Tesla Building Electric Lexus RX Prototype?


Electric Lexus RX

Toyota & Tesla are now two weeks into their partnership (in which Toyota purchased a $50M stake in Tesla), and it’s rumored that their first joint-project will be converting a Lexus RX to a full electric prototype:

Tesla said July 10 that it will deliver two prototypes vehicles to Toyota this month without identifying the models. While Toyota also aims to test an electric Corolla compact car, the RAV4 and RX light trucks are better suited to the weight of Tesla’s battery pack, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the vehicles haven’t been announced yet.

The target for a model developed with Tesla would be for a car that costs about $40,000 with 150 miles (240 kilometers) of driving range per charge, the person familiar with the plans said.

“Toyota and Tesla engineering teams have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time,” JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, said in a July 10 e-mail message.

It may not be a vehicle as exciting as Tesla’s own Roadster, but with the RX already engineered to support a battery pack with its hybrid version, it’s a natural choice to be prototyped using the Tesla electric platform.

Even more than the models chosen, I’m surprised by the speed of this partnership — I wouldn’t have expected an announcement so soon, never mind the possibility that we may see a full-electric Lexus prototype before the year is out.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Comments


  • lexusjoe

    Seems like the beginning of a GREAT relationship…(where have I heard that before?)

  • WorldofLuxury

    Hurry!
    – POWER
    – EFFICIENCY
    – RELIABLITY
    – POOOOWWWWWWEEERRR, more if possible, please :-D
    – oh, and definitely luxuries. hmm… more leather, real metal, LED ambient lighting? At least in the concept cars? :D

  • Tyler

    150 miles is a pretty good distance for around town driving. The only thing is how long does it take to charge ther SUV?

  • Stan

    this here is a billion times more exiting than the roadster!!

  • Eljay

    At the risk of sounding like the worlds greatest grump:does the RX really need to become more politically correct? :-D

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Eljay wrote:At the risk of sounding like the worlds greatest grump:does the RX really need to become more politically correct? :-D

    Haha — I thought the same thing, but like the article says, the RX is the best suited to holding the Tesla batteries and this is just a prototype. I read today (can’t find a link, sorry) if the Tesla tech holds up to Toyota’s expectation, that the actual production model will not be an existing model but something brand new.

    Whether that’s a Lexus or a Toyota is anyone’s guess…

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Stan wrote:this here is a billion times more exiting than the roadster!!

    I would have preferred the GS myself. :-)

  • borg1of2

    krew wrote:

    Stan wrote:this here is a billion times more exiting than the roadster!!

    I would have preferred the GS myself.

    I volunteer my GS 450h as a prototype for Tesla. :)

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  • Lexus Ben

    @Tyler: Well considering that Nissan Leaf is coming out this fall. In which it has a range of 100miles per charge. I’d say Toyota have to step up their game plan a bit faster. Hence not wasting time developing their own pure EV tech and join ventures with Tesla could also means a rebadged Toyota MR-S (MR-2) EV in future????? Especially when Gazoo racing has that interesting MRS concept with V6 pwr Hybrid….. Very excited indeed.