While reports of Kia Motors and Daihatsu entering India before 2019 surfaced online a couple of days ago, it seems there are more carmakers mulling India entry. The latest to join the bandwagon is the Lexus, a luxury sub-brand of Toyota, which will test the waters in the country this year.
A report on NDTVAuto confirms that Toyota has finally given green light to bring Lexus to India after previous attempts in 2010 and 2013 were rejected for various reasons. Unlike the international portfolio of Lexus vehicles that comes with petrol and diesel engine, the strategy for India is to stick to the hybrid model at the initial phase. This is widely considered because of the overwhelming response the Camry hybrid witnessed.
It was reported that close to 90 percent of Camry buyers in India opt for hybrid model than the regular model. The FAME scheme of central government offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars are also seems to have influenced Toyota to bring Lexus hybrid models. More importantly, the hybrid only powertrain will help Toyota to position Lexus as unique brand with the USP of eco-friendly cars.
The current international range of hybrid Lexus vehicles is CT hybrid hatchback, ES, GS, LS hybrid sedans and NX, RX hybrid SUVs. The RX 450h compact SUV will be the first model for India and is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine in tandem with an electric motor. The hybrid powertain develops 308bhp. The compact SUV will be followed by the GS 450h sedan that also uses the same engine of RX 450h with an increased output of338bhp. The flagship sedan of the brand, the LS 600 h, featuring 5-litre V8 engine with electric motor will produce 438bhp combined output.