By David Undercoffler
12:45 PM PST, December 4, 2012
Despite the fact that the Los Angeles Auto Show is still in full swing, Lexus is looking to make a little news at the next auto show in the circuit.
The company announced Tuesday that its all-new 2014 IS sedan will make its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show on Jan. 15. It will be the third generation of the car; the current version is a bit long in the tooth, having been with us since 2006. The IS is the smallest sedan from the Toyota's luxury division, and counts as competitors other rear-wheel drive sport sedans such as BMW's 3-Series and Mercedes' C-Class.
No details on the new IS have been released, but expect both a four-cylinder IS 250 and a six-cylinder IS 350 to be available. The current IS 350 shares a direct-injection V-6 making 306 horsepower, and because that engine is also in the GS 350 that came to market in 2012, expect that powerplant to remain.
An eight-speed automatic transmission will be mated to the V-6 model, and should work with the engine's direct injection to boost fuel economy above the current model's 19/26 city/highway mpg rating. A hybrid model could also be introduced, as Lexus has been eager to expand its hybrid options in models such as the ES we reviewed in September 2012.
Lexus says the 2014 IS will have styling "inspired" by the LF-CC concept, but don't hold your breath for the cars looking all that similar. The IS will certainly have the company's new spindle grille design that's been strapped to the front of the rest of its lineup.
Despite being a world debut, the Lexus IS will have quite a fight for attention in Detroit. An all-new, seventh-generation Chevy Corvette will make its debut, as will Chevy's lineup of all-new pickup trucks. Other world debuts at the show include an undisclosed Infiniti sport sedan and the all-new Maserati Quattroporte.
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