This IS the one
Revealed: the new Lexus mid-sizer
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.