Lexus IS: Third GenerationLexus RC: First GenerationRumors

Next-Generation Lexus RC Coupe to Use Mazda Platform & Engine?

Lexus RC Second Generation

Japanese website Best Car reports that a potential Mazda & Toyota platform-sharing partnership could bring a second-generation Lexus RC coupe built on a Mazda platform and powered by a Mazda engine.

Rewinding it back, Jalopnik discovered a rare, out-of-the-blue automotive announcement buried in Mazda’s Fiscal Year March 2019 financial results, stating that a new rear-wheel-drive architecture, gasoline-powered Skyactiv-X inline 6 and diesel-powered Skyactiv-D counterpart were in development.

Best Car builds on this news, suggesting platform-sharing with Toyota and Lexus — from the translated article:

The collaboration between Mazda and Toyota is also planned to be expanded to Lexus vehicles.

The model change (that) is scheduled for next year’s IS is being developed as a V6 engine installation model based on the newly-developed TNGA platform (from Toyota’s) Crown, and the next IS is a collaboration platform with Mazda that is equipped with a straight 6 engine.

Lexus IS Next-Gen

Using the literal translation, the fourth-generation Lexus IS should launch in 2020 as a TNGA-platform vehicle powered by a Toyota/Lexus V6 (thankfully, no mention of the BMW inline 6-powered IS). Following this, the fifth-gen successor would launch sometime after 2026 and use the upcoming Mazda RWD Large Architecture and offering the Mazda Skyactiv-X inline 6.

Best Car takes this one step further, suggesting that next-generation RC coupe in 2022 would be the first Mazda/Lexus collaboration. This would put to rest the idea that the coupe would be cancelled, though there are so many moving parts to this rumor it’s difficult to see the truth.

Gecko

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
4,632
If there is validity to this, it's embarrassing, IMO.

86 - Subaru
Supra - BMW
RC - Mazda?

Not sure why Toyota really bothered with GA-L... it's becoming a niche investment without a GS, mainstream RWD SUV, and the 2RC being based on a Mazda architecture and same for next IS.

Also, isn't the Crown on "New-N"? Not GA-L? If I'm not mistaken, "New N" dates back to 2006 GS/IS and was updated for 2012 GS/2013 IS.
 

Ian Schmidt

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,497
Reaction score
2,448
I think you're going to see a lot more of this sharing in the next 10 years. Nobody knows exactly how electrification will go, but spending the money developing new engines and platforms is going to look increasingly like buggy whip manufacturing to the bean counters.

By that thinking, I'm fine with the Subie 86 and the Bimmer Supra (especially since by all accounts the Supra is *extremely* tunable, something a theoretical TNGA 3JZ definitely wouldn't be). And they're getting butts into Toyota dealers that wouldn't otherwise be there.

But keep that stuff away from Lexus! If the RC and IS both went Mazda, the LS and LC (and LM/LQ?) would be the only true Lexus vehicles.
 

Gecko

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
4,632
But keep that stuff away from Lexus! If the RC and IS both went Mazda, the LS and LC (and LM/LQ?) would be the only true Lexus vehicles.
This fact makes me worried about the future of RWD Lexus products in general. The number of internally developed RWD products seems to be dropping. Losing GS, and the IS and RC theoretically being on a Mazda platform leaves only LS and LC for a true proprietary RWD platform - even adding LQ is going to be relatively low volume. UX, NX, RX, RXL and ES are all FWD and the flexibility of TNGA would make it easy to just use an FWD-biased platform for even flagship vehicles with either electrification or AWD as the crutch to fix torque steer and improve drivability.

It seems like the investment in RWD is becoming increasingly "niche" at Lexus, and Toyota doesn't have a strong history of supporting products with low volume and significant R&D expenditures.
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
If there is validity to this, it's embarrassing, IMO.

86 - Subaru
Supra - BMW
RC - Mazda?

Not sure why Toyota really bothered with GA-L... it's becoming a niche investment without a GS, mainstream RWD SUV, and the 2RC being based on a Mazda architecture and same for next IS.

