Lexus Australia is currently looking to add a hybrid version of its new-generation GX body-on-frame SUV as the Federal Government looks to impose tough emissions regulations.

    John Pappas, Lexus Australia’s CEO, told CarExpert the proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) opens the possibility for more hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicle (EV) offerings locally.

    “With GX at the moment [there] is a hybrid version looking like [it’s] going to China, and then after China, [it’s] probably going to go to the US in terms of … priority,” said Mr Pappas.

    “That makes great sense to send it to those markets, but they’ve already got emissions [and] fuel efficiency standards. Whereas we don’t have a mandated standard yet.

    “So for us to try and get access if that [GX hybrid] could meet our demand, like in terms of fit for purpose demand, of what a customer wants, and we wanted that car, it’d be very hard for us to get access to that car for our market, compared to other markets that have a mandatory standard.

    “With a mandatory standard it enables us to … open those doors for us to offer better product availability to our customers here in Australia.

    “Having that standard will give us access to more electrified options for our market that maybe we can’t get access to at the moment.”

    So far the Lexus GX’s hybrid powertrain hasn’t been properly detailed, though we do know it’s a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid.

    This hybrid powertrain will be offered in the related Toyota Prado in markets like North America, where it produces 243kW of power and 630Nm of torque.

    Toyota Australia still has yet to confirm this hybrid powertrain for the new Prado, which will exclusively be offered at launch with a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine augmented by 48V mild-hybrid technology.

    To date Lexus has only confirmed the GX will be powered by a 3.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine with 260kW and 650Nm in Australia.

    The first examples of the Australian-specification Lexus GX are due to touch down in mid-2024. It will the first time the luxurious body-on-frame SUV has ever been offered locally.

    The local lineup currently starts at $116,000 before on-roads for the GX 550 Luxury, and extends to $128,200 before on-roads for the GX 550 Sports Luxury.

    There’s also an off-road-focused GX 550 Overtrail variant priced from $122,250 before on-roads that adds features like all-terrain tyres, Adaptive Variable Suspension, locking rear differential, Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (eDKSS), Multi-Terrain Select off-road traction control system, and a Multi-Terrain Monitor, among others.

    MORE: Everything Lexus GX

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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