maiaramdan

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I think with more and more information dripping out of Japan we can piece together the whole story of how GA-L failed and ruined Lexus' high end plans from the very beginning:
>> The GA-L platform was designed from the start to be very rigid in order to accommodate a 670PS+ V8TT engine for the LC/LS/LF.
>> The platform ended up being very overweight because of its traditional steel construction. Usually at this level an all-aluminum design is required to keep weight in check.
>> The change in design direction of LS to be a large sports sedan led to very poor packaging. The car needs to be very large making the weight problem even worse.
>> The GA-L platform tried to become three very different products at once: a full size sedan, a sports car and a full size SUV. This is not how modularity works. It's simpler to just design the three separately.
>> The poor packaging also meant the LS-FC is impractical. They couldn't give it enough power and have to heavily sacrifice the already insufficient interior space.
>> The three F products have to be cancelled because the cars are so heavy they will fall into a downward spiral of adding more power and even more weight to handle that power. For every car design there is a GVM limit because you don't want the car to bottom out in daily driving.
>> TNGA-F being so good at weight reduction meant a BOF LX is actually lighter than the unibody LF-1 while having more space and being much cheaper. So the LF-1 might as well be cancelled.
>> GA-N is a scaled down GA-L so all the problems with GA-L became even worse. The Crown is bigger than GS while having similar space as IS and became 100kg heavier than last gen.
>> Knowing a new generation will not be competitive they just cancelled the GS and refreshed the IS.
>> Their focus on E-AWD means GA-K is a very suitable platform for future large products and the upcoming Crown will be the first product from this new vision.
>> The faster development pace of E-TNGA and the general shift to electrification means LF-Z is a much better investment than LF-1.

@ssun30

Frankly speaking most of your points are very sane and valid but I have some other questions

1) will we see a next generation FR LS or it will be turned as well to FF or totally ditched?

2) same question as 1 but regards to LC?

If we knew those questions we will be able to know the future of the LF-1

As maybe just maybe they will have a new FR or maybe there's GA-L / GA-N - II or maybe they are already working with Mazda on something totally new

So if any of the aforementioned this means the LF-1 still has a very good opportunity of not either they will be ditching or shifted to FF with Yaris GR like system then LF-1 we can say both LF-1 and even the LC are ditched
 

wyvern

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@ssun30

Frankly speaking most of your points are very sane and valid but I have some other questions

1) will we see a next generation FR LS or it will be turned as well to FF or totally ditched?

2) same question as 1 but regards to LC?

If we knew those questions we will be able to know the future of the LF-1

As maybe just maybe they will have a new FR or maybe there's GA-L / GA-N - II or maybe they are already working with Mazda on something totally new

So if any of the aforementioned this means the LF-1 still has a very good opportunity of not either they will be ditching or shifted to FF with Yaris GR like system then LF-1 we can say both LF-1 and even the LC are ditched

As much as the sedan market is dead these days, and what is there is dominated by the Germans, the idea of Lexus ditching the LS entirely is pretty unthinkable. It's been a cornerstone of the Lexus brand identity since its creation. Maybe the LS could be transformed into a large electric sedan built off a modular skateboard platform, in the mould of the Model S and EQS?

The Mazda thing is interesting. Now that Mazda has announced they are definitely introducing a new FR platform, I am starting to find the rumours about them and Toyota sharing the platform sound pretty convincing. I feel like it's impossible for a company of Mazda's size to have made such a huge investment into developing a brand new FR platform alone, especially given that:
  • they haven't had any development experience with FR since the RX8 ten years ago
  • they would have to sell these FR cars at a very large premium to recoup the development costs if they are funding it alone. The experience of the new Mazda 3 already shows that Mazda is going to be fighting an uphill battle selling their products at a premium.
  • the platform doesn't have legs. The market is moving to EVs in the next decade. Why would they waste their very scarce development resources on a platform which doesn't have longevity, unless they have someone else helping them resource it.
If the platform does end up being shared between Toyota and Mazda, I wonder whether it will be a Mazda platform that Toyota has bankrolled, a development of GA-L/GA-N, or something else. Also not sure what products Toyota could use the platform on. Ssun30 makes a pretty convincing case that with the aggressive hybridization/PHEV/e-axle strategy, Toyota doesn't really need a traditional longitudinal ICE FR platform anymore. Something doesn't add up.
 

