Lexus’ issues with the performance crowd are well known. A company that makes front-wheel drive luxury cruisers based off Toyota models isn’t exactly the best recipe for success. We’ve just been waiting for an ES F (that’s a joke).

The one standout in Lexus’ model range though has been the IS range, formerly known as the Toyota Altezza in Japan. With a rear-wheel drive platform and the lone Lexus F model, it is by far the most attractive Lexus model in our opinion.

Introduced in 2005 a a 2006 model, it is time for a replacement. Shockingly, it could be based on another car that Toyota enthusiasts have pinned their performance hopes on – the FT-86. That’s the word from Road & Track.

The FT-86 has been heralded as an important new vehicle for Toyota. With a new rear-wheel drive platform and expensive development for what it likely to be a pretty low volume model, finding another car to share FT-86′s platform with would be ideal.

The IS makes perfect sense, increasing economies of scale and reducing development expenses by having a luxury brand share the platform. Beyond that though, the IS’ standard model is in need of a more sporting character. Sharing with the FT-86 could be just the way to do that.

Count us as supporters of that idea. What seems be a bit sketchy though is the projected launch date for the next-generation car – 2013 The IS needs a replacement or very significant refresh before then in order to stay relevant.