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.


Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

The redesigned 2020 Passat proves Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm introduced the redesigned 2020 Passat with a new look and more tech at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.