Toyota will enter the premium car segment in India with the Lexus brand. We have learnt that Lexus will make an official announcement on March 24, 2017. The Japanese automobile brand will enter India with the LX 450, ES 300h and the RX 450h. To begin with, the brand will operate through the existing Toyota dealerships. However, we believe Lexus might also establish its own network at a later stage. Here is a look at the three offerings.
Lexus ES 300h
Expected price: Rs 60 lakh
The sixth-generation Lexus ES 300h was showcased at the 2012 New York Auto Show. In 2015, the ES 300h received an update in the form of facelift. The Lexus ES 300h is based on the Toyota Camry hybrid and uses the same 160PS/213Nm 2.5-litre petrol motor paired to a CVT unit. It gets a sharper design compared to the Camry while the cabin is equipped with more premium and upmarket features. The ES 300h will compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW 5 Series. Unlike the Toyota Camry hybrid, the Lexus ES 300h will be brought to the country through the CBU route from the company's plant in Japan.
Lexus RX 450h
Expected price: Rs 1.20 crore
Lexus entered the premium crossover segment with the RX 450h. The fourth-generation RX 450h was launched at the 2015 New York Motor Show. It featured a bolder theme than its predecessor and also came with a floating roof design along with the new spindle grille. The new design language received a mix response. The Lexus RX 450h is a crossover