Today was supposed to be the day on which the 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan would debut, but it was not to be. In a brief announcement, the automaker stated, “Considering the recent global situation, Lexus has respectfully postponed the premier of the new IS, which was originally scheduled for 8:00 A.M. Japan Standard Time June 10. Revised timing will be announced soon.”
Currently, the world — and the U.S. particularly — are in the throes of both the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as contentious protests surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, and more generally toward systemic racism and use of force toward peaceful protestors. Both have drawn international condemnation as little has changed in the past two weeks, and the national conversation toward police reform overshadows the importance of a new car reveal.
As for when the 2021 Lexus IS will debut, we should know more sometime this week. We have it on good authority by way of a Motor Trend report that the new IS will be an evolutionary design. The Japanese automaker has at least updated the rear styling, but that’s all we know with absolute certainty so far, since they just teased a silhouette. Like the current model, the new sports sedan will likely carry on with four- and six-cylinder powertrains. It’s unlikely we’ll see another V8-powered IS F, as we didn’t see one in the current generation, but we may see something with a twin-turbo V6 at the top end.
Editor’s Note: To be clear, Lexus did not explicitly mention the global protests, and has not given any further official comment on the IS reveal’s postponement.