Also, isn't the Crown on "New-N"? Not GA-L? If I'm not mistaken, "New N" dates back to 2006 GS/IS and was updated for 2012 GS/2013 IS.
Crown is TNGA vehicle
 

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,128
Reaction score
1,604
If there is validity to this, it's embarrassing, IMO.
At the risk of perhaps being naïve, I'm going to respectfully disagree. I think that the return of an inline 6 in a Lexus, even if it's Mazda-sourced, is an exciting and very positive development. With some exceptions, Mazdas tend to be fairly reliable (my nearly 12-year-old Miata can vouch for that), and if Mazda decided to join 1.5 of their 2-liter 4-cylinder Skyactiv-X engines to create a 3-liter inline-6, whereas Toyota refused to do this with either their 8AR-FTS or M20A-FKS engines, then more power to Mazda.

I think you're going to see a lot more of this sharing in the next 10 years. Nobody knows exactly how electrification will go, but spending the money developing new engines and platforms is going to look increasingly like buggy whip manufacturing to the bean counters.
The number of internally developed RWD products seems to be dropping. Losing GS, and the IS and RC theoretically being on a Mazda platform leaves only LS and LC for a true proprietary RWD platform - even adding LQ is going to be relatively low volume...

It seems like the investment in RWD is becoming increasingly "niche" at Lexus, and Toyota doesn't have a strong history of supporting products with low volume and significant R&D expenditures.
While Mazda has been quite clear about their upcoming Skyactiv-X inline-6, there are far less specifics about their RWD-centric Large Architecture. What if they're simply borrowing or adapting one of the newest Toyota/Lexus RWD unibody architectures (TNGA-N or GA-L)? That sounds like more of a win-win for the 3 marques.

Not sure why Toyota really bothered with GA-L... it's becoming a niche investment without a GS, mainstream RWD SUV, and the 2RC being based on a Mazda architecture and same for next IS.
Per the Best Car rumor, 4IS will be on one of the new Toyota/Lexus platforms, be it the Crown's TNGA-N or the LS/LC GA-L. It's 5IS, based on the Best Car rumors, that would make the eventual move to the Mazda Large Architecture that may well be a variant of TNGA-N or GA-L.

Also, isn't the Crown on "New-N"? Not GA-L? If I'm not mistaken, "New N" dates back to 2006 GS/IS and was updated for 2012 GS/2013 IS.
As noted above, the latest 15th-gen Crown is the first and thus far only vehicle on the TNGA-N architecture. There's no question that TNGA-N and GA-L are closely related, but Toyota is less than forthcoming on the specific differences between the two. I suspect it's mostly a matter of sound insulation, torsional rigidity and the like.

If Wikipedia is correct, the only "New N" vehicles are Lexus 4GS, 3IS and RC. Older Lexus models and Crown15's predecessors are "Old N".
 

Gecko

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
4,632
At the risk of perhaps being naïve, I'm going to respectfully disagree. I think that the return of an inline 6 in a Lexus, even if it's Mazda-sourced, is an exciting and very positive development. With some exceptions, Mazdas tend to be fairly reliable (my nearly 12-year-old Miata can vouch for that), and if Mazda decided to join 1.5 of their 2-liter 4-cylinder Skyactiv-X engines to create a 3-liter inline-6, whereas Toyota refused to do this with either their 8AR-FTS or M20A-FKS engines, then more power to Mazda.

As noted above, the latest 15th-gen Crown is the first and thus far only vehicle on the TNGA-N architecture. There's no question that TNGA-N and GA-L are closely related, but Toyota is less than forthcoming on the specific differences between the two. I suspect it's mostly a matter of sound insulation, torsional rigidity and the like.
The prospect of a RWD, Mazda-designed RC is not a bad one in theoretical execution, but it's beginning to look like Toyota is only branding their sports car/coupe projects and not engineering them. I understand the case for sports cars in this climate is a tough one, but with enough models - all with different partners - it's starting to look like Toyota has no idea what they're doing, and doesn't care enough to do it themselves.

If the plan is for 86, Supra, RC, and down the road, a second gen LC, Toyota should have the resources and scale to do some of this themselves. The whole point in TNGA was greater scale and better cars - where is that at? With two RWD platforms and what was supposed to be a host of new engines, having everyone else design their coupes and sports cars looks like Toyota is outsourcing what should be the "halo" and most exciting part of their portfolio.