Levi

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something does not add up indeed. but that is not Mazda's experience in building RWD platforms, MX-5 is RWD built from scratch with relatively low sales compared to CUVs. Say what you want, but even with BEVs having huge market share in Western Europe and North America in the next few years, the remaining ICEV market will still be huge. When most of the market moves on to BEVs, the remainder is only one so will still have the rest of the market for itself. Mazda being under Toyota, they can easily re-badge BEVs later on. When you want to be in two opposing markets, it is wise to separate the corporate entities.

Making a new FWD or RWD platform, has the "same" cost in terms of pure engineering aspect (at least I am highly convinced). Additional cost might come from differences in manufacturing, but mostly in the ability of platform sharing and volume. Now if Mazda considers the modifications to are needed to build large FWD platforms to be not that cost efficient, while also limiting other attributes, such as power and performance, you can only get so much of a 4 cylinder, and Mazda usually does not do downsizing, the is no other way except a 6 cylinder. A V6 costs more than an I6, and an I6 transverse FWD just costs too much in terms of modifications and will be a very compromised product. The fact that the Mazda will not have manual transmission nor RWD, but AWD, already highly reduces cost related to low volume. Mazda is not the only company trying to "premiumise" its products, it is the whole car industries' strategy, with exception of those that do the complete opposite,namely Dacia.

ICEV based BEVs are a very bad compromise, and ICEV-BEV modular platform compromises both platforms and increases costs, I do not see how the opposite is possible. PHEV's like the Opel Ampera somehow do not exist anymore, 48V mild-hybrids are marketing BS and should be considered pure ICEVs, eventually the only ICEVs should be HEVs like Toyota, till now now maker does them like Toyota. And while late to the game, the NX450h+ turns out to be best best true PHEV, all the good of NX350h HEV plus usable EV-mode range.

BEVs permit having quite some performance, the only way for ICEVs is to step up too, and that means no more under-powered I4s.
 

Adrian

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but how do you explain the fact that BMW is using the same CLAR platform in all of its line-up, from sedan (3, 5 ,7) to SUV (x series) to GT sports car (8), without having to overcome the issues GA-L faces?
doesn't the CLAR platform use more carbon fiber and aluminum like what's in the 7 series or am I wrong?
 

ssun30

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but how do you explain the fact that BMW is using the same CLAR platform in all of its line-up, from sedan (3, 5 ,7) to SUV (x series) to GT sports car (8), without having to overcome the issues GA-L faces?
CLAR used more lightweight material. TNGA in general is very conservative with aluminum and CFRP usage because of cost and carbon footprint. And cars and SUVs made on CLAR are not the best handling and riding in BMW history.

The future of LS/LF really is unknown. In their main markets the flagship role is taken either by the GA-F LX (ME/RU/NA) or the GA-K LM (Asia).

Mazda isn't known for making the most sane decisions as a company. This whole hassle of of developing a FR architecture from scratch is from their refusal to adopt THS which was offered to them for free. But their confidence with this move is probably backed by a free membership in the E-TNGA ecosystem. Toyota doesn't like free-riders (no company does). Subaru made their contribution in E-TNGA so Mazda must have a similar deal with Toyota elsewhere.
 

Will1991

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Mazda isn't known for making the most sane decisions as a company. This whole hassle of of developing a FR architecture from scratch is from their refusal to adopt THS which was offered to them for free. But their confidence with this move is probably backed by a free membership in the E-TNGA ecosystem. Toyota doesn't like free-riders (no company does). Subaru made their contribution in E-TNGA so Mazda must have a similar deal with Toyota elsewhere.

Perhaps it's related to the new Alabama factory?


They just started building the NA Corolla Cross.
 

mediumhot

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CLAR used more lightweight material. TNGA in general is very conservative with aluminum and CFRP usage because of cost and carbon footprint. And cars and SUVs made on CLAR are not the best handling and riding in BMW history.

The future of LS/LF really is unknown. In their main markets the flagship role is taken either by the GA-F LX (ME/RU/NA) or the GA-K LM (Asia).

Mazda isn't known for making the most sane decisions as a company. This whole hassle of of developing a FR architecture from scratch is from their refusal to adopt THS which was offered to them for free. But their confidence with this move is probably backed by a free membership in the E-TNGA ecosystem. Toyota doesn't like free-riders (no company does). Subaru made their contribution in E-TNGA so Mazda must have a similar deal with Toyota elsewhere.

