Malcolm Flynn | Aug 17, 2012

Lexus may downsize the IS F performance sedan's engine for its next-generation, according to a new report.

The traditionally staid Toyota-backed Lexus broke its own mould when the current IS F was unveiled in 2007. Stuffing a 5.0 litre V8 into the engine bay of the IS, the new M3-fighter made for a significant upgrade over the standard 2.5 litre V6.

Based on little more than a sly smile from Lexus insiders, US website Autoblog reports that the next model could follow the lead of the upcoming BMW M3/M4 in dropping to a six-cylinder, forced-induction unit.

Increasing demands for fuel efficiency would justify the move, and the improved volumetric efficiency of a smaller turbo engine is currently being embraced throughout much of the automotive industry.

Such an engine in the IS F could easily match the performance of the existing model - although some fans may lament the absent romance of the V8 engine note.

Prototypes of what are believed to be the next IS F have recently been spotted testing near the Nurburgring.

Sporting the current IS’ convertible body, bulging rear wheelarches and new rear suspension design, these mules have so far dodged speculation over what lies under their bonnet.

The report also suggests that such an engine could be sourced from BMW itself, following the recently announced technology sharing arrangement between the two manufacturers.

An official unveiling of the new model is not expected until 2014, but until then, keep an eye on TMR for any updates.

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