New Lexus IS preview

LF-CC show car reveals coupe body rivalling BMW's 3-series and new hybrid engine to be used across Lexus model range

LF-CC’s styling echoes that of bigger LF-LC.

They even haven't put the LF-LC into showrooms yet... 

True, the LF-LC concept car _ shown in Detroit at the start of this year _ hasn't gone into production yet. It was supposed to provide clues to a 2+2 coupe to potentially rival the BMW 6-series.

What you see here this week is the smaller LF-CC version pointing to a possible match for the 3-series Coupe. A fixed-top coupe version of the IS was never made before.

But what Lexus has formally announced ahead of the LF-CC's debut in Paris this month is that it will preview the looks of a D-segment model, clearly referring to the current IS, which is ageing in both saloon and cabriolet (folding hard-top) bodies.

They don't have to tell me how it would look...

Yeah, especially when their latest design philosophy is being applied across the range. The LF-CC's styling echoes that of the bigger LF-LC.

In showroom speak, the new IS would have the same spindle-like grille already applied on the RX sport-utility, GS executive saloon and LS luxury saloon (as well as the LX giant SUV sold only in the US and Middle East).

What that's hybrid engine pointed out?

It's the 2.5-litre inline-four petrol engine mated to electric assistance, as used in today's Toyota Camry (the Alphard MPV has the older 2.4-litre mix).

As Life once scooped earlier this year, this new drivetrain (technical figures have yet to be revealed) will slot into the next IS, as well as the ES (pinned for Thai assembly) and GS four-door saloons.

At the moment, Lexus has no diesel motors to match the European luxury brands. Instead, Toyota's posh nameplate will continue with its hybrid crusade as an alternative to diesel.

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Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor