• New compact executive car from Lexus
• Longer and wider than the current model
• Diesel dropped in favour of a petrol-electric hybrid

First images of the new Lexus IS have been released ahead of the car’s global debut at next week’s Detroit Motor Show.

Initially shown as the LF-CC concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show, Lexus’s compact executive saloon is longer and wider than its predecessor, which will make for better luggage- and interior space.

The production car retains the dramatic front-end styling of the concept car, with a full-height grille and large air-intakes, but the design of the rest of the car is distinctly plain, with just a few flicks in the bodywork here and there to show some stylistic intent. Also shown is the F-Sport model which benefits from a bespoke grille and front bumper.

Inside, the car is very similar to the Paris concept, including the high centre console and off-centre gear lever. The new car also retains the analogue clock from the concept and the switches will be touch-sensitive. Lexus says that the rear seats will have class-leading knee room and access.

There will be two drivetrains available at launch, both using 2.5-litre petrol V6 engines. The base model will be the IS250, while there will also be a hybrid model, the IS300h. In what is considered a brave move, especially in Europe, the diesel model found in the current-generation car has been dropped in favour of the hybrid.

The car is expected to go on sale in the summer and will be up against the BMW 3-Series, the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

By James Richardson

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