Second Lexus GS Hybrid to Use V6 Engine?


2014 Lexus GS 450h

Following up on news that the recently announced second Lexus GS hybrid will use a V6 engine, Just-Auto has a revealing interview with Lexus GS chief engineer Yoshihiko Kanamori — here’s a quote:

Glenn Brooks: The Infiniti M offers not only a petrol hybrid but also a diesel in European markets. And now Mercedes-Benz has a diesel-hybrid E-Class. When should we expect a GS diesel or diesel hybrid?

Yoshihiko Kanamori: This time we didn’t develop a diesel or diesel hybrid. Diesel engines are expensive (to develop).

GB: And yet the majority of cars in the European E-premium segment are powered by four-cylinder diesel engines.

YK: We can’t use a four-cylinder engine easily in the GS and anyway, for NVH, a four-cylinder diesel is not ideal. And so what we offer our customers is a range of V6 petrol engines, with the hybrid as the top engine.

GB: That suggests there will be another engine to come for the GS.

YK: Yes, we have a lower displacement hybrid. It will come to European markets in the second half of 2013.

This isn’t the definitive statement that we saw in Kanamori-san’s interview with Autocar, but it does back up the idea that this new lower displacement GS hybrid will use a V6 engine.

(Recommend reading the rest of the interview as well — plenty of additional insight on the development of the fourth-generation GS.)

Read the Just-Auto Interview with Yoshihiko Kanamori

Comments


  • mrxandthexfactor

    A brand new V6 engine for a new hybrid drivetrain. Sounds awesome. But wish they could overcome the cost issue and develop a proper diesel. And… second half of 2013 seems sooooo far away. 

  • Ljn71

    I really,really don’t want a Lexus diesel. One thing being personal taste,the other being ever stricter emission regulations.

  • F1

    Finally! It’s time they realize that Camry drivetrain is simply too weak!

  • Hansen9657

    Besides a new engine, i think Lexus need to develop a brand new 8-speed transmission for the GR engine replacing the existing 6-speed.

  • F1

    I guess the 3.5L 2GR-FSE will still remain the flagship V6 until about 2015? Because its still pretty at the top of its game..

  • emptystreets130

    I still can’t believe that some would think that Toyota would drop the Camry/ES hybrid powertrain in a vehicle like the GS. In my mind that was never an option to begin with and would just make it stupid.

  • PG

    At the top of its game? Really?
    Ever heard of the BMW N55 3.0 turbo? What about the brand-new supercharged Audi 3.0 TFSI? An A7 just mopped the floor with the GS, mostly because of the powertrain: http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/comparison/modern-warfare

    If Lexus wants to stay relevant in the powertrain department, they need to accept forced-induction. That’s just the direction the market is heading to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nate.vongshotivat Nate Vongshotivat

    But…. forced-induction engines are lower durability and reliable.

  • Rapt_7perfect

    but in europe lexus have to sell diesel if want to success

  • Longdodragon

    Do you guys think the new v6 will also be on the the new IS when it comes out

  • ydooby

    Just put what’s in the IS200d and/or IS220d into the GS and watch the sales roll in. Lexus would be simply foolish to ignore this huge piece of the European market. Diesel engines aren’t that expensive to develop when they have a good number of diesel Toyota cars in Europe to share to cost (and that’s where IS200d/IS220d’s engines come from anyway).

  • Ljn71

    Why are so many commenters insisting that Lexus has to follow the lead of the Germans? Surely Lexus can and should shape trends rather than follow them?

  • F1

    The GS350 also quicker then 535i period..

    Also I’ve driven Turbocharged German cars such as as Audi 2.0t and 335i and they are pretty rubbish drive, sluggish off the line, the accelerator exhibits lag, poor throttle mapping, F/I lag etc and the lists goes on..

    IS350 feels crisp, and is fast as soon as you lay your foot on the accelerator.. Not to mention the Lexus V6 sounds awesome..

    And a fact, them turbochargers/ superchargers etc will quickly wear out quickly and the performance of a F/I car deacreases as a result.. Not to mention all the reliability and durability issues.. No thankyou..