I don't see why a Supra, RC, IS and LC couldn't share the very same basic architecture with different degrees of luxury, power and options. It's just all looking very haphazard and half-assed IMO.
 

Gecko

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
4,632
Also, I'm aware that this is just a rumor but I've got a good feeling that it's legitimate. Toyota and Mazda already have a great working relationship, their deal with BMW forbids Lexus from getting access to the Zupra parts bin, and they've already shown a propensity towards these types of tie-ups with Subaru and BMW.

I guess I just had higher hopes that GA-L/GA-N would bring us some legendary ToMoCo performance vehicles - not ones that represent other brand's thinking and execution with a Toyota/Lexus badge on the front.
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
Not by offence but due to poor translation you haven't understand that TMC doesn't use Mazda platform and engines for its vehicles. MAZDA AND TOYOTA WILL CODEVELOP engine and platform for MarkX, IS, Mazda 9, RX9. Like Toyota doesn't rebadge Subaru EV but codevelop it. We have discussed this already in another thread. Should I send straight to admins these kind of articles translated properly? :)
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
This could hint RWD SUV is coming (CX7) which shares parts with Toyota and Lexus vehicle. Interesting is to know if Subaru and Mazda will have any connections.
 

zeusus

Follower
Messages
237
Reaction score
420
For Toyota and Lexus to not even try to control the messaging around this whole Supra (fact), IS (rumor), and RC(rumor), is just amateur hour.

They could easily leak that it is Mazda who will use Lexus RC parts.

Is it true that the article just wasn't translated correctly? Either way, damage is done, not to the general consumer, but to enthusiasts perceptions.
 

Gecko

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,488
Reaction score
4,632
With the seemingly limited in-house use of GA-N/GA-L, it would be cool for Toyota to allow Mazda to use and develop those platforms for their own intentions. The other thing that has me scratching my head here is that Mazda is moving upmarket to a premium brand, so the lines between whatever Mazda calls their coupe and the Lexus RC would be more blurred than something like Supra/Z4 where one is a mainstream brand and one is a luxury brand.
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
For Toyota and Lexus to not even try to control the messaging around this whole Supra (fact), IS (rumor), and RC(rumor), is just amateur hour.

They could easily leak that it is Mazda who will use Lexus RC parts.

Is it true that the article just wasn't translated correctly? Either way, damage is done, not to the general consumer, but to enthusiasts perceptions.
Google translate always gives loanwords in wrong matter. Like @Carmaker1 had his name translated to carbrand1. Basically every "Japanese" word t-shirt is not meaning anything. If you know british brand Superdry you have seen 極度乾燥しなさい which doesn't mean anything and I'd look that by wearing it you are Gaijin. Japanese is very complex language. It has evolved many times by Chinese influence (Han dymasty, Tang dynasty and later Go dynasty), invention of TWO own characters and western loan words by rapid opening in Meiji era. So it is difficult language to translate and understand its many homonyms. For example last major influence on English language was by Normans (french) After battle of hasting in 1066, not to mention of ancient Norse in 9th century. Try to explain to non English speaker difference of pork and swine.
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
With the seemingly limited in-house use of GA-N/GA-L, it would be cool for Toyota to allow Mazda to use and develop those platforms for their own intentions. The other thing that has me scratching my head here is that Mazda is moving upmarket to a premium brand, so the lines between whatever Mazda calls their coupe and the Lexus RC would be more blurred than something like Supra/Z4 where one is a mainstream brand and one is a luxury brand.
Don't forget RWD CLA competitor rumored 4 door coupe next Mark-?. Toyota is making its portfolio better (than VAG, Basically VW, Seat and Škoda are same) having different brands. First it started with Lexus then Daihatsu because Toyota never was good making kei cars. Now Subaru and Mazda for foreign markets between Toyota and Lexus and I like it. In Finland Mazda and Subaru are basically a premium brand competing with with Volvo and Audi.
 

CRSKTN

Fan
Messages
72
Reaction score
100
Well, as soon as Lexus started acting like a real luxury brand and building a name as such, they start pulling these moves and killing whatever progress they've made.

The moment i hear that any meaningful amount of mazda product is in a Lexus, i'm done with the brand. I can't continue to try and argue and justify all of the shortcomings of their vehicles, only to watch them slide more and more budget brand efforts into them.

