2021 Lexus Is First Drive | What's New For The Is 300 And Is 350 F Sport

2021 Lexus IS First Drive | What's new for the IS 300 and IS 350 F Sport

The Lexus IS has now been with us for more than two decades. First introduced in 1999, it celebrated its 21st birthday this year and, to mark the occasion, Lexus hit the compact sedan with a significant overhaul, including a revamped powertrain lineup, an updated interior, and a much-needed tech update in an attempt to keep the sporty four-door relevant in a market that craves crossovers and SUVs.

So, first things first: The 2021 Lexus IS is not actually new. In fact, Lexus still refers to it as a third-generation car internally, despite the "redesign" and repositioning for 2021, which is ultimately more about the products elsewhere in the Lexus lineup, rather than the IS itself. We'll come back to that.

Lexus Trademarks Rx450h+ Nameplate In Europe

Lexus trademarks RX450h+ nameplate in Europe

Lexus entered the hybrid segment before a vast majority of its rivals, but it has timidly stayed away from the plug-in hybrid arena. Trademark documents filed in Europe suggest that's going to change sooner rather than later.

Toyota's luxury division asked the European Union Intellectual Property Office to protect the RX450h+ nameplate, and it was granted the trademark in October 2020. It noted the name will be used on "automobiles and structural parts thereof," meaning it's likely going to be a nameplate. It's a familiar one, but the plus makes a big difference.

2020 Lexus Lx 570 J201 Off-roader Concept Introduced For Rebelle Rally

2020 Lexus LX 570 J201 off-roader concept introduced for Rebelle Rally

Lexus transformed the LX, its biggest SUV, into a supercharged off-roader that sends chills down the Ford F-150 Raptor's spine. Although it's only a concept, it will attempt to tame the desert during the 2020 Rebelle Rally.

Based on the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser, the LX is a formidable off-roader even without any modifications. Many examples nonetheless end up decked out with aftermarket parts, and it's these go-anywhere rigs that inspired Lexus to create the J201. Its name comes from URJ201, which is the current LX's internal designation.

2021 Lexus Ux 250h Black Line Special Edition Revealed

2021 Lexus UX 250h Black Line Special Edition revealed

Lexus just found a way to make the UX 250h look even more like a regular hatchback. It's called the 2021 Lexus UX Black Line Special Edition, and it follows the path of previous Lexus Black Line models before it (ES, GS, RC). We'll note that this special edition is based on the hybrid version of the UX, and isn't available with the standard gasoline engine variant.

The body-color fenders stand out the most. Instead of ruggedized black plastic, Lexus is painting them in the same color as the rest of the body. Lexus' UX was already one of the most car-like of the tiny crossover class, and eliminating the ugly crossover-like fenders brings it even deeper into hatchback territory. By painting them the same color as the body, it tricks the eye into thinking the car is hunkered down lower to the ground. The gloss black side sills and lower trim bring it down even further visually. Now, Lexus didn't actually lower the UX, but this package makes it feel much less like a crossover. When painted, the flared fenders even come across as sporty, wider hips. We really dig the look.

2021 Lexus Rc F Fuji Speedway Edition Is A Limited-run Rc F

2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition is a limited-run RC F

This generation of the Lexus RC (launched as a 2015 model) can't be long for the world, but it's coming back around for the 2021 model year with some fresh new gear. The biggest news is the introduction of the RC F Fuji Speedway Edition.

It's limited to just 60 units and takes after the RC F Track Edition that debuted last year. Just like the Track Edition, the Fuji Speedway Edition adds Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, a titanium exhaust and has gone through an extensive weight savings program that includes a big dose of carbon fiber. The hood, roof, wing, front spoiler, rear-seat partition and bumper reinforcement are all made of carbon fiber. All these weight savings help the 0-60 mph time fall to 3.96 seconds, down from the 4.2 seconds of the standard RC F.

2021 Lexus Es 250 Awd Debuts Alongside Special Edition Model

2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD debuts alongside special edition model

Toyota engineered a Camry with all-wheel drive, so transferring it over to the Lexus only makes sense. The 2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD debuts today, adding all-wheel power to the ES for the first time. Lexus teased the possibility of an all-wheel-drive model at this generation's launch, but it hasn't been officially announced until now.

Just like the newly-available Camry AWD, this one is exclusively paired with a four-cylinder engine. Besides the Hybrid model, the ES was only offered with a naturally aspirated V6. Now the 2.5-liter four-cylinder migrates to the Lexus with 203 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. It's a shame that Lexus hasn't paired the all-wheel-drive system with the more powerful V6, but it was a task and a half to re-work the Camry with this system already.