    All I see is that the Germans need turbochargers to compete with normal Japanese engines..

    Compare the V8 M3 & IS-F.. The m3 you have to rev the sh*t out of it to get moving.. Terrible for a daily drive and yet it still gets a whopping by IS-F

    In comparison the IS-F you can live with it for your daily drive, it’s smooth, quiet until about 5000rpm then it roars to life..

    Also Toyota has had F/I before, look at supra with 2JZ engine..

    You should drive cars before you talk.. You’ll be surprised by what there is. ;)

  • LexusLVR

    “All I see is that the Germans need turbochargers to compete with normal Japanese engines..”

    BMW competes in the DTM racing series now. I believe the regulations call for a 4.0-l V8 for all manufacturers and although the official horsepower outputs are unknown, it is known that these engines are making in excess of 450-horsepower. And they’re naturally aspirated, to.

    Audi and Mercedes have similar powerplants by the way.

    BMW also has decades of experience with forced induction through their vast motorsport heritage or infamous cars like the 2002 Turbo or Turbo Concept of the 1970s.

    You should do some research before you talk. You’d be surprised…

  • LexusLVR

    Lexus has few customers in Europe. They’re an unappealing brand because of so many reasons and a “small V6 hybrid” isn’t going to make them anymore popular. They need a 4-cylinder. Period. There are a bunch of taxes in Europe that also relate to cylinder count. A 6-cylinder will be higher taxed than a 4-cylinder motor.

    I am in Europe three to four times a year on business and I rent newer Audi A4s or Mercedes’ C classes all the time with 4-cylinder diesel or gasoline (new turbo engine from Mercedes). In my honest opinion their refinement is pretty good (and their gas mileage is amazing). They’re smooth and relatively quiet up to about 100 mph. Only then does their 4-cylinder nature become somewhat apparent. However, all European countries, except for Germany, have a 130 kph speed limit, so at these speeds these engines are quiet.

    I think that Lexus plans for Europe are to influenced by outdated American perceptions. What works in the US doesn’t work in Europe. Lexus execs need to stop using the US as a model for Europe. A small V6 isn’t entry-level in Europe. A 4-cylinder is. The European car market is completely different from the US and it seems to me that Lexus still doesn’t realize this.

    Hybrids have their place, but what about a simple CT200d or CT200? Hybrids are viewed as complex and expensive in Europe – and they are expensive compared to a simple gasoline/diesel variant of the same car.

    Plus, a hybrid setup might not work well for Europeans with particular driving requirements, namely traveling salesmen or firms with company cars for instance. When these people are cruising on the highways they’ll get the best gas mileage with a diesel engine, not a gasoline-hybrid (which has to lug around the extra weight etc.).

  • Trump

    Europe as a whole is sinking into irrelevance.. I don’t think Europe is a priority for Lexus anyway..

  • yosafbridge

    These are racing engines. Where are the NA German engines for day to day use? engines which are fuel efficient, smooth and liveable on a day-to-day basis. 

    The poster FI has a point : most of the engines BMW/Audi have in their consumer line-up are turbocharged and in the case of BMW, have turbo lag and are nonlinear in throttle response.

  • LexusLVR

    F1 is implying that the German brands are incapable of producing a high-output naturally aspirated engine. That is false. Forced induction is now becoming commonplace at European car manufacturers because of benefits in emissions, fuel economy and also performance. Perhaps Lexus will even follow this trend in the future as emission requirements become ever more stringent.

    BMW engines with forced induction to my knowledge are praised for a lack of turbo lag. I myself have driven the 335i Coupe with the older twin-turbo motor and I didn’t experience any noticable turbo lag. To me the throttle response was more than befitting of the cars sporty personality.

    You want turbo lag? Drive a turbocharged car from the ’80s or ’90s (or older). Now that’s turbo lag. These modern forced induction motors are responsive in comparison.

