Toyota has filed trademark applications for IS500 in the United States and Canada, lending credence to rumors about the new Lexus IS getting a V8-powered variant. The automaker issued the requests in both countries on June 25, 2020. The offices still listed them as pending as of this writing. The forum GR86.org first discovered the application in the US.
The rumor a V8-powered version of the new Lexus IS first came from the Instagram page Allcarnews. It claims the IS500 uses the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter eight-cylinder engine from the RC-F with 472 horsepower (352 kilowatts). Lexus also allegedly plans to give the vehicle a wider front and rear track for a more aggressive stance and better handling. However, the company reportedly wouldn't make the model as aggressive as the BMW M3 or Mercedes-AMG C63, so this isn't a true IS-F successor.
The 2021 Lexus IS straddles the line between a new model and an extensive refresh. It rides on the same platform as the previous vehicle, and the engines carry over from before. However, the sedan's overall dimensions are 1.2 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, and 0.2 inches lower. An overhauled suspension has lighter components for the A-arms, coil springs, and stabilizer bar. Inside, there's a standard 8.0-inch infotainment display or optional 10.3-inch screen.
Gallery: 2021 Lexus IS
While the regular Lexus IS should be on sale before the end of the year, don't look for the IS500 to be in the lineup until the 2022 model year. Also, the brand's boss for the Australian region says a new IS-F isn't happening there. Since these trademark filings are only for the US and Canada so far, there's early evidence of the V8 model being limited to certain markets.