Speaking with TMR in Sydney, Lexus Australia chief Tony Cramb hinted strongly that the new IS sedan, a strong-seller for Lexus in the United States, will make its debut at the biggest event on the North American motor show calendar.
A local launch would likely follow in the the fourth quarter of 2013.
Powertrain details for the next-gen IS are still hazy, but if the GS is anything to go by, expect evolved examples of the current range of 2.5 litre and 3.5 litre V6 petrol engines.
However, with the current IS being only one of two Lexus models not available with a hybrid powertrain (the mammoth LX 570 is the other), a hybrid is also possible.
There are a few options available for an IS Hybrid, but the only ready-to-go RWD hybrid powerplant is the 3.5 litre V6/electric-motor combo used by the GS 450h.
Another possibility is a development of the Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder used by the LF-CC concept, which uses both port and direct injection to put out around 150kW.
“It's not confirmed, but I'd like to see a hybrid. I definitely want a hybrid,” Cramb told TMR.
But what definitely won't be on the Lexus stand at Detroit, however, will be an IS coupe.
Following the LF-CC concept's debut at the Paris Motor Show, many automotive publications (including TMR) speculated that it would be productionised as a coupe variant for the IS range.
However, when asked if the LF-CC was destined for the assembly line, Cramb simply replied: “Time will tell... time will tell.”
“We did confirm that the LF-CC is the basis for a D-segment coupe in the future, but we didn't confirm that it's necessarily IS-related,” Mr Cramb said.
“A lot of people are drawing that conclusion, but it's not completely accurate.
“The feedback from Paris has been amazing on that coupe, but nothing has been confirmed at this point in time.”
Cramb also told TMR that other bodystyles, such as a wagon, were not part of Lexus' plans for the IS.
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