  • LexusLVR

    A market in which Lexus performs extremely poorly is suddenly irrelevant? Nice logic there, buddy. Europe is one of the most important car markets in the world. Your comment is extremely ignorant.

    The Japanese have always been slow to catch on to the latest trends in Europe. They completely missed out on the diesel boom of the early 1990s for example and have been slow to offer the Europeans the cars they want.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Lexus should adapt to the European market rather than forcing Europeans to adapt to them. They’re completely reading the European market wrong. An entry-level GS with a V6 Hybrid? It won’t sell well. I can tell you that right now.

    My European business partners value the “little things” in their cars like rear seats that can fold down for example (this feature is not available on the new GS!) or the fact that one has a huge choice of engines or body types (coupes, wagons etc.) for a particular model. Lexus needs to adapt.

    The new GS is a fantastic car but it could be so much more if they’d simply follow the trends for Europe. Just like the Germans are responding to the hybrid dominance of Toyota in North America, Lexus needs to respond to the diesel, wagon and other trends in Europe. But they’re not. And thus, they will remain irrelevant in that market until they finally start following market trends there.

  • yosafbridge

    There’s a big difference between racing engines which are noisy, thirsty and last only the course of 1 race and consumer engines which have to last >100,000km.

    I test drove the latest 335i-Sport then got into the latest NA GS350 F-Sport. Yep, still noticeable turbo lag in the 335i when compared to a well sorted NA V6 like the GS350.

  • LexusLVR

    DTM rules specify that the engines have to last for a whole season.

    The point is that these brands are all more than capable of producing a high-output naturally aspirated motor. BMW and Mercedes have been doing that for decades if you know about their impressive motorsport history and heritage.

    Forced induction is the latest trend. Brands will be responding. Even Mercedes has designed their latest naturally aspirated V6 to be easily modifiable with the addition of either a turbo- or supercharger. I have a feeling Lexus will be forced to follow this trend due to the benefits of forced induction.

    To many “kids” here who know nothing about cars think that forced induction is “wrong” or “cheating”. I’m sorry, but that’s simply silly. There have always been benefits to using forced induction. That’s a fact. These benefits are now being rediscovered and improved upon.

  • yosafbridge

    Euro 6 emissions are coming and will penalize diesel emissions heavily. Diesels are slowly going the way of the dinosaurs and hybrid petrols look like the way of the future for Europe even…

  • PG

     Because the Germans are dominating the luxury market. Each one of them (Audi, BMW, Mercedes) sells 2-3 times as many cars as Lexus. So they must do something right, don’t you think?

  • PG

     Europe still is the largest luxury car market. So according to you, Lexus should just neglect where their competitors get much from their volume and profit?

  • MT

    Exactly what i say all the time. 

    A wonderful car, will sell every where on the world. But completely doomed in western Europe from the beginning.

    No matter what they say that they do for the European market. It is just not true. They don’t give a damn about it.

  • yosafbridge

    The only reason BMW is going FI is due to complying with overall fleet fuel consumption regulations that some countries enforce on car companies. It is NOT for overall driving experience or driveability. BMW is forced to do that because it has no small fuel sipping cars like the Prius/ corollas to help balance out overall fleet fuel consumption like Toyota has. Don’t fool yourself, FI is always a compromised solution driving-wise and throttle response-wise. It may be great for fuel efficiency but a well sorted NA is always better than the best turbocharged engine in terms of lag and linearity of throttle response. It’s a shame that the makers of the Ultimate Driving Machine have taken steps to make their cars less than ultimate in terms of driving.

  • LexusLVR

    Diesel cars are already heavily taxed in Europe – and yet they continue to be popular. I myself have driven the newest European diesels (rental cars) and I was impressed with their performance, fuel economy and refinement. If only they were offered in the US.

    Technology isn’t standing still. Both diesel and gasoline engines have become so much cleaner over the last few decades. Also, keep in mind that European diesel fuel is much cleaner (less sulphur) than the North American diesel fuel. The US emission laws are also biased towards gasoline cars, fact. You really want to convince me that a gas-guzzling pig like a Cadillac Escalade or Lexus LX570 is more environmentally friendly than some fuel-efficient European diesel car just because it has a ULEV certification? Um, no.

