Skip to main content

Photos: 2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

The 2014 Lexus IS compact luxury sedan isn’t supposed to see the light of day until next week’s Detroit Auto Show, but that didn’t stop Lexus from showing it off in a few photos. Predictably, the new IS shares many styling cues with the LF-CC concept and GS sedan. Straight gasoline and hybrid versions of this car will take the fight to the BMW 3 Series later this year.

The most obvious change is the addition of Lexus trademark spindle grille. On the IS, it’s attached to a much busier front end, with LED slashes that are completely separate from the headlights, and front air intakes that have their own air intakes.

As with the LF-CC, there’s a line that curves up from the rocker sills to meet the taillights. The lights themselves have a lot in common with the LF-CC’s, including the “L”-shaped lighting elements that are becoming a recurring theme on Lexus concept cars.

The interior has the same mechanistic feel as the bigger GS’ interior, making it look more like a piece of tech and less like someone’s living room. This F-Sport model gets the digital “driver’s meter” instrument display, including a digital tachometer, from the LFA supercar. It’s a cool touch that should also inspire a few delusions of motoring grandeur.

The F-Sport model shown here is the sportiest IS, although it is not meant to take on anything from BMW M or Mercedes AMG. Other models will probably get a less aggressive front end and wheel and tire package. They also won’t get this car’s red interior trim.

We’ll have to wait for the IS’ Detroit unveiling to see what specific performance tweaks separate the F-Sport from the other models. Lexus did say that the current IS 250 and IS 350 model designations will remain, so the 3.5-liter and 2.5-liter V6s that power both models could remain as well. The F-Sport will be available with both engines.

There will also be an IS 300h hybrid, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it used the powertrain from the ES 300h. That means a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four and two electric motors. The LF-CC concept featured a similar 2.5-liter engine and a single, water-cooled electric motor.

Lexus has been trying to reinvent itself with a more vivacious image and, at the very least, the new IS won’t be mistaken with the previous model. We’ve seen what the new Lexus look does to this sedan, but will have to wait for next week’s unveiling to see how it stacks up against the competition.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more