Hybrids key to future Lexus success?
For some time we've known about Toyota's plans to offer a hybrid version across the company's entire lineup, and Lexus will probably be the first brand under Toyota to be fully hybridized.
To differentiate itself from BMW and Mercedes, Lexus will rely on hybrid technology, as well a sportier driving experience.
“Up until now, Lexus has been about calm, stable luxury,” said Kiyotaka Ise, Toyota's Lexus' development officer. “From now on it will be more about agility and response, really feeling the braking and acceleration.”
Recently, Toyota tweaked its hybrid drive to offer more sportiness in the upcoming Lexus CT 200h hybrid, providing at least a glimpse into future Lexus hybrid plans.
Nevertheless, while Toyota's hybrid plans for Lexus might be a smart way to contend with the likes of BMW and Mercedes, some new competition from Ford's Lincoln brand could provide an interesting challenge.
Soon, Ford will offer the Lincoln MKZ hybrid that should be just the first of many Lincoln hybrids. More important, however, early word indicates this new Lincoln hybrid will not only be cheaper than the Lexus HS 250h hybrid, it's closest competitor, but also more fuel efficient. If Ford can build on that trend, perhaps Lincoln could give Lexus hybrids a run for the money.