The successor to the Lexus IS 300 will be available as a saloon, coupé and convertible and styled on the LF-C model shown at the New York show, but will it retain the concept’s V8 engine?

The successor to the Lexus IS 300 will be available as a saloon, coupé and convertible and styled on the LF-C model shown at the New York show, but will it retain the concept’s V8 engine?

The concept car on display indicated that the IS 300 successor would compete purely as a sports vehicle aimed at younger buyers; the ES 330 will slot into the "comfort luxury" segment.

The current IS 300 has been a sales disappointment in the US and the new styling direction and extra options sees Lexus trying to revive its lagging success.

General manager for Lexus in the US Denny Clements has said the new edition will be available with several engine options. The current version is only available as a saloon (South African market) or station wagon (in the US) with one engine option.

And while the concept LF-C had a V8 engine, the production model would probably not, Clements added. It would most likely offer a choice of small- and large displacement six-cylinder engines, as seen in the BMW 3 Series.

The final exterior design might still be altered following consumer reaction at the show. The key points concerning the interior and engineering have been decided upon and the production version of the IS coupé will be available late in 2005 in a planned global launch.