A recent Automotive News interview with Lexus USA General Manager Mark Templin has outlined part of the Lexus product pipeline for the next two years:
For one thing, four redesigned Lexus sedans will debut before the middle of 2013.
All four of Lexus’ core sedan lines will be redesigned, starting with the GS 350 and GS 450h sport sedans arriving in February, followed by reworked versions of the ES 350, IS 250 and 350, and LS 460 and 600h.
In early 2014, the redesigned volume-leading RX 350 crossover will arrive.
No surprises here, as this would fall in line with the release schedule set by the previous generation (with one exception — if the above list is in order, the next ES will debut before the IS). What makes this interesting is the mid-2013 timeline.
Looking back to this past August, when Akio Toyoda announced at the GS debut in Pebble Beach that nine new or updated Lexus models would be introduced in 2012, the central question was what would classify as new or updated — after all, just counting the standard, F Sport & hybrid GS would account for three of the promised total.
Now, regarding this (possible) mid-2013 timeline for the GS, ES, IS & LS, let’s guess at a couple things:
- There will be at least four to six months between each model launch.
- It’s been stated that every existing Lexus model will be offered as a hybrid, so the ES & IS should be getting a hybrid option.
- Using the GS as a guide, the IS should have an F Sport package at launch.
If all these assumptions are correct, it would suggest that the ES & IS will arrive some time in 2012, with the next-generation LS following in early 2013. Bringing it back around to the nine models scheduled for a 2012 release — if we count hybrid and F Sport models separately, the ES, ES hybrid, IS, IS hybrid & IS F Sport, combined with the GS models, would bring the total to eight.
However, there’s two other models in the Lexus lineup that could also be getting an update next year:
- Using the first & second generation as a template, the RX has traditionally been refreshed in year four — for the current generation, that would be the 2013 model year.
- It’s been five years without a change to the LX, and the giant SUV needs a refresh. Add the fact that there’s no 2012 model, and a 2013 update seems likely (the only other model without a 2012 edition? The GS).
Factor in these two potential SUV updates, and the calculations become even more complicated — especially if the rumours of a RX F Sport are true. Add the possibility that the new concept debuting at the Detroit Auto Show could bring back the SC or introduce an all-new model, and it becomes near impossible to predict what 2012 will bring.
The only thing that can be said with any certainty? Next year is going to be very busy (and exciting) for Lexus enthusiasts.
[Source: Automotive News]