Malcolm Flynn | Nov 8, 2012

Development of the next-generation Lexus IS is making rapid progress, with the new model spied again this week ahead of its Detroit Auto Show debut in January.

The new light camouflage on this prototype offers a more revealing look, and it's not hard to see the influence of the new GS and LS models.

These new photos also provide a more detailed look at the 2014 model's tail lights, clearly inspired by the recent LF-CC concept - rumoured to preview a new IS-based 'RC' coupe.

Expect the marque's new 'Spindle' grille design to dominate the face of the new midsizer, finalising a theme that began with the smaller CT hatch.

The profile of the new grille can be seen beneath the cladding on this test car, while the rear-end features the sharp bootlid edge seen on GS and LS.

This prototype’s wheelbase is similar to the current model, but the front overhang looks to have gained a few millimetres - likely to benefit pedestrian safety and aerodynamic efficiency.

2014 lexus is spy photos 11

Mechanical details remain unclear for now, though the existing V6-only (in Australia) range is likely to be expanded with an efficiency-boosting four-cylinder option, along with BMW-sourced diesel engines in some markets.

Also likely is a hybrid version, which could use a rear-wheel drive version of the 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric drivetrain used in the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

This configuration is rumoured to be in development also for an ultra-efficient GS 300h version of the larger GS sedan.

Watch for the new IS range - at least in sedan form - to appear at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

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