2021 Lexus IS 500 Will Get Lexus' Last Naturally Aspirated V8: Report
Just don't call it IS F.
Even though the rev-loving GS F high-performance sedan may be no more, Lexus' delicious 5.0-liter V8 may have a new, smaller, sedan to call home if a new report is to be believed.
According to allcarnews on Instagram, Toyota's luxury division is preparing to introduce a new IS for 2021, something the account had already predicted as part of its Toyota product leak bonanza back in March. What that leak didn't mention, however, was that the reworked IS will apparently now come with a 5.0-liter V8 option, seemingly marking a return of the defunct IS F. The report asserts, however, that the upcoming sports sedan will be called the IS 500 instead of IS F for some reason.
Whatever it ends up being called, the "IS 500" is said to be Lexus' last hurrah for its naturally-aspirated V8—the rumored LC F will reportedly use a twin-turbo version—which also lines up with a March tidbit that said Lexus would stop selling sub-$90,000 V8s soon.
Allcarnews also says that the 2021 Lexus IS won't be an entirely new car. It'll be built on the same "New N" platform that's underpinned the model since 2013 but get an all-new body that resembles a "sportier baby version of the new LS," new LED lights, wider tracks front and rear, as well as a fresh interior, among other things. The result is said to be something heavier than a traditional facelift but not really a full generation change—a "mild new generation version," as the outlet calls it.
In addition to the platform, the current compact Lexus sedan's engines will also be carried over, such as the 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.5-liter V6 found in today's models. However, a Japanese publication predicted over a year ago that the next-gen Lexus four-door would get the same BMW straight-six used in the Toyota Supra.
On that note, it's important to remember that rumors are rumors and until the automaker officially announces anything (or until a bulgy-hooded IS test mule gets spied), Lexus fans getting excited right now should probably keep a healthy dose of skepticism. That being said, these guys have been right about Toyota-related beeswax before. In the first part of that huge leak a couple of months ago, they predicted the all-new hybrid Sienna and the return of the Venza...two things that both came to fruition.
If the V8-powered 2021 Lexus IS 500 does indeed become real, expect it to run a close fight with BMW's upcoming M4.
A Lexus spokesperson declined to "comment on speculation."
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