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2025 Lexus IS Refresh Possible Test Bed For Lquid Hydrogen And Synthetic Fuel V-8

Lexus might be heading in a very interesting direction with the latest IS refresh, but it seems the company is playing it safe when it comes to alternative fuels.

A recent scoop from a Japanese outlet reported on another refresh for the Lexus IS. The third generation of the Japanese luxury sedan has been around since 2013, making it one of the longest-produced Japanese models, and it already went through two phases. Now, Lexus is bringing out another mid-cycle refresh for the IS and this could mean a few things. 

We could get a more eco-friendly V-8 engine 

Since 2022, we have been hearing about Toyota, Lexus, and Yamaha joining forces to work on a V-8 engine, working on liquid hydrogen. We know the engine is based on the 2UR-GSE, 5.0-liter, naturally-aspirated V-8. Toyota had plans to save the V-8 by transitioning away from fossil fuels and adopting liquid hydrogen as the main fuel of its internal combustion engines.  

However, we know that to run reliably on liquid hydrogen, the V-8 had to undergo some modifications. Initially, power output was decreased to around 420, but the tech heads from Toyota, Lexus, and Yamaha, apparently, engineered a way around that, assuring similar performance to the gasoline-powered version of the V-8. 

The 2025 Lexus IS could run on synthetic fuels 

Not long ago I reported on a recent press release by Toyota, according to which the Japanese company partnering with ExxonMobile successfully completed real-life tests of low-emission fuels. Toyota assures that these fuels do not require the existing powertrain options to undergo any modifications and you would be able to refuel like you would a gasoline-powered car.  

It sounds much easier and cost-efficient than liquid hydrogen, so I wouldn't be surprised if the 2025 Lexus IS runs on these low-emission fuels. Moreover, Toyota has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to hydrogen, as the Toyota Mirai turned out to be a lot more expensive to live with compared to a gas-powered or BEV model like the Camry

Toyota and Lexus are playing it safe for now

Lexus Electrified Sedan Concept might be the next IS, but it will, likely, not be fully electric

If the upcoming refresh of the Lexus IS is indeed, going to be a test bed for liquid hydrogen and/or low-emission fuels then Lexus is wise not to do it on a completely new generation of one of its existing models. This being the third refresh of the current Lexus IS, we know its life cycle is nearing its end.

Back in December 2021, Toyota and Lexus introduced the largest array of concept vehicles. Some of those have already transitioned nicely into production models like the new Toyota Tacoma and the fully electric Toyota BZ4X, while others like the Compact Cruiser EV, are on the way.

Among them was the Lexus Electrified Sedan concept, said to preview a luxury-sports BEV sedan. We know, however, that Toyota, and by extension Lexus, will not go fully electric, instead focusing on hybrid powertrains and eco-friendly fuels for its combustion engines. Will this be the next-generation Lexus IS or something else? Possibly. 

The new Lexus corporate design? 

Each refresh comes with differences in styling, and similar to how the Toyota Camry and Prius adopted a front “hammerhead” design, the 2025 Lexus IS will share the new grille design with the small Lexus LBX. Apparently, Lexus is taking the best traits of the LBX and instilling them into the IS.

Since we know the LBX's 1.6-liter turbo-three engine (shared with the GR Yaris/ GR Corolla models) can run on liquid hydrogen, it reaffirms the possibility of the upcoming Lexus IS, having the ability to run on either hydrogen or low-emission fuels, or both.  

As always, we will share any new details we come across. Meanwhile, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. 

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image sources: 2024 Lexus IS, 2022 Lexus Electrified Sedan