Toyota’s top-of-the-line Lexus range is reportedly making its India debut by the end of this calendar year. According to a report by Economic Times, Toyota-owned Lexus will debut in India with the launch of its RX SUV, the ES sedan along with the RC-F Coupe. The report further adds that Lexus will get its exclusive retail outlets in the country.
Moreover, reports also suggest that a hybrid variant of the Lexus ES sedan might also be launched in India, while the Lexus RC-F Coupe could get a price tag of over a crore when it goes on sale. Exclusive Lexus dealerships will initially be opened in New Delhi and Mumbai. All of the above mentioned Lexus models will be imported as CBU (Completely Built Unit) units, while pre-bookings are expected to commence before the end of 2016.
The RX 450h hybrid SUV has a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an electric motor that churns out 308 bhp. While the engine gets mated to a CVT gearbox. It is expected to be priced in the range of Rs.40-lakh-50-lakh and will compete against the likes of BMW X3 along with the Audi Q5.
LX450d SUV expected to come to India
Lexus will also bring the LX450d SUV to India which is expected to be available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol variant packs a 5.7-litre V8 engine which belts out 383 bhp along with 546 Nm of peak torque. While the diesel variant gets a 4.5-litre V8 motor that develops 269 bhp along with 650 Nm of peak torque.
Apart from the RX-450h SUV, Lexus will also launch the ES300h luxury sedan in the Indian market. It’ll only be available in its hybrid version. Under the hood, it packs a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor. The prices are expected to start at Rs. 50 lakh which pits it against the likes of BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class along with the Jaguar XF.
Initially introduced in the American market, the Lexus brand was essentially created to differentiate the company’s premium offerings from the usual Toyota brand. It competes with other luxury brands which include the likes of Audi, BMW and Jaguar internationally. Lexus was reportedly the second most popular brand in the United States after BMW. While in the USA, China and Europe, Lexus reportedly sold more units than Jaguar and Land Rover.
Toyota has been contemplating the launch of its Lexus brand in India for quite some time. Back in 2011, the company announced its plans to bring the Lexus in India by 2013. However, thanks to the rigid Indian tax structure and the 2013-14 budget which significantly increased import duties on fully imported cars, Toyota had to back-out. And now that Lexus is finally launching India, it’ll be interesting to see the kind of response its gets from the Indian market, and how it competes against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.