Lexus has a new BMW 3-Series fighter on the way

Lexus IS teaser
Lexus IS. Lexus

The IS sedan has been Lexus’ answer to BMW’s all-conquering 3-Series for the past decade and a half.

The current generation of the Lexus IS sedan is now in its third year and ripe for a mid-cycle refresh.

At the 2016 Beijing auto show, Lexus is going to unveil the latest update to its compact sedan.

In a teaser photo released on Tuesday, the third generation IS is set to receive a revised front fascia resembling the Lexus RC Coupe.

In addition, the brand’s controversial “spindle grille” looks set to continue.

Thus far, Lexus has not released any images of the new IS interior.

As for propulsion, Lexus revamped the IS engine lineup this year, so it’s likely the 2017 refresh will only be cosmetic. The third gen IS can be had with a base 2.0 litre, 241 horsepower turbocharged, inline-four-cylinder engine in the IS200t, along with a 3.5 litre, 255 horsepower, V6 engine in the mid-level IS300.

Both engines join the range-topping 306 horsepower, 3.5 litre V6 engine from the IS350.

Business Insider road tested the a third generation IS350 AWD in 2014 and found the car to be comfortable and solid, but far from perfect.

The 306 horsepower V6 engine is silky smooth, but the 6-speed automatic paired with the all-wheel-drive system proved to be uninspired. The interior, although attractive and well put together, is a bit too plasticky for a Lexus.

2016 Lexus IS200t 36
2016 Lexus IS200t Bryan Logan/Business Insider

The base 2016 IS200t starts at $37,325 while the top-of-the-line IS350 F Sport AWD start $45,750.

The 2016 Beijing auto show kicks off late next week at the China International Exhibition Center.

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