Mazda wants to reposition or more accurately spread themselves to Acura tier level. Naively speaking Mazda wants to offer both Mazda and Mazda+ products but under one badge instead of two badges. If I was Mazda I wouldn't be adopting THS in 2022 either, that boat has sailed long time ago. For a small company it's better to be ahead of the curve than to run in the mid pack. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has singlehandedly saved the Mitsubishi automotive brand because they had the guts to green light something that was ahead of the time at the time. They could have went with regular joe hybrid Outlander instead but it wouldn't have moved the needle like PHEV did.
 

ssun30

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Mazda wants to reposition or more accurately spread themselves to Acura tier level. Naively speaking Mazda wants to offer both Mazda and Mazda+ products but under one badge instead of two badges. If I was Mazda I wouldn't be adopting THS in 2022 either, that boat has sailed long time ago. For a small company it's better to be ahead of the curve than to run in the mid pack. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has singlehandedly saved the Mitsubishi automotive brand because they had the guts to green light something that was ahead of the time at the time. They could have went with regular joe hybrid Outlander instead but it wouldn't have moved the needle like PHEV did.
Well they don't have anything ahead of time at this point though. 48V MHEV and P2 PHEV aren't anything new. They have an EV with 100mi range. Range extender was deemed dead by the industry two years ago. And they still couldn't get Skyactiv-X to be produced at a large scale at competitive price. And they just spent hundreds of millions on an empty production line. Do you expect Mazda to build a P2 PHEV that's as good as current-generation BMW PHEVs (which BTW are terrible)? BMW had a five year head-start and is a much bigger company.
 

Sulu

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Sulu

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Mazda wants to reposition or more accurately spread themselves to Acura tier level. Naively speaking Mazda wants to offer both Mazda and Mazda+ products but under one badge instead of two badges. If I was Mazda I wouldn't be adopting THS in 2022 either, that boat has sailed long time ago. For a small company it's better to be ahead of the curve than to run in the mid pack. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has singlehandedly saved the Mitsubishi automotive brand because they had the guts to green light something that was ahead of the time at the time. They could have went with regular joe hybrid Outlander instead but it wouldn't have moved the needle like PHEV did.
Mazda is stubbornly independent. As a small automaker in a world of increasingly more and increasingly large conglomerates (like Stellantis), it may not survive if it keeps insisting on wanting to do its own thing without help from other automakers.

Mazda's move upmarket -- to Mazda+ or Acura tier -- is because premium automakers are more profitable than mass-market. Increase the perceived quality of interior touchpoints and sell the vehicles for extra money, at a premium above the cost of the better interior materials, and rake in the profits. In doing this, Mazda is following in Volvo's footsteps -- 20 & 30 years ago, Volvo was a small but not a premium / luxury automaker. Since then, Volvo has transformed itself. Mazda hopes to do the same.

Mazda does not want to adopt the Toyota Hybrid System (which Toyota offered to Mazda for free) because it does not align with Mazda's zoom-zoom, fun-to-drive philosophy (it cannot be shifted like a manual transmission). But the 24-volt mild hybrid MX-30 (a proprietary system which Mazda designed and that no other automaker uses) and much-in-the-news 48-volt hybrid system (a mild hybrid system that is available from independent auto suppliers, and more automakers are adopting) are simple mild hybrid systems that are not as technologically advanced as THS.

If Mazda wants to adopt a 48-volt mild hybrid, it could buy and adapt a system from an independent auto supplier. But knowing Mazda, it is likely to re-invent the wheel and design its own system. This (and trying to adopt a FR platform) may be the beginning of the end of Mazda.
 

ssun30

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I wouldn't say this is the end of Mazda as long as they don't try to do the impossible: developing their own EV platform.

Suzuki is now Japan's expert in 48V MHEV technology and they share it with Toyota. But that deal is limited to emerging markets only so Mazda will unlikely get it.
 

Will1991

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BestCar keeps pushing on a production LF-1 by 2023:

"
Lexus will launch the lexus lf, a commercial model of the lf-1 limitless, which was exhibited at the 2018 detroit show. it is expected to be introduced as early as next spring.

The base is the lexus LS GA-L platform. the key is to adopt fr-based platforms just like overseas crossover suvs.

The powertrain is basically the same as the ls, with a 3.5-liter v6 turbo and a 3.5-liter v6 hybrid. in addition, the advanced grade "f-sport" seems to be planning to install the newly developed 4l v8 twin turbo.
"

Source: https://bestcarweb.jp/news/scoop/381792?prd=2 (Translated by Google)

I'm not getting my hopes high...
 

Gecko

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200w.gif
 

ssun30

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It's not hard to find examples of BestCar publishing incorrect scoops and keep moving the goalpost when they prove to be wrong. Like any scoop site they get something right and something wrong. Their biggest strength is accuracy of renders. These are almost always correct IF the product exists at all.