Published August 17, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
Lexus’ popular ES sedan series will offer a hybrid version for 2013.
We’ve seen some disturbing industry news lately, as well as positive, and that should not be surprising as the nascent “green car” market is yet a crucible – and ultimately the trend is upward, in no small part due to Toyota.
Toyota already dominates the first few monthly hybrid sales spots by a large margin, and recently North American product manager Mark Templin divulged its Lexus division aims to double the number of hybrids by 2015, if not by 2014.
Presently, there are four Lexus-badged hybrids with the CT 200h and RX400/450h consistently ranking in the top 10 on our monthly dashboard.
We already know from Lexus one new hybrid on its way is the ES 300h, but as for the remaining three to come, this is open to speculation.
Possible candidates could be the IS sport sedan, which is the only Lexus sedan that has not yet been offered in a hybrid version. Beyond this, perhaps variants of the RX line? Templin said the company is looking to build a smaller RX, so a hybrid version of the new smaller RX could be in the offing.
Aside from that, you can guess away, but the bigger picture view is market demands and legislation are continuing to exert pressure over the long haul for better efficiency that hybrids are ideal to provide.
As the dominant player in the field, Toyota is fleshing out its Lexus division to be in position to meet demands for improved fuel economy and emissions in the years to come.
The Detroit Bureau