Spied: 2012 Lexus IS F


The home of such luxury staples as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, Germany is also unsurprisingly one of the weakest European markets for the Lexus brand. However, it's also where we keep spotting the brand's latest development mules.

As you'll recall, we caught an early mule for the next-generation Lexus GS tooling around Germany yesterday, and today we've spotted an IS cruising the streets of Deutschland as well. But while we have some inkling about the future of the GS, this IS is a bit harder to crack.

For starters, the car is wearing mostly current bodywork. The extra bits, highlighted in black for easy spotting, are very similar -- but not exactly the same as -- the recently introduced F Sport appearance package. While the new rockers and fog light surrounds are familiar and it wears F Sport wheels, careful inspection shows the rear lip spoiler to be larger and more aggressive than the one currently offered by the F Sport package. In fact, it appears to be the spoiler from the actual IS F, despite this car's IS 250 badging. The car also appears to be wearing U.S.-spec fog lamps for some reason.

There are some other bits, though, that are even more interesting. Up front, Lexus appears to have fitted some small aerodynamic splitters just above the fog lights, presumably to help with front-end downforce but uncommon for any street machine, particularly a Lexus. There also appear to be a pair of tiny splitter-like protrusions attached to the taillights, likely another study in the car's aerodynamics.

Out back, someone's taken a saw to the rear fascia, particularly around the exhaust cut-outs. They're even more cut-out now, apparently to make room for the dual exhaust tips that have been moved inboard. Why have they been moved? Good question. On the driver's side, at least, it appears they were making room for a little white box stuffed under the bumper and apparently attached with gaffer tape. What is it? We'd love to know, too.

With its recent facelift, we're not expecting a new IS for some time, so this mule appears to be simply developing the new F Sport appearance package, if not researching aerodynamic enhancements. We'll keep an eye on this one to see what comes of it.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

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