The next-generation 2021 Lexus IS sedan was scheduled to make its debut yesterday, June 9, but the company has decided to postpone the virtual unveiling of the model indefinitely. Lexus cites respect for what it calls "the recent world situation" as the reason for its decision. Here is what Lexus said officially this week:
"Considering the recent global situation, Lexus has respectfully postponed the premier of the new IS, which was originally scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Japan Standard Time, June 10. Revised timing will be announced soon."
- Lexus announcement
With the worldwide outbreak of civil protests over the death of George Floyd and against police brutality, which are being accompanied by demands for police reform - all in the midst of a pandemic – Lexus clearly concluded the optics of unveiling a new car are not ideal.
When it does eventually make its debut, the new generation will replace a model that has been with us in its current form since 2014. It’s expected it will configured as a rear-wheel drive car, with some versions still offering all-wheel drive. Although it’s not confirmed, the new version will likely use an evolved version of its current platform as opposed to a new architecture.
As well, like the current IS sedan, the next edition will come with 4- and 6-cylinder powertrains, but it's not clear whether we'll see other setups or versions offering more power and performance. Recall that we recently reported on speculation that a V8-powered version will be offered as well.
For now, though, patience is in order. Given the current upheavals, the delay just announced could last a few weeks or even months.