Toyota has made a few failed attempts to bring its Lexus luxury brand to India but this time, it no not going to fail. Lexus India is going to kick start its operations from 24th March 2017. In the first phase, they will launch three cars, 2 SUVs and 1 sedan. These include RX450h Hybrid SUV, ES300h Hybrid sedan, and LX450d/LX470 SUV.
The recent initiatives by the government which made import and sales of hybrid cars more attractive has prompted Toyota to introduce Lexus. The Japanese luxury brand comes into picture just as its parent company is uncertain about its future plans in India owing to the recent diesel ban debacle. The Lexus hybrid cars will also benefit from the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and hybrid vehicles) scheme’s subsidy which stand at INR 1.38 lakhs for large hybrid cars.
Lexus cars will be retailed at exclusive Lexus dealerships, which will first be opened in major Indian cities. The first such dealership – Lexus Boutique is to be opened in Mumbai at the Taj Hotel in Santacruz. All Lexus cars which will be on sale in India, will be on display at this boutique which will adhere to global Lexus standards.
Speaking about the three cars, Lexus RX450h is a hybrid SUV. It is one of the best selling Lexus SUVs in the world. Powered by a 3.5 liter V6 petrol motor and mated to a hybrid system from Toyota, this SUV delivers combined output of 308 hp via a CVT gearbox. It will be priced from INR 1.2 crore.
The second SUV on offer would be their flagship offering – Lexus LX450d and LX570. The diesel 450d is powered by a 4.5 liter V8 delivering 269 hp and 650 Nm while the petrol LX570 is powered by a 5.7 liter V8 generating 383 hp and 546 Nm. Price of both will start from INR 2.34 crore.
The most affordable Lexus offering for India will be the ES300h hybrid sedan. To be priced from INR 60 lakh, it will come with the same engine transmission option as seen on the Toyota Camry hybrid in India. In fact, the Lexus ES300h is based on Toyota Camry Hybrid. The 2.5 liter petrol motor along with Toyota Hybrid system delivers peak output of 160PS and 213Nm.
Refinement, better efficiency and smoother drive would be the strong selling points. Initially, all will be sold as CBUs. Toyota Kirloskar Motor also has the option of setting up a CKD operations at one of its Bidadi plants in the future if it’s necessary.