Lexus Committed to Turbocharged Engines

Lexus RC 200t Turbocharged

Bringing turbo engines to the Lexus lineup may improve fuel economy numbers and reduce emissions, but as Lexus USA marketing manager Brian Bolain explains to Automotive News, the technology also has a strong appeal to consumers:

“What ‘turbo’ says to the typical consumer is you’re modern,” [Bolain] told Automotive News at a press event here for the turbocharged lineup. “People hear ‘turbo,’ and even for someone who doesn’t know or couldn’t explain how it works, they know it’s something good and they know they want one.”

This is crucial given that the German brands that serve as luxury benchmarks — Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi — don’t sell anything but turbocharged engines.

“When the consumer is doing their side-by-side comparison online, it gives you parity,” Bolain said of adding turbos.

Hybrid technology matches the benefits of turbocharging in many ways (fuel economy, low-end torque, reduced emissions), but unfortunately there’s a cost and weight premium to the current electric battery packs. If Lexus wants to compete with Mercedes, BMW, and Audi on performance and cost, turbos may be the only viable option.

  • W
    Wicus Kriel
  • January 5, 2016
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo - good start - not for performance-oriented buyers though3.0 litre 6-cylinder turbo - would make the weight of the RC 3x0 much more manageable4.0 litre 8-cylinder turbo - would compare well with MB AMG and likely outperform BMW MTurbo-charged engines are generally favoured by performance-oriented buyers staying high above sea level. In the same breath, the era of the large naturally aspirated engine may be coming to an end within the next 3-5 years and these (then legacy) engines may very well become much sought after.We don't have the RC (or any) F model in South Africa (a move that I believe is not doing Lexus' reputation well over here). Because of the power : weight ratio, the RC 350 isn't an option, especially at 1750m above sea level. In this light, an RC300t would be perfect!
  • D
    De Faulk
  • January 5, 2016
So that means the second step RC F will get a turbo in order to reach the famous "600 hp" ?
  • O
  • January 5, 2016
It's like being back in the 80's again where everything was labeled with "turbo". It's not anything new, the tech. has always been available but slap on some new emission laws and there you go: Recycling of tech. 1.0! Pair that with the lobbyism activity by the journalists. One (Leben, or whatever his name was?) was even slamming the RFC for NOT having a turbocharged engine, I repeat, NOT having one (in comparison to the germans) as if it ever was a bad engine choice. Look back, say a few years, and it definitely sounded differently from every "lobbyist". That just bugs me out!! And germans leading the way? Perhaps in the past. But many have caught up to them. It is only in the mind of some people. Lexus needs to be clear and true to themselves. Hybrid for performance or to "play catch up".
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    Meth Jayasekera
  • January 5, 2016
The RC F was praised for having a great sound because it was naturally aspirated. If we give it a turbocharger, it will ruin its rep, so why not use a supercharger? Superchargers sound much better right. But I don't know anything about the cost, and the word turbo will definitely attract customers better, some people who don't actually know what they mean by turbo might even think the car has NOS or something!