FutureLexus GS F: First GenerationLexus RC F: First GenerationRumors

New Lexus President Wants to Expand F Brand Models

Lexus LC F Rendering

Hans Greimel of Automotive News has interviewed new Lexus International president Koji Sato:

Koji Sato was given very clear marching orders when he took over as president of Lexus International on Jan. 1. His boss Akio Toyoda instructed him: Make change.

“It was just one simple thing: Make some change,” Sato recalled of his briefing with the boss.

“Lexus is a symbol of the challenging spirit of corporate Toyota,” Sato said. “Toyota is a big organization. But Lexus is a very small company and more flexible. Akio’s expectation for Lexus is to change something or take on some challenge.”

Sato stressed that the “new Lexus” will focus on three major initiatives: emotion, electrification, and automated driving. Electrification will begin with the UX 300e crossover, and a Lexus that can drive itself on highways is also on the way this year. Adding to the excitement are new upcoming additions to the F brand lineup:

One fix will be leveraging the F and F Sport performance lines,[Sato] said. He would like to extend F treatment to other nameplates. An F Sport grade is currently offered on everything but the LX SUV, but the top-shelf F designation is offered only on the RC coupe and GS sedan.

“We will enhance F model activities in the future,” Sato said. “F will take the lead. Every other model gets some shower effect.”

This is likely referring to the introduction of the LC F coupe, though it does hint at other models — could Lexus be planning its first F brand crossover?

Lexus LX: Third GenerationRumors

Next-Generation Lexus LX to be “Entirely Different Vehicle”

Lexus LX Next-Generation

The next-generation Lexus LX will be a “huge departure” from the current model, according to a Motor1 interview with a Toyota insider:

The next LX will reportedly represent a “huge departure” from the current model. It’s said to become far more luxurious and “an entirely different vehicle” compared to the outgoing LX, with a twin-turbo V6 hybrid underneath the hood and a diesel outside of the United States.

The next-gen LX is slated to come out sometime in 2022 and will be more along the lines of a Bentley Bentayga rather than a luxed-up Land Cruiser.

There are a couple different ways to interpret this news, in that it could signal a radical transformation of the Land Cruiser platform, or even the possibility that the LX will no longer be based on the Toyota Land Cruiser. Considering the LX is one of the only Lexus vehicles with real heritage, hopefully it’s the former.

As reported earlier, Lexus dealers in the USA are looking for a vehicle to compete with the Cadillac Escalade — here’s a quote from Paul LaRochelle, the chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council, talking to Automotive News:

It seems like Lexus has a desire, and dealers have a desire, to have a seven-passenger [Cadillac] Escalade fighter, or a Denali fighter or a Lincoln Navigator fighter. Truly having the prestigious seven-passenger, people-moving, kids’ soccer-family-moving vehicle. The LX is great; that vehicle will be getting an enhancement soon.

But the biggest want right now, unanimously through Lexus dealers, is to have something in that larger luxury-vehicle segment. That larger vehicle is really a big miss for us in an LUV/SUV world, where gas prices are pretty stable and with the job the nation has done to become energy independent.

CanadaLexus UX: First GenerationTechUSA

No Full-Electric Lexus UX for North America

Lexus UX 300e North America

Lexus has once again confirmed that the upcoming full-electric UX 300e will not be coming to North America, this time in an Automotive News interview with brand president Koji Sato:

Automotive News: Lexus launches its first EV, the UX 300e compact SUV, at the end of this year in Europe. Where else is this car going?

Sato: China, Japan and some Asian countries. But the main focus is Europe and China because of high demand and [emissions] regulations.

Why not the U.S.?

We sell UX in the U.S., but there is no plan to introduce an EV variant because there is no demand there and the regulation situation is different. Our fundamental strategy for electrified technology is “Right place, right timing, right price.”

This remains a disappointing decision from the brand, as even a token allotment of vehicles for the North American market may have been enough to generate some positive momentum given the current lull in new product from the brand.

Sato also discusses the Lexus strategy regarding new SUVs and crossovers:

What share of Lexus sales are SUVs and will the share continue to grow?

Globally, SUVs account for about 65 percent of our sales…We think this trend will continue for another five years or so but after that, maybe SUVs will be on the ropes and people will want something new. We need to prepare for something other than the SUV over the next 10 years. The LF30 concept is one proposal for that.

Your SUVs are quite traditional in terms of body style, while your German competitors are offering a growing range of SUV coupes. Will Lexus also join this niche?

We will not expand our vehicle lineup to fit the trend.

FutureLexus NX: First GenerationRumors

Next-Generation NX Crossover to be First Lexus Plug-In Hybrid?

Lexus NX Shadow

Motor1 is reporting that the next-generation NX will debut in the fall of 2021 with five different powertrains, including a 2.5L plug-in hybrid with 40 miles of electric range.

This information comes from a inside source within Toyota, who also shared that the NX will feature a “unique cockpit” with a newly developed 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system. A cloud-based navigation system and remote parking using a smartphone app could also feature. Little is mentioned about the exterior, beyond a quote that the next NX will have a “strikingly avant-garde design with revolutionary tech.”

(The Lexus Enthusiast forums have already brainstormed the five engines, coming up with the 2.0L 4-cylinder from the UX 200, the current 2.0L turbo and 2.5L hybrid engines, the 2.5L plug-in hybrid, and a new 2.4L or 2.5L turbo.)

DealershipsFutureRumorsUSA

Lexus to Redesign Entire Lineup Over Next Five Years?

Lexus LF-1 Limitess

Lexus plans to release two to three vehicle redesigns per year for the next five years, according to an Automotive News interview with Paul LaRochelle, chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council:

…thankfully what (Toyota President) Akio Toyoda committed to us, is to continually look at the length and the cadence of our vehicles, on how long we go between redesigns — and I mean not just headlight changes, but a good, healthy redesign.

And then there are some things that are in the pipeline, in what I would call the 2025 plan, where he committed to us that over the next five years, Lexus is going to get at least two to three redesigns, or even potentially a few new vehicles added to the lineup each year over these next five years.

This is a major statement at a time when it feels like Toyota has sidelined the Lexus brand to focus on its own lineup. Lexus currently offers ten nameplates in the USA, not including the F-brand models or hybrid variants. Updating two models per year for five years will cover every model.

There’s also mention of “a few new vehicles”, which likely refers to a production model of the LF-1 Limitless concept and the Escalade-fighter the dealerships have repeatedly requested.

(It’s worth pointing out that Lexus went through a similar massive reworking of their lineup, starting with the release of the GS sedan in 2013. It should be said, that GS is still on sale today.)

Lexus ES: Seventh GenerationRecallsSafety

2020 Model Year Lexus ES 300h Recalled for Engine Issue

Lexus ES 300h Recall

Certain 2020 Lexus ES 300h sedans are being recalled due to a potential engine block issue that could cause the vehicle to stall, overheat, or even catch fire.

This manufacturing error may cause the engine to leak coolant or oil. Initially, this would cause increased engine noise, smoke, and visible warning lights on the instrument panel. In some cases, this could lead to the engine overheating and possible internal mechanical damage.

For all involved vehicles, Toyota and Lexus dealers will inspect the engine block casting serial number. All vehicles matching the faulty batch of engines will have their engine replaced at no charge.

A combined 44,191 Toyota & Lexus vehicles are part of this recall, though only 250 of that number are expected to be affected.