Lexus in India: What lies ahead for Toyota’s premium brand?

first_imgIt has been quite some time since news spread of the Lexus brand coming to India. But now after many years of contemplating, Lexus is officially here in India. So what is Lexus and how is it any special from the plethora of other brands existing around the world? Lexus, to start with, is the luxury car division of the Toyota.The Lexus marque is marketed in more than 70 countries worldwide and has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars. Lexus originated from a corporate project to develop a new premium sedan, which began in 1983 and culminated in the launch of the Lexus LS in 1989. Lexus did not exist as a brand in its home market until 2005 and all vehicles marketed internationally as Lexus from 1989 to 2005 were released in Japan under the Toyota brand name.Lexus vehicles are largely produced in Japan but Canada got an assembly plant lately as well. So now that we are done with the history lesson, let’s tell you about the models which have been launched here in India and those which are coming soon.Price:At a recent event Lexus announced that they are entering the Indian market with three models. This includes the RX 450h SUV, the ES 300h sedan and the LX 450d SUV. While the RX 450h is priced at Rs 1.07 crore, the F-Sport variant of the RX will cost 1.10 crore. The ES 300h is priced at Rs 55.3 lakh. The third model in the pipeline, the LX 450d is expected to cost in upwards of Rs 2 crore (all prices ex-showroom). So the one thing which is pretty clear is that the Lexus brand will cater to a very niche audience. Now let’s get to the cars one by one.advertisementLexus RX 450hThe RX 450h is a hybrid SUV which measures in at under five meters and in general should compete with the Audi Q5. However looking at the price tag, the only viable competition here in India will be the Porsche Macan. The RX 450h uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine which churns out 308bhp and 335Nm of torque.Lexus RX 450hLexus RX 450hIn addition there are multiple permanent magnet motors which take care of propulsion as well. Power is fed to these motors using a 37kW battery pack. This AWD hybrid SUV therefore can sprint to 100kmph in 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180kmph. The RX 450h comes loaded with luxury features which justify the price as well.Lexus RX 450hLexus ES 300hThe second car launched is the ES 300h. As most of you might have guessed that the ‘h’ at the end of the name means that it is a hybrid and you are right. The ES300h features the brand’s razor sharp styling which gives it a unique look. But to be honest under all that fancy bodywork hides a Toyota Camry hybrid. All that flash and especially the Lexus badge slot it right below the existing BMW 5-Series sedan.Lexus ES 300hSurprisingly the powertrain is also identical to the Camry hybrid which sells in India. So under the bonnet resides a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, mated to a CVT gearbox, for a combined output of 200bhp.Lexus LX450dThe third entrant will be the LX450d which is not a hybrid. It is actually a re-skinned Toyota Land Cruiser and the price is expected to be over Rs 2 crore.Lexus LX450dSo what does this ultra-expensive SUV offer? The LX will be available as a diesel-only model and will use the same 269bhp, 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel motor found on the Land Cruiser LC200. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic and Lexus claims a 0-100kph sprint time of 8.6 seconds.Sales and ServiceMoving onto the sales and service bit of Lexus. The company will start CBU operations here in India with four dealers in four metros. Additionally four service centres will also be operational in Chandigarh, Kochi, Hyderabad and Chennai.ALSO READ:Lexus enters India in style; launches ES300h, RX Luxury and RX F-Sport ALSO READ:Lexus range in India: Everything you need to knowlast_img

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