The Lexus IS 300 made its production debut at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. However, this car did exist in other markets under different names well before it arrived in North America.
The car is sold in Asia as the Toyota Altezza and in Europe as the IS 200, although with a smaller, less powerful engine. In creating the SportCross, Lexus knew that a standard wagon version of the IS 300 would not appeal to the IS 300 audience, but a "cross" vehicle, which was between a wagon and sedan would be more appealing.
The SportCross version of the IS 300 was initially designed for the European market, however Lexus plans to sell approximately 5000 of the sporty wagons in the U.S. annually.