Styling and a sporty ride.
Toyota aims to hit both for its Lexus luxury lineup, which suffered a blow this year as sales fell behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. According to Automotive News, Lexus plans to heavily refresh its sedan lineup (ES, GS, IS, LS) through 2013, with its RX and LX crossovers to get some love starting around 2014. Changes include new exterior designs based off the LF-Gh Concept and a more engaging driving experience. Lexus is also borrowing a page from BMW’s update schedule, switching between new designs and powertrains every three years.
What’s Hot: Lexus ES finally gets a hybrid model.
What’s Not: Dropping the ball on the VX. No market for a seven-passenger luxury SUV? Really?
Other changes include:
- Lexus IS: Expected by late 2012, the IS will shares a smaller verison of the GS chassis with a new exterior design and more sporty ride; a soft-top convertible will be available in next generation IS.
- Lexus HS 250h: Refresh in 2015 will include replacing nickel-metal hydride batteries with more modern lithium ion batteries.
- Lexus ES: Lexus’ most popular sedan gets refreshed by summer 2012 with a new exterior design, sportier handling and a new hybrid model.
- Lexus GS: The refreshed GS is expected to debut later this year and go on sale in early 2012, with a sportier ride, optional four-wheel steering and a high-performance hybrid model.
- Lexus LS: Refreshed Lexus flagship expected to arrive in spring 2013 will be lighter due to weight-saving materials, and a new hybrid engine will be retuned to deliver better fuel economy
- Lexus LFA: Expect a roadster by 2014.
- Lexus RX: Expect a redesign by 2014.
- Lexus LX: Expect a redesign sometime after 2015.
- Lexus CT 200h: Debuting this year, expect no significant changes.
- Lexus GX: Expect no major changes.
- Lexus VX: Delayed as Toyota / Lexus study market viability for seven-passenger luxury crossovers.