Two New Lexus Hybrids by 2012


Lexus Hybrid Badge

There were two separate stories today regarding Lexus’ future hybrid plans that just so happen to tie together quite nicely.

First off, the New York Times reports that Toyota will release 6 new hybrids by 2012:

[Toyota] did not provide details about the coming hybrids, though it provided a chart indicating that four of the new models would be under the Toyota brand and two under Lexus.

Not much to go on — unless you combine it with this Automotive News article that reveals Lexus plans to introduce hybrid versions of existing vehicles with each full model change:

“We want to introduce it with each new model change,” [Lexus R&D Director Kiyotaka] Ise said of plans to offer a hybrid option on current Lexus models. “Compared to Mercedes or BMW, hybrid technology is a key application in the Lexus. That’s the most easily understood difference in the brands.”

Ise also told Automotive News that Lexus aims to develop a more performance-oriented image.

“Up until now, Lexus has been about calm, stable luxury,” Ise said. “From now on it will be more about agility and response, really feeling the braking and acceleration.”

This could suggest the IS will indeed be getting a hybrid variant, as it’s next in line for a full model change after the GS, which already offers a gas-electric option. As for the second model — my best guess would be the ES, though it looks like we can rule out a city supermini for the time being:

Ise wouldn’t speculate about entering other niches — offering, for example, an even smaller model.

“It’s not that we’re not thinking about it,” Ise said. “But first we have to see how the CT does.”

[Source: Automotive News & NY Times]

Comments


  • JVX.

    Yes, the ES is a good candidate for a hybrid. I was surprise they haven’t made one yet, considering the popularity of hybrid camry. I can also see the the IS hybrid. The HS250 could have been sold under IS250h.

    As for Toyota, I would like to see a hybrid Celica or a hybrid MR2, since Mr. Ise mentioned that Toyota is heading toward agility and responsiveness. Both of these models are long due for updates. The FT86 would be definitely boost Toyota image as a performer with attitude. If Nissan can bring the 350z back, Toyota can do the same with the long-awaited Supra.

    If the new Scion IQ do well, I’d like see a luxury version of it too. Lots of goodies to expect from Toyota.

  • WorldofLuxury

    How about giving us more interesting products?!

  • seal

    One more EXCLUSIVE from CT200h Facebook group ;)
    First INTERIOR shot (RETAIL VERSION) of CT200h !

    Minor changes spotted ;)

  • James

    Hopefully the two hybrids they’re talking about are the SCh and ISh. We’ve already heard about the possibility of an SC Hybrid and a hybrid version of the IS makes the most sense, since they claim to be more interested in performance now. Think about it, if they want these hybrids to be more fun why would they even think of an ESh? And if BMW is going to build a 3-series hybrid, Lexus is going to need something better than the HS to compete with that. Maybe the ISh could replace the HS altogether. With two major recalls and very slow sales there aren’t many reasons to keep it around.

  • http://www.lexusforum.nl Hube

    From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

  • Eljay

    Hube wrote:From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

    Seems very likely.The compact premium crossover market is quite hot.
    To be honest I can’t stand the idea of a hybrid sportscar.A CVT gearbox and the engine whining away at the same revs don’t spell “driver’s car” to me. HSD works great in comfort-oriented cars like the RX,where you wouldn’t want to drive in an active,sporty fashion. Focusing on weight reduction is a much better way to chip away at emissions and fuel consumption in a sportscar.Also adds to the car’s handling,braking,acceleration and agility.

  • James

    Hube wrote:From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

    But isn’t the RX their X3 and Q5 competitor?

  • Nataraj

    seal wrote:One more EXCLUSIVE from CT200h Facebook group First INTERIOR shot (RETAIL VERSION) of CT200h !

    Minor changes spotted

    What are the minor changes???

  • http://www.lexusforum.nl Hube

    Eljay wrote:

    Hube wrote:From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

    Seems very likely.The compact premium crossover market is quite hot.To be honest I can’t stand the idea of a hybrid sportscar.A CVT gearbox and the engine whining away at the same revs don’t spell “driver’s car” to me. HSD works great in comfort-oriented cars like the RX,where you wouldn’t want to drive in an active,sporty fashion. Focusing on weight reduction is a much better way to chip away at emissions and fuel consumption in a sportscar.Also adds to the car’s handling,braking,acceleration and agility.

    True. But for example the GS450h, Lexus put a very powerfull car on the market. Also the development of the Hybrid LF-A (or an LF-A mule of the new SC as Krew sees it) says a lot about the future that awaits us. I pretty much think it’s bend or break.

    But Also my heart beats a lot quicker in the GT-R :)

    James wrote:

    Hube wrote:From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

    But isn’t the RX their X3 and Q5 competitor?

    The RX is definitely not a X3 competitor, the RX is not based on the IS, like the X3 is on the BMW 3 series. The best way to compare is in the model range of Infiniti. The RX stands against the FX not the EX.