    There will never be such a thing as a car that is 100% environmentally-friendly because emissions are emissions and because the production process of a car is pollution in itself. Energy is being used to mine or create and transport the raw materials needed to produce a car and that energy has to come from somewhere. Pollution is created. You get my drift.

  • LexusLVR

    Actually BMW has a ton of efficient cars on sale globally except in the United States where we still have this narrow-minded mentality that luxury and efficiency (smaller engines) don’t go together. Thankfully that’s slowly changing.

    BMW has efficient 1-Series’ models and also a number of Efficient Dynamics 3-Series cars that get extremely good fuel economy.

    “The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics combines 68.9 mpg and 109 g/km CO2 emissions with a 0-62 mph time of 8.0 seconds and 137 mph.”

    Source: http://www.green-car-guide.com/bmw-320d-efficientdynamics.html

    Here, another link: http://www.bmwblog.com/2010/05/25/bmw-320d-efficientdynamics-edition-runs-1013-miles-on-single-tank/

    And BMW is potentially coming out with Prius-type cars with their i3 and i8 models.

    I fail to see what your beef is with the turbocharged BMW lineup. Is it all because of throttle response? Most buyers don’t care since they don’t drive these cars competitively. Do you think most GS350 buyers care about the engine response? Hardly. Luxury cars are bought more for reasons of status, design but the majority of buyers don’t care much for silly little things like the 0-60 or 1/4 mile times or how many milliseconds it takes for the throttle to respond etc.

  • MT

    Not only Lexus but also Toyota made a big mistake by thinking that all people will start to buy hybrids instead of Diesels. They thought that at the moment a model is available as a hybrid no one will buy a diesel anymore. But that didn’t happen. And then it was too late to develop a Euro 6 Diesel, so they now have to buy it from BMW from the end of the next year onwards.

    Just to give you an idea how different things are: Here in Austria anyone thinks that hybrid cars are much more polluting than diesels, because of the battery and the nickel stuff in it. And also most people think that you can put in a new battery every 3 years and that the battery will cost almost as much as a new car. And also most people think, that hybrid cars are a slow sluggish pigs beacuase when they think of a battery in a vehicle they automatically think of forklifts with 1k lbs of lead-acid batteries.

    The Diesel car is hammered in to the european mind like some religious symbol. This is not going away just cause some overseas car company says so.

    If someone comes along and asks you to join the hindi religion you are not going to do that, even thogh that there are much less wars fought over that religion compared to christianity.

  • Ccft

    Let’s see.. In Europe (biggest market for BMW, Merc, Audi) the Mercedes E-class is used for taxis and fleets.. They have BMW, Audi equivalents of a Toyota Corolla.. Mercedes also sells trucks and vans.. Go to Europe and Mercedes, BMW & Audi are everywhere, they’re mainstream cars..

    Of coarse they’re going to have the volume..

    I don’t see Lexus used as taxis nor do I see Lexus vans around..

  • LF_EH

    It will be challenge to convert Europe from diesels to hybrids.

    But soon BMW, Audi and Big Merc will offer more and more hybrid models and that is definetely going to help.

    In NA, BMW for instance, dropped the 3 series diesel in favour of a upcoming hybrid model.

    If everyone knew the facts about hybrids, they would sell themselves.

    Diesels have trq – but so do hybrids (think electric supercharger), and they have more HP than diesels.

    Diesels waste fuel every time you brake – hybrids reclaim the energy for later use and brake components tend to last longer.

    The truth is, emission standards are going to get more stringent around the world and diesels will become cost prohibitive trying to meet the those standard increases. Just look at what they have to do now, multiple catalytic converters, trap filters and ad blue etc.

