While Toyota has embraced plug-in hybrid technology on its venerable Prius, its luxury arm has announced that there will be no Lexus plug-in hybrids coming. Instead, the division plans to go with all-electric and fuel cell vehicles to meet ever-increasing government CO2 targets, according to European head Alain Uyttenhoven.
Speaking to Auto Express, Uyttenhoven called plug-in hybrids a “loophole in the market,” and stated buyers can eventually expect to see the next-generation powertrains on the CT hatchback and NX crossover. It’s an acknowledgement that while models like the LC 500 coupe and the LS luxury sedan might garner much of the press, more affordable offerings are what actually keep the company in the black.
But first? We’ll see the new technology on a forthcoming luxury sedan, styled after the stunning LF-FC concept which wowed audiences two years ago at the annual Tokyo Motor Show. And while there are plenty echos of the LF-FC in the brand-new LS, we expect the lines to be even bolder with the new fuel cell hybrid, reflecting the cutting edge powertrain riding under its skin.
That said? We don’t think we’ll see many compromises in the performance department. So when it arrives at your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer? Expect the sedan to sport a rear-biased system with power at all four wheels, and a zero to 60 mph time which would’ve read like science fiction just a few years ago. Of course, it’ll also provide a womb-like cabin, a dizzying host of creature comforts, and reliability akin to the sunrise.