Welcome to 2009!
To prepare for this new year, let’s recap what we can expect over the next twelve months. The most definitive information regarding Lexus’ future was a WSJ interview with Lexus General Manager Mark Templin, where he promised four new models this year. Here’s a breakdown:
New Lexus RX
The biggest Lexus story of 2008 carries into 2009. The new, fully redesigned RX is expected to hit dealerships in February. Both the conventional-gas RX 350 and the hybrid RX 450h were unveiled in November at the LA Auto Show, and created quite a stir with its evolutionary exterior and revolutionary interior.
Lexus IS Convertible
The long-expected convertible variation of the IS was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in October 2008, but probably won’t make it to dealerships until early summer 2009. The hard-top convertible coupe looks to be the successor of the SC, and also better equips the IS to compete with the versatility of the BMW 3-series & Infiniti G line-up.
Lexus HS 250h
We’ll know all the details on the HS 250h after next week’s Detroit Auto Show, where it will be shown for the first time. The above photo could very well be this new hybrid sedan, which is said to be the Lexus version of the Toyota Prius.
Mystery Fourth Model
The last model is currently unknown, and it adds a little intrigue to this new year. It’s widely expected to a new GX with looks based on the current LX 570 design, but there’s also a possibility we might see an F-Sport version of the LS.
There’s also been mention of LS & ES facelifts, similar to what happened with the 2008 GS & 2009 IS. This would likely include new grilles and headlight treatments.