I honestly have to wonder what the hell they're doing.

How do you constantly spew out of one side of your mouth your obsession with craftmanship and dedication to your craft, and then turn around and do stuff like this.

The fact that so many Toyota products are already started to bite at the heels of their lexus counterparts is bad enough, now you've got this stuff happening.
 

flexus

Follower
Messages
437
Reaction score
722
^This is the harm I talked about when translation isn't good. We should not judge right away like we did with BMW I6. Bestcar has insider in Toyota and heard they are going to use I6. Which vehicle uses it? SUPRA. Logical. Now we know it is CODEVELOPED engine with Mazda. And is useless to judge, think about that A4 uses 1.5 TSI found in Seat Leon and my girlsfriend's 2019 Skoda Octavia which costs half of it. Skoda Superb is basically A4 as was the Seat Exeo. Porsche Macan is rebadget Q5 as Aston Martin put two Mondeo V6 into one and called V12. BMW 1 and 2 are going to be Minis and Volvo is Chinese.
 

CRSKTN

Fan
Messages
72
Reaction score
100
^This is the harm I talked about when translation isn't good. We should not judge right away like we did with BMW I6. Bestcar has insider in Toyota and heard they are going to use I6. Which vehicle uses it? SUPRA. Logical. Now we know it is CODEVELOPED engine with Mazda. And is useless to judge, think about that A4 uses 1.5 TSI found in Seat Leon and my girlsfriend's 2019 Skoda Octavia which costs half of it. Skoda Superb is basically A4 as was the Seat Exeo. Porsche Macan is rebadget Q5 as Aston Martin put two Mondeo V6 into one and called V12. BMW 1 and 2 are going to be Minis and Volvo is Chinese.
I appreciate what you mean, but I just don't buy the "other manufacturers are cutting corners, so it's ok" excuse. Same reason I will never drive an A4, or a Macan, or whatever else is out there.

I don't want an engine codeveloped by Mazda. At least go to another high end manufacturer for this stuff. If they were codeveloping something with AMG or M or RS or any of the other performance houses, that's fine, but this is a bad look for the brand.

It's like all car lineups are going the way of "here is a sea of cookie cutter "luxury" cars you can borrow your way into owning, or, if you're actually wealthy, here are some legitimately interesting and carefully designed/built vehicles for you but they cost both arms and legs".

It's like everything else. Eventually, companies start pandering to the lowest common denominator of whatever market segment they've targeted, and you end up with this race to the bottom to appease as many mouth-breathers with a pulse and credit you can, so the cost of actually buying something interesting and built with love goes through the roof.

Just disappointing is all. I had hoped the next generation of platforms would have Lexus get serious about being a Luxury car company.
 

LDeleuran

Fan
Messages
92
Reaction score
131
A collaboration with Mazda seems to be the exact opposite of what you want for luxury brand management. I agree with CRSKTN, and ask others: How do you think this kind of collaboration would impact the brand perception?

I have personally had horrible experiences with Mazda, and the brand has landed on my "never again" list. To see my favorite brand collaborate with my least favorite is not something I would look forward to.
 

ssun30

Expert
Messages
1,169
Reaction score
2,109
I will gladly buy any Lexus RWD sedan with an Inline-6 augmented by THS. It's my dream car (a modern one at least).

Why are you guys so against Mazda? It may not be a premium brand but it is the best gasoline engine maker in the world, period. They will collaborate because their tech choices for next-gen ICE will converge anyway. There is zero reason to do the same research twice. In fact it's the dream duo for any engineering-savvy person familiar with the industry.

I agree with Gecko's assessment of GA-N/L though. If they are only going to build a handful of low-volume models on it, why bother in the first place? You don't reduce cost by not producing anything, you reduce cost by producing more things. Right now it just seems they want GA-N/L but not really.
 
Messages
50
Reaction score
76
The GT-R is long in the tooth. Is the 2nd Gen LC/LC F and the next GT-R going to be shared, too? Let's do a mid-engine LFA and collaborate with Honda while we're at it! (That wide body LFA has been spotted lately testing on the 'Ring.)

In all seriousness. Toyota news has been disappointing as of late, it makes me sick to my stomach, lol.
 
Top