We’ve just posted on BMW recording a big jump in sales and profits. They have to come from somwhere, and a unit gained by Munich is a sale lost by rivals such as Lexus. The North American market is crucial to Toyota’s luxury brand, and recently released July US figures don’t look good for the Japanese – while Audi sales were up 17% and BMW’s 12.3% compared to the same month last year, Lexus volumes slipped by 21.81%.
They’re not standing still, though. Automotive News reports that a major lineup revamp is in the cards, and Lexus’ GS, ES, IS and LS sedans will be either redesigned or re-engineered by spring 2013.
And as hinted by the Lexus GS prototype recently caught testing on Nurburgring, the next generation models will be more dynamic to drive – why else would they bring it to Green Hell and back?
They will look sharper too, as we’ve seen from the LF-Gf hybrid concept. The report adds that Lexus models will have a major change every three years, alternating between sheet metal and powertrain, like how BMW does it.
Besides the sportier new GS, which will debut early next year, the dowdy Lexus ES (pic above) will be redesigned in the summer of 2012 to look more different from donor car Toyota Camry. Its handling will be sharpened and there will be a hybrid option good for 40 mpg (14.2 km/l) combined.
Later in 2012, the compact IS sedan will be re-engineered, based on a shrunken version of the new GS platform. The good looking current car has been around since 2005, so it’s about time for a new one.
The brand’s flagship LS limo will remain for 2012, as a redesign is only due in spring 2013. Apparently, weight saving technology using premium materials is a main focus point, and Lexus will stick with a V8 engine for the range topping hybrid variant. The RX SUV will soldier on till 2014.
Lastly, an “LFA Roadster” will be offered, after the current run of 500 fixed top units is done, plus a one-year gap. That should be around mid 2014. It’s not too big a surprise, as Lexus has shown a topless LFA concept before. Can you imagine the sound of that V10 without a roof in place? It’s gonna be epic for sure!
Stiff competition forces carmakers to keep improving, which is good news for us, the consumer.