This IS the one

Re­vealed: the new Lexus mid-sizer

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - Paul Gover

YOU don’t have to look hard to find the next Lexus IS be­neath the shiny skin of this con­cept car for the Paris mo­tor show.

Of­fi­cially it’s called the LF-CC — Lexus Fu­ture Com­pact Coupe — but it’s the same size and style as the all-new IS due in show­rooms next year. It packs an ad­vanced new hy­brid driv­e­line that’s also al­most cer­tain for pro­duc­tion. Lexus is in the fi­nal stages of re­new­ing its IS and go­ing all out to give it more ca­chet to lure buy­ers from Audi, BMWor Benz.

The CC con­cept is also aimed at show­ing Lexus is se­ri­ous about a rein­ven­tion that’s be­ing driven by Toy­ota chief Akio Toy­oda. This be­gan ear­lier this year with a new mid-sized GS sedan, com­plete with the ‘‘spin­dle grille’’ nose that’s the com­pany’s new fron­tend sig­na­ture.

But the head of Lexus Aus­tralia warns about read­ing too much into the Paris tease, es­pe­cially the car’s two-door coupe body. ‘‘It’s not the IS. It’s a coupe. It def­i­nitely shows the de­sign in­tent for Lexus,’’ Tony Cramb says. ‘‘You’ll find the IS is gor­geous, but this is a con­cept and not a pro­duc­tion car.’’ The LF-CC’s new hy­brid driv­e­train pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an elec­tric mo­tor. Lexus is keep­ing out­puts se­cret un­til Paris, but ev­ery­thing points to about 147kW with CO

2 emis­sions of less than 100g/km.

Lexus sells the IS, dat­ing from 2005, as a sedan and con­vert­ible, priced from $55,800 and $94,300. The hotrod V8-pow­ered IS-F is $126,300.

This line-up is likely to continue but there is an ob­vi­ous open­ing for a coupe to ri­val the Ger­mans . Lexus is com­mit­ted to two-door cars as im­age ma­chines.

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