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Lexus fails to deliver an all-new IS, instead opting for another face-lift that focuses on sharper handling. The engine options in the line-up haven't changed for the 2021 models with the rear-wheel drive IS 300 keeping the 241 horsepower 2.0L inline 4 engine, and the all-wheel drive IS 300 getting the 260 horsepower 3.5L V6. The top line IS 350 uses the same V6 engine but tuned for more power and torque, with 311 hp and 280 lb-ft respectively.
Both IS 300 and IS 350 models come with a choice of either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive setups, with the RWD versions getting an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD versions making do with a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration for the IS 350 is actually faster in the RWD model, with a 0-62 mph time of 5.6 seconds. The AWD IS 350 is clocked at 5.7 seconds, likely due to the combination of more weight and different gearing from the six-speed transmission undermining the extra grip.
The major changes come from the revised styling which keeps most of the major visual cues from before and the chassis and suspension upgrades. Lexus have significantly stiffened and reinforced the chassis for the 2021 model, and upgraded the dampers, springs and wheels and reduced the overall weight of the car as well. Lexus have also kept the F Sport package, which includes more aggressive exterior elements, wider tires, sports exhaust and diffuser, F Sport seats and various interior appointments, and of course plenty of F Sport badges.