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Lexus’ entry-level IS sedan gets a shot of Botox in time for the Beijing show

2017 Lexus IS teaser
Lexus will travel to the Beijing Auto Show that’s opening its doors early next week to introduce the facelifted IS.

The IS’ updated design is being kept under wraps for the time being, but a dark teaser shot published by Lexus suggests the three-year-old sedan will receive new-look headlights loosely inspired by the ones found on the sleek RC coupe, and a redesigned lower bumper with bigger air dams. The IS appears to get a subtly revised rendition of Lexus’ trademarked spindle grille, too, but we’ll have to wait until the start of the Beijing show to find out for sure.

It’s reasonable to speculate that designers have made a few tweaks to the IS’ cabin. The list of updates could address some of the sedan’s biggest shortcomings by including a more modern-looking center console, and the latest version of the Toyota-owned car maker’s infotainment system.

It’s too early to tell whether Lexus is making mechanical modifications to the IS. Currently, the company’s smallest sedan comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The mid-level IS 300 packs a 3.5-liter V6 engine tuned to send 255 ponies and 236 pound-feet of twist to all four wheels, while the range-topping IS 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that uses an unusual port and direct-injection system to develop 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque.

Sorry, enthusiasts, but it doesn’t sound like the V8-powered, BMW M3-baiting IS F model will make a return in the foreseeable future.

The revised Lexus IS will go on sale in China shortly after it greets the show-going public in Beijing. Lexus isn’t forgetting about the United States, its biggest market, and we expect that our version of the IS will benefit from the same visual updates in time for the 2017 model year.

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