And that could be just the tip of the luxurious, electrified iceberg.
Lexus makes hybrids (bearing the letter H), and it makes performance models (bearing the letter F). Those two haven't crossed paths until now, but they could in the future – and even include a standalone hybrid sports car. Lexus chief Yoshihiro Sawa entertained the prospect in speaking with AutoExpress at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend. “F is very important; with F we have to think of our own original way,” said Sawa.
“One solution could be a pure F GT car, which could be a hybrid with an electric motor and a strong engine, giving a different kind of drive feel. We don’t stick to V8, V10, twin-turbocharged; they’re important but we’re looking at the future. We’d like to find a way to connect to the next era.” Sawa-san declined to comment, however, on the prospect of Lexus borrowing the building blocks that parent company Toyota has developed with BMW to underpin the new Supra (and its German partner's new Z4 roadster). “I can’t speak about that,” said Sawa, which is neither a confirmation, nor a denial of the possibility.
Toyota is also developing its own standalone supercar based on the lessons it's learned from its hybrid Le Mans prototype program, and setting the stage for its next. That model could, like the previous LFA supercar, wear a Lexus badge (in certain markets at least), or serve as a halo for Toyota's main brand. Beyond supercars, however, the combination of F performance and electrification could characterize the next generation of potent Lexuses to succeed the IS F, RC F, and GS F models – all of which currently use naturally aspirated V8 engines. That in and of itself could bode well, whether a stand-alone sports car results or not. So watch this space.