  • http://www.jvxdriver.com/is250_retro.htm JVX

    @Eljay
    I recall one of the LFA designer said in an interview that if they have more time, they will make the LFA hybrid. I’m glad they didn’t.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Hube wrote:From what I get from the dealers here, it seems they are expecting a model to compete with the X3 and Q5, a SUV under the RX.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see an SUV based on the RAV4 at some point in the future, but I think Lexus is going to have their hands full with the CT, LFA, IS, GS, & (maybe) ES launches over the next couple years.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Eljay wrote:To be honest I can’t stand the idea of a hybrid sportscar.A CVT gearbox and the engine whining away at the same revs don’t spell “driver’s car” to me. HSD works great in comfort-oriented cars like the RX,where you wouldn’t want to drive in an active,sporty fashion. Focusing on weight reduction is a much better way to chip away at emissions and fuel consumption in a sportscar.Also adds to the car’s handling,braking,acceleration and agility.

    I don’t know, the GS doesn’t suffer from any noticeable CVT/engine whine, it’s unbelievably smooth. I think it can work.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Nataraj wrote:What are the minor changes???

    Fit and finish seems to be improved, but I don’t notice any real changes either.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    JVX. wrote:If the new Scion IQ do well, I’d like see a luxury version of it too. Lots of goodies to expect from Toyota.

    I hope and pray for a Lexus based on the IQ — love that car. :-)

  • James

    @Hube: Just because the RX isn’t based on the IS doesn’t mean it can’t still compete with the X3 and Q5. All three of them are small, luxury crossovers in the same price range($37k-$39k).

  • seal

    @krew:

    @krew look more carefully ;)

    Change 1 :

  • James

    krew wrote:I hope and pray for a Lexus based on the IQ — love that car.

    I’m against any new Lexus model based on a Toyota, especially since it would be so obvious what they did. Taking an IQ and putting a Lexus grill and leather seats in is a huge mistake and just another thing the Lexus haters can put down. Not to mention the fact that would virtually ruin their image.

  • seal

    Changes 2,3,4,5,6

  • Travis

    @seal:

    So the retail version is the one we are getting ?

  • Eljay

    krew wrote:I don’t know, the GS doesn’t suffer from any noticeable CVT/engine whine, it’s unbelievably smooth. I think it can work.

    I just don’t want a sportscar to be smooth.I want it to be loud,direct,involving and communicative.I want to feel like the organic part of a machine.I want to become one with the car,flirting shamelessly with the road,feel what the car feels and listen to the sweet song of it’s internal combustion engine.Hybrid smoothness is great in a luxury car,even one with a certain sporty flavour like the SC,but for a true sportscar like a Celica,Supra or my favourite; the MR2 it’s just too uninvolving for my tastes.

  • Travis

    WHERE IS THE ES HYBRID LEXUS ??

  • Eljay

    Travis wrote:WHERE IS THE ES HYBRID LEXUS ??

    It does seem perfect for HSD.The next generation is bound go hybrid.

  • Antwan

    “Up until now, Lexus has been about calm, stable luxury,” Ise said. “From now on it will be more about agility and response, really feeling the braking and acceleration.”

    If thats the case Lexus will remain at the “TOP” they have the luxury part down packed since 1989…no its time to burn some rubber!!!! Im loving the changes

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Eljay wrote:I just don’t want a sportscar to be smooth.I want it to be loud,direct,involving and communicative.I want to feel like the organic part of a machine.

    Absolutely agree — I was speaking mostly about the lack of CVT whine. The GSh is a fun enough car to drive, but it’s too heavy and heavily assisted to be considered all that sporty.

    The CT goes a long way in bringing some entertainment to the hybrid driving experience. In Sport mode, it hardly felt like a hybrid at all, which has been rare in my experience.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Travis wrote:WHERE IS THE ES HYBRID LEXUS ??

    I’m convinced the delay has something to do with the HS — an ES hybrid would eat up most of its audience.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    @seal: Holy moly — you have a crazy good eye! :-)

  • JVX

    @seal
    You have an eye for details!

  • JVX

    @sealYou have an eye for details!

    krew wrote:I hope and pray for a Lexus based on the IQ — love that car.

    Here are some pictures taken last Sunday at a Scion event at the Irwindale Speedway in California.

    The dark iQ and red tC are done by FiveAxis. They look awesome.

  • JVX

    krew wrote:I hope and pray for a Lexus based on the IQ — love that car.

    Here are some more pics. Enjoy.


    (The iQ looks proportional, which I like. It’s bigger and smarter than the eSmart.)


    (This fixed up xD simply looks aggressive)

    On Oct. 3rd, they will have the same event for Lexus, mainly for the IS. Hopefully, they will bring out the LFA and CT.

  • Eljay

    People think Europeans hate Americans for political reasons. Not so.It’s bacause you get the Scion tC and we don’t. ;-)

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    @JVX: Great pics, thanks for posting! Did you get a chance to drive the IQ?

  • JVX

    They were only for display. I would be thrilled if they let us sit inside to see how it feels like, but all doors are locked. Looking inside, I can tell it’s roomy enough for small to medium size people like me. I would say it fits 3 adults plus 1 child, even though it advertises for only 3 people.