The chief designer of the new Lexus IS says that a high-performance halo model will likely stay in the IS lineup, but that its 5.0 litre V8 won’t survive.
“That V8 is a little difficult to meet Euro 6,” Junichiro Furuyama, the 2013 IS’ chief engineer told TMR, referring to the current IS F's 5.0 litre 2UR-GSE engine.
“The engine has a high performance focus, so the combustion condition is more severe than normal engines. It’s a little more difficult than making the V6 engines comply with Euro 6."
“To produce more power and torque it runs leaner. That is the problem. We probably need a new engine for the F model.”
As for what would replace it, Furuyama-san said that both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged powerplants would make sense.
“In my personal opinion, what is suitable for this kind of sports model is natural aspiration or turbocharged engines,” he said.
He added that although lower-displacement turbocharged engines had their merits, they might not necessarily be in keeping with the IS F’s character.
“For power and torque the turbocharger has a big advantage, but there is some turbo lag. Natural aspiration is one of our strong points... and is a more pure experience,” Furuyama said.
But while Furuyama was vague about details of the next-generation IS F, he confirmed that Lexus’ hybrid technology won’t find its way onto the brand’s performance flagship anytime soon.
“Sometime in the future, even the F model could become a hybrid,” Furuyama said to TMR.
“In future, yes, but for this generation, no.”
The existence of a replacement for the current IS F has yet to be confirmed, although the current model remains in production.
Lexus been paving the way for a successor though. The company trademarked the "RC F" moniker earlier this year, which also hints that its performance flagship will also be offered in two-door flavour.
The current IS F debuted roughly a year and a half after the arrival of its V6-powered siblings. If Lexus sticks to a similar timeline, it's likely that we won't see its replacement until late 2014 or early 2015.