    And with the recent announcement from the WHO that diesel is a carcinogen is not going to help convince people that diesels are superior to hybrids.

    http://m.voanews.com/1208071.html

    But diesels do have a future in the automotive landscape, because we need diesel to power our tractor trailers that deliver our goods and keep our economies running

  • PG

     Actually, I live in Europe, so I know pretty well that the Germans sell a ton of low-end models. But that doesn’t seem to affect their brand image and generates profit. What’s the problem with that?
    Concerning commercial vehicles like Mercedes vans: they are not counted to the passenger vehicle sales and therefore are not relevant here.

  • LexusLVR

     The BMW diesels that Toyota is purchasing will be used in Toyota cars, not Lexus.

  • LexusLVR

    The next time you’re in Europe (if you’ve ever been there), visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. As one of the first automotive brands they were breaking into new niches and starting new trends as early as the 1900s. Buses, trucks and taxis were part of that trend.

    Not many people know this, but Mercedes-Benz sells their trucks and vans
    under a different name: Mercedes-Benz Commercial (LKW) Division. Their
    passenger cars are sold under the Mercedes-Benz Passenger (PKW)
    Division. But in short, they’re both referred to as Mercedes-Benzes
    which adds to the confusion.

    You don’t see any Lexus cars being used as taxis because as a taxi they’ll have high running costs, which is something a business, especially taxi fleets, don’t want. A base-model Mercedes E class diesel taxi is cheaper to run and more economical than a theoretical Lexus GS taxi. And you’re forgetting that taxi duty is extremely tough on cars. These cars are running all day in a stop-and-go environment in all kinds of weather conditions. Durability is of essence here. When I am in Germany I rarely take a taxi but the few times I’ve done so, I’ve been amazed at the condition and mileage of the taxis I ride in. It’s great advertising for the brand. And it’s one reason I went for an E350 convertible because I knew I was getting a quality product.

    I did see a Lexus RX400h Taxi the last time I was in Munich on business. I even snapped a photo of it (need to look for that one on my computer).

  • F1

    You completely missed my point and as yosafbridge mentioned i was actually referring to their production, consumer engines/drive trains..

    Anyone can make a very high-output engine used for racing.. 

  • F1

    Exactly my point.. 

  • F1

    Your post is coming out as very snobbish and typical driver of any EUro car…

    Go drive the new GS350 and then come back and talk.. 

    Everyone one who has driven the IS350 has been very surprised/excited by the IS350′s perofmrance and many people from 335i like the IS350 and the IS350 is faster, lighter, smoother, quieter, much more  linear & consistent performance and sounds better!

    And even gets better fuel economy and is much much more reliable..

  • Pattebb

    I agree with u PG, i have tryed to explain that before, that is why i think a GS with the new 200hp hybrid would sell very well if it has a good price..And to LexusVR, ofcourse Lexus dont sell much Taxis in Europe, u must have a big service organisation to deal with txis, and Lexus have so fiew servis places in Europe. Here on Sweden we have 9 Lexus Retailers, that meens 9 places to service ur car..I have said many times if Lexus want to be succes in Europe they must have more engine options and more wagons and smaller RX, then they could sell very good i think..

  • LexusLVR

     And anyone who can engineer a high-output naturally aspirated engine for racing purposes can clearly also offer such an engine in their road-going production versions.

    The point is that BMW can/could offer such an engine – but at the moment they’re choosing the forced induction route. It has nothing to do with “not being able to keep up with Lexus”. Let’s not forget that BMW creates some of the best engines in the world as showcased by their dominance of engine awards left and right. Having owned several BMWs in the past, I have to agree that their engines are amazing.

  • LexusLVR

    There is no need for personal attacks here.

    In my opinion I am being very open-minded and objective here. You on the other hand resort to calling me a “Euro snob” because of what? The fact that I am making positive comments about European cars? Hey buddy, I’ve owned European cars for most of my life and I still own one along with my Lexus LS460. Guess what? I love European cars. If I didn’t I wouldn’t buy them. I’ve had very good experiences with mine so I keep coming back for more because of those positive experiences. I also love my Lexus LS460. So what are you going to say that? That I am not a true Lexus fan because there’s a European car next to my LS in the garage?

