Twenty years before the introduction of the 2021 Lexus IS last summer, the iconic rear-wheel-drive compact luxury sedan blazed a trail for the power of performance. This is the car that initiated Toyota President and master driver, Akio Toyoda, into the exhilaration of performance driving, and tapped into the desire for an emotional feel behind the wheel. In balancing a sports car with a sedan, the IS created an ideal synergy for a new kind of Lexus guest.

The IS may have evolved in shape, size, efficiency and power, but it has stayed true to its stimulating heritage, retained the craftsmanship expected from Lexus, and created a culture of style and expression all its own.

Now, the IS launches the newest chapter in its story of innovation at Lexus as the first of the lineup to feature the Lexus Driving Signature approach to design. To chart the course of this groundbreaking driving experience, here is a look back at major milestones for the model that shook up luxury and forged a time-tested bond between driver and machine.

Lexus IS Icons: Crafted to Perform

2013 ushered in the new model year IS with Lexus’s customary philosophy of craftsmanship, which here means maximum performance in a streamlined format.  Lexus’ high-performance F editions innovated a 5.0-liter engine in a compact sedan. Fittingly, the “F” stands for Fuji International Speedway in Japan, the track where Lexus tested out its new line of high-performance cars.

Throwback Facts:

  • A sign of the times: automatic Bluetooth® to connect with devices was added to the 2013 edition of IS.
  • Ultrasonic Blue Mica, the new paint available in the sports edition, paved the way for the next generation of Lexus’s legendary blue paint colors, including Structural Blue, available on the 2021 LC500 convertible Inspiration Series, and Grecian Water, standard on the 2021 Black Line Edition lineup.

The Lexus IS sedan continues to evolve, with the ultimate goal of delivering a new generation of Lexus vehicles that is more balanced, refined in control, and confident than ever before. Check out the next icon in the making, the new 2021 Lexus IS, here.

Originally published March 18, 2021

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