Automotive News has revealed a number of significant facts about the future of Lexus, and it’s strictly upscale — with no plans to release a sub-$30,000 vehicle, Lexus will not be attempting to match their German competitors car-for-car, instead focusing their current lineup and all new vehicles at high-end segments.
Broken down, what does it look like? Here we are:
IS: The IS-F will be released late this year, with a coupe and hard-top convertible version following in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
ES: A hybrid ES will be seen in 2009, a mid-cycle refresh in 2010, and a redesign in 2012.
GS: No changes (what about the GS 460?) are planned, though the 350’s V6 will be bored out to 3.5 litres in 2008.
SC: A long overdue redesign will be coming for 2009, with a significant drop in weight and a displacement increase to 4.6 litres.
Hybrid: A dedicated hybrid, once rumored for 2009, then 2010, is now scheduled to be released in 2012. It may be a small crossover, and would only be for Japanese and European markets, at least in the short-term.
RAV4: The most interesting news here is talk of a Toyota-based Lexus built on the RAV4 platform, though this may be the dedicated hybrid mentioned above. It could be for Japanese and European markets only.
RX: The RX will be redesigned for early 2009 and released as a 2010 model.
GX: A redesign is expected for Fall 2009, where a six-speed automatic transmission may be added.
JX: Expected in 2009, the JX will be a seven-seat crossover and be based off the GS platform.
I dislike these summary-style news items, though it does confirm a number of things, like the JX and IS Coupe/Convertible versions. With no mention of the GS 460, I question how accurate the report is, but will hold out hope for the RAV4-based Lexus, which I could see dominating the small crossover market.