Senior brand manager for Lexus Europe, Leonardo Carluccio, has shared details with AutomotiveIT about the future of infotainment in Lexus vehicles:
Carluccio said Lexus will start offering upgraded infotainment in Europe in June, 2013. The system, which will rely on smartphones that connect through the Mirrorlink standard, will feature a bigger screen, improved connectivity and various connected services, including Google searching and various other Apps.
All Lexus models will have monitors that are at least 7 inches in diameter, Carluccio said.
A major upgrade will come in 2015, when new Lexus models will feature a totally new infotainment system with a range of new connected features and improved flexibility to add various features if and when desired.
While this new system may apply to European vehicles only, it’s more likely to be offered worldwide — Mirrorlink is a new global standard that creates a deep integration between smartphones and the in-car system.
Here’s a quick video demonstration:
There is one major drawback to the Mirrorlink standard — at this time, it does not work with the Apple iPhone. However, Apple has announced a new automotive iPhone initiative, and Toyota/Lexus was named as one of the nine initial automakers to have access to the technology (the Mercedes A-Class is the first known vehicle to implement the new system).
While there’s more questions than answers at this point, the June 2013 introduction suggests this upgraded infotainment system may debut with the next-generation IS — meaning we could see more about this new technology as early as the Detroit autoshow in January.