By David Undercoffler
2:37 PM EST, January 9, 2013
Lexus on Wednesday unveiled the first official photos of its all-new IS sedan, ahead of the car's world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday.
The next-generation IS will be available as an IS 250 and IS 350, and will go on sale as 2014 models. Engine specifics will be released at the Detroit news conference.
The IS is a rear-wheel-drive compact sedan aimed at the venerable BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and Cadillac ATS. It will also be a competitor to the all-new Infiniti Q50, another car making its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show.
Both the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 will be available with more aggressive, sport-oriented F-Sport packages, and it's this trim that Lexus revealed in Wednesday's photos.
Key styling elements include the spindle grille that Lexus has included across its entire product lineup. The headlights feature a two-piece design, with the LED daytime lights located as a separate unit below the main headlight cluster. The F-Sport package gives the IS a more imposing front bumper and grille.
All IS models have the taillight design shown in the photos, which slopes dramatically from the rear corner of the car down toward the wheel arches.
The IS also gets an all-new interior, shown in Rioja Red, that features touch-sensitive controls for the air temperature. F-Sport models also get a configurable, digital "drivers meter."
Highway 1 will be covering the Jan. 15 unveiling and other events from Detroit on Monday and Tuesday. Stay tuned for full coverage.
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