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The world debut of the 2021 Lexus IS – which was originally scheduled for 8am on June 10 in Japan, with an online reveal in the US on June 9 – has been postponed. In a short statement by Lexus, the premium brand says that the postponement took into consideration the recent global situation, and that a revised timing will be announced soon.

The US will be a major market for the fourth-generation Lexus IS, and the country is now swamped by protests that was triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. This could be the “recent global situation” Lexus cited; it’s unlikely to be Covid-19 as the new IS teaser and debut date announcement was made on June 1.

The third-generation Lexus IS – which still looks rather sharp, literally and figuratively – has actually been with us since 2013, with a facelift appearing in 2016. Seven years is a long time in today’s car world, and all of the sport sedan’s European rivals have been renewed since then.

It’s not common that we don’t have a clue on how a car will look like prior to its debut, but Lexus has somehow managed to keep the new IS well wrapped – we don’t recall seeing spyshots of the new RWD rival to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Volvo S60. The Lexus ES is front-wheel-drive and larger in size.

There isn’t much to see from the sole teaser image released so far, other than a full width rear LED signature, which would make the IS very distinctive at night. “Bringing the thrill of driving to the compact luxury sports car segment, Lexus will pull the cover off the new 2021 IS sports sedan next week,” Lexus’ American caption read, describing the new model as “dressed to thrill”.

GALLERY: Current Lexus IS 200t facelift