    And my point still stands. Most luxury buyers are attracted to the badge and the same is true for Lexus. Most people buying the new GS are not, I repeat, ARE NOT ENTHUSIASTS. They could care less about throttle response since they’re never going to drive their cars in a performance-oriented manner. The few enthusiasts that buy the GS, well, good for them. They’re getting a great car. Period.

  • LexusLVR

    The point I was making about the lack of Lexus taxis has nothing to do with service stations, although that is an issue. The reason why you don’t see any Lexus taxis is because they don’t have a single model that suitable for taxi duty in regards to running costs and to a lesser extent interior space.

    Any Lexus GS model is unsuitable for taxi duty because of their performance-biased motorization. It might be efficient but it won’t be efficient as a taxi where most of the driving takes place in urban environments and idling in traffic. A gasoline GS will be very inefficient in that regard and I honestly cannot see the GS Hybrid as being any more advantageous in that regard. A theoretical GS200d on the other hand…

  • Mkettu31

    can any of yuo guys anti-japanese agenda, e.g questioning hybrid over diesel tech, keep buzzing in here and many other japanese car makers enthusiast/owner/fansite.

  • Pattebb

    I agree with u on more engine options, i just whish that Lexus do to….lol And i don´t think the GS is big enough to be a taxi to..But it would be nice to have the new 2.5l hybrid engine in the GS and other models, just to have low price/gas option. And if Lexus would bring there diesels with AT they would sell to i think..

  • LexusLVR

    Thank you. The new GS is a fine car. It’s just the “little things” that make it “unappealing” in certain markets for example. For the European market it clearly needs more engine options which also include 4-cylinder diesels and gasoline engines.

    Also, why can’t one fold down the rear seats in the GS? This can be done in all of its European rivals and it increases usable trunk space. It’s one of those “little things” that matter to some buyers, especially in Europe (from what I’ve read), where premium cars fulfill a function between everyday practical family car and luxury car. I know that the foldable rear seat aspect is not a big deal here in the US, but in Europe it is (maybe our European members can correct me if I am wrong).

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    We’re doing well here — this is interesting conversation and I’m enjoying following along.

    So far, it’s been very civil, and I would appreciate if it stayed that way. 

    Thanks!

  • yosafbridge

    Latest medical studies including WHO have shown that diesel emissions increase lung cancer risk. Diesel may be a religion in Europe but unless Europeans want their children to start meeting their Maker earlier, they’ll switch religions pretty darn quick. Once the Euro governments start realizing the potential health risks of unfettered diesels, 2 things will happen : 1) Euro diesel emissions enforcement starts tightening up, making diesels less commercially competitive. 2) Push towards hybrids over diesels. Guess which company has been developing Hybrids for a decade and enjoys huge technology advantage in hybrids? Yep : Lexus/Toyota.

  • LF_EH

    Many people don’t know this but Toyota has actually been developing hybrids since 1965, so they have been working on hybrid technology for over 45 years, but have been selling hybrid vehicles for 15 years world wide.

    Their first hybrid prototype first appeared at the 1976 Tokyo Motor show as a gas-turbine hybrid.

    Toyota is a visionary company, as one earlier commenter said, they set the trends, not follow them.

  • PetayV8

    Im european so i know the market well and have been to 5 other countries within europe and many of you are misinformed of how we buy our cars over here. we may hold the largest luxary car market but think how big europe is as a whole. the truth is most of the cars on the road are small, basic and low cost hatchbacks with engines under 2.0 litre. in fact ide say that 75% – 85% cars had engines under 2.0 litre with less than 150bhp, im talking 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 litres. You can pick out the premium brands sure but are sparse in comparison. german cars are popular yes ill grant you that, however most of them are base models with small engines without any performance orientation whats so ever. there are very few cars on the road that compete with a lexus GS350 although are avialable, people just dont buy them, the E350 for example, its no more popular than a gs350 over here. The difference is lexus offer a hybrid option. the lexus gs350 is a drivers car, a car for enthusiasts, a car lovers car (in europe more so) and most people in europe just dont care about cars in that way, were not a car loving country unlike the USA. The USA loves cars and people look for performance, driving pleasure, comfort and image and the lexus is more suited to a car loving market such as the USA becuase its so precise and advanced. from what i can see lexus arent too bothered about the euro market for now even though poeple may say its has the largest luxary car market, in reality it really hasnt overall. just come to europe and you’ll see what people REALLY drive. Im sure the USA alone is enough to satisfy lexus’s profits anyway, with a trickle from europe with the HT, IS and LX.

