Such a Tease

First Look: Redesigned 2021 Lexus IS teased ahead of its June 9 debut

Lexus is teasing the forthcoming debut of the 2021 IS.

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

On June 9, Lexus will reveal its redesigned IS sedan. The IS had been scheduled to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April but that show was postponed, then cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the luxury arm of Toyota distributed a teaser image of the new car.

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 been 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.

2021 Lexus ISThe car sports a new light signature.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The 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.

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.

2021 Lexus ISA rear diffuser is evident in tuned versions of the image.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Stay tuned for more insight when the car is unveiled on June 9.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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