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Lexus Begins Digging Infiniti's Grave With The 2021 Lexus IS

Illustration for article titled Lexus Begins Digging Infinitis Grave With The 2021 Lexus IS
Photo: Lexus

Last week, we got the sporty new Acura TLX Type S. Now this week, hot off the back of news that Infiniti is giving up on luxury, Lexus is teasing it’s own updated sports sedan—the rear-wheel drive 2021 Lexus IS.

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Just today we were talking about how Nissan’s restructuring is throwing Infiniti under the bus, slashing plans to take on Mercedes-Benz in a new upmarket push. Instead, the Japanese “premium” brand will play second-fiddle to Nissan’s lineup, borrowing as much as possible to save some cash in harsh global economic climate.

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But Acura and Lexus have other plans. The TLX Type S is set to be a rear-biased, all-wheel drive V6 premium sports sedan—the spearhead of a new Acura lineup that leans more into its enthusiast heritage. And now Lexus is teasing its plans, with the updated rear view of the upcoming 2021 IS.

The outgoing IS is arguably the smartest looking of the lineup, and it’s particularly notable for it’s ridiculous cut line along the outside edge of its rear fenders, where the taillight drops into a sharp point and drags back across the side of the car’s body.

Illustration for article titled Lexus Begins Digging Infinitis Grave With The 2021 Lexus IS
Photo: Lexus
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The new rear light design, which is all we get a good look at from the teaser image, keeps the directional point in the lower corners of the piece, but it seems the new car has dropped the dramatic rear lines of the outgoing model.

Instead we get an awkward light bar, which pulls the horizon line away from the edge of the trunk lid (where I’d imagine you’d want a natural horizon to fall). The clear plastic blocking making for the flat top-line of the light unit brings out the face of the rear design, and it doesn’t appear happy nor well rested.

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Illustration for article titled Lexus Begins Digging Infinitis Grave With The 2021 Lexus IS

Maybe it’s losing sleep over BMW stealing its design language.

The new IS is expected to keep the same platform as the outgoing car, though with a wider track. It’s also been rumored to get anything from a V8 to an inline six, but I bet even if any of those rumors are true, we won’t hear about it yet when the car debuts next week.

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Sitzpinkler

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