► Lexus to reveal concepts in Tokyo
► A focus on EVs and AI
► New boss wants brand to spearhead EV offering
The next Toyota president Koji Sato is already making changes, and the first will see Lexus focus on electric vehicles. The move came just weeks after he was announced as the replacement for Akio Toyoda, and will see the premium Lexus brand become the spearhead for the company’s EV offerings.
Sato is already fixing Toyota’s flat-footed electric strategy. Despite have a huge lead in hybrid and battery tech with cars such as the Prius, Toyota has a below average offering when it comes to EVs. And as one of our recent efficiency tests showed, its bZ4X SUV has a truly disappointing range.
What’s happening in Tokyo?
The first fruits of Sato’s electric push are set to be revealed at the Tokyo mobility show, with both Lexus and Toyota showing a range of EVs that preview the direction of forthcoming cars. You can read about Toyota’s here.
Toyota’s premium brand looks set to unveil at least one concept, possible shown in two teasers release before the show. There’s not much details to go on, but both pictures hint at clean aerodynamic lines, paired the brand’s usual headlight signature. Interestingly, neither picture appears to show an electric SUV – putting Lexus in a different space to its sister brand.
Lexus says its both will also feature a VR driving simulator to show what it’d be like to use a car with both AI and EV power. Just like Toyota, Lexus is focusing on using technology to make the driving experience more personal.
Tokyo aside, Toyota’s new boss has already made comments about what to expect powertrain wise: Sato maintains that the brand will continue to keep its options open. ‘This is not a fast pivot towards battery EVs,’ said the new boss.
Sato also revealed that Toyota and Lexus still have a target of selling 3.5 million EVs by 2023 – though it remains to be seen what the split of Toyota– and Lexus-badged cars will be.
Back in 2021 Akio Toyoda promised that buyers will have 30 Toyota electric cars vehicles to choose from by 2030. That figure included the brand’s passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as premium offerings from Lexus.
Lexus has been working on an electric supercar, first shown late in 2021, and one of sixteen BEVs revealed on the day. It’s low and looks to be a thoroughbred supercar; Lexus says it’ll be reviving the spirit of the iconic V10-powered LFA.
The brand is aiming for a range of 430 miles, as well as a two-second 0-62mph launch. However, those impressive numbers should be generated by new solid-state battery technology, which means we’re not expecting to see the car in production for a while yet…