Lexus won't have a performance sedan to fight the new BMW M3.
Lexus reportedly has no plans to build an IS F for the next generation of the sedan. Scott Thompson, the brand's boss in Australia, told Motoring: "there’s no plans at the moment [to release another one]."
Thompson doesn't provide an explanation for not building an IS F. However, he hints that it comes down to demand for the performance version of the brand's products. He admits that the percentage of F trim models that the company delivers in Australia is “smaller than our [German] competitors," according to Motoring.
The next-gen Lexus IS reportedly arrives in the latter half of 2020, and there are a lot of rumors surrounding its powertrain range. Some speculation suggests the model would get the same BMW B58 3.0-liter inline-six from the Supra where it produces 335 horsepower (250 kilowatts) and 365 pound-feet (495 Newton-meters). However, there's also a report of the IS using Toyota's newly developed inline-six.
The other engine options might allegedly include turbocharged 2.0- and 2.4-liter four-cylinders. In addition, some markets would reportedly get a 2.5-liter hybrid powerplant.
The new IS' underpinnings would be a rear-drive version of the TGNA modular platform. The switch reportedly helps slice off around 342 pounds (155 kilograms) compared to the existing sedan.
There were previously rumors about a new IS F coming in 2022. It allegedly would have used the LS's 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and 10-speed automatic. Presumably, Lexus' engineers would have tweaked the output to top the 416 hp (310 kW) the mill makes in the brand's flagship sedan.