  • PetayV8

    Diesel cars are not heavily taxed? in fact the opposite. Many are tax free. Its obvious the European governments are pushing diesel technology and in result almost forcing consumers down the route of diesel. 

  • PetayV8

    Easier said than done. That would be a HUGE move in any company. I dont think Lexus should spend all that money and at the end of the day, take a gamble. It was probably easy for Lexus to bring an existing car to Europe. and why not? even if it sells in the minuscule at least it give Europeans more choice at no loss to Lexus.

  • LexusLVR

    Um, no. Diesel cars in Europe are not tax free. They’re taxed far higher than gasoline-powered cars in most European countries. France and Spain might be the only countries in Europe, to my knowledge, where diesel cars enjoy a tax break. Everywhere else the tax and purchasing prices on them are higher.

    Diesel cars are expensive compared to gasoline-cars, in both purchasing price and tax, yet they’re popular because they offer great range, great fuel consumption and similar if not better performance than a comparable gasoline motor in the same vehicle.

  • LexusLVR

    I’d say that the average European is far more passionate and informed about cars than the average American. The American market isn’t as passionate about cars as you might think. Most people just want or need a car to get them from A to B and will look for a low-cost option. And most people in the luxury market here buy cars not out of passion but for the badge and status purposes: this applies to all brands, including Lexus. Every brand has their supporters and enthusiasts and these make up a very small portion of buyers who are truly passionate about the products.

    Europeans have long before realized that you don’t need an inefficient engine to enjoy luxury. The premium cars that European buyers purchase can offer the same luxury as the cars they sell in the US, but with better fuel consumption. Not everyone cares about performance, and, having experienced some of the base model BMW, Audi and Mercedes’ rentals, I must say that their performance is far from slow. In fact they come across as very lively and more than sufficient for daily driving. They’d work well in the US if we’d stop being so narrow minded about cars and gave them a chance.

    The American car market is, in my opinion, cursed with the lack of choices. Buyers have few engine and trim and model choices. We don’t get many premium wagons (currently Mercedes is the only brand that offers us an E class wagon), which I find sad since wagons are very useful and drive and handle far better than any SUV (while getting better fuel economy). If Americans were truly passionate about cars, which the majority are not, they’d be clamoring for more choices.

    Personally I like the choices the Europeans get. I’m always amazed at the variety of choices you have there. When it comes to affordable mainstream cars there are sympathetic brands in Europe that offer great value-for-money, style and a variety of engine and trim choices. We don’t get beautiful mainstream cars in the US (in my opinion) like the Citroen DS3 or DS5 or the Peugeot RCZ for instance. Instead, we get boring and predictable designs from Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Chevrolet, Volkswagen etc. What I wouldn’t give to enjoy a Citroen DS3 here in the United States. A stylish, fun and unique mainstream car. We have few of these in US and the existing ones, like the Hyundai Veloster, are simply boring compared to the same cars from Europe.

    Lexus is simply not competitive in Europe for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is first and foremost the lack of credentials. You can walk into a BMW, Audi, Porsche or Mercedes museum in Germany and see what the brands are all about. Lexus lacks the history and heritage of these brands. The European buyer doesn’t understand why he/she has to pay so much for a brand that has no meaning or reputation in this market. The lack of trim and engine choices is also a major handicap as are the lack of wagons, coupes etc. Lexus dealerships are few and sparsely distributed. And lastly, I feel that Lexus simply doesn’t offer the Europeans the cars they want.