A and Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster are being added to the growing collection. They are the first purple vehicle and first Top Fuel Dragster in the Speed Champion series.

"Owning, or aspiring to own, a Dodge muscle car is as much about the lifestyle of joining the Brotherhood of Muscle as it is about the vehicle purchase," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. "As a result, our brand enthusiasts are passionate about all things Dodge, including the latest cool collectibles. So, following the success of the Dodge 2018 LEGO Speed Champion building set, fans will now be able to build and show off not only the first ever 8-inch-wide (8W) muscle car, but also the first ever Plum Crazy 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, along with an incredibly detailed 13½-long Top Fuel Dragster."

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge box The 627-piece Challenger T/A and Dragster include box art of their Rea-life counterparts. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

LEGO has had the Challenger over two inches high, five inches long, and 2.5 inches wide. The Dragster is four inches high thanks to its wing, and has a body that is 13.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.

The set features a male Challenger driver in Dodge-branded clothing. The Dragster has a female driver in a Dodge race suit.

"In 2021, we are extremely excited to reteam with Dodge and expand the Speed Champions 8W Vehicle Collection even further by including new vehicle types and building experiences, for the first time, that appeal to vehicle fans of all ages," said Christopher Stamp, LEGO Design Lead.

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge The set includes two models.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The models will be released on June 1, 2021 at LEGO.com. Pricing for the models is not yet available.

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