Lexus will grow its range in Australia significantly over the next 18 months.
The luxury brand has confirmed plans to reveal three cars in “three new segments” and bring them Down Under by around the middle of 2024.
Exactly what those cars will be isn’t clear. Lexus in 2021 previewed its future range with a set of concept cars which offer clues, however.
One vehicle that’s likely a part of the plan is a large, seven-seat SUV. Unlike the previous-generation RX, the latest model hasn’t been designed to support a seven-seat RX L option.
Lexus is expected to reveal a bigger, more spacious SUV – potentially wearing the TX badge – at some point in 2023.
“We know that there’s no seven-seater in this new RX because we’ve packaged it specially for a sportier, performance SUV. That’s how it’s packaged, but we are cognisant of that seven-seat [segment],” Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas told CarExpert.
It’s not clear if the TX will be produced in right-hand drive, or if it’ll be exclusive to the American market.
If the TX isn’t on track for Australia, it’s possible the next-generation Toyota Prado-based Lexus GX could finally be built in right-hand drive. Currently, it’s left-hand drive only.
A third possibility in the seven-seat SUV world is the large electric crossover previewed in 2021. At the time it was known as the Lexus Electrified SUV, but it’s possible the Tesla Model X and Kia EV9 rival will wear the TZ badge.
Also missing from the Lexus line-up is a mid-sized sedan, given the IS is no longer on offer Down Under.
The Electrified Sedan Concept, teased in December 2021, features dramatic styling, plus the long wheelbase and tight overhangs possible with a dedicated electric vehicle platform.
Although the market is moving away from passenger cars towards SUVs, Mr Pappas confirmed the former “absolutely” has a place in 2023.
“We’re not giving up on passenger cars, we’re continuing to evolve,” he said. “We want to have cars in all segments, and be able to satisfy our customers.”
Overall, there’s more than a hint of the IS in the design but it arguably still looks fresh and new.
Lexus Australia has also made no bones about its desire for a sports car halo to replace the enigmatic LFA supercar.
Mr Pappas made clear he hopes the Electrified Sport Concept teased in 2021 hits showrooms eventually.
“We hope this car goes beyond a design concept and goes into production, and fully electrifies the senses,” he told media.
The brand has promised the car will have a 0-100km/h time “in the low 2-second range”, while also having a driving range of “over 700km”, presumably if the car’s driven in a slightly more sedate manner.
At the other end of the spectrum, reports from Japan have suggested Lexus is gearing up to reveal a small hybrid and electric model to replace the CT hatchback axed locally in 2021.
The report says this new model will be offered in addition to the UX, which entered production late in 2018 – although it also claimed the new city car won’t be revealed until late 2024, meaning it doesn’t quite match up with the timeline laid out by Lexus.
What would you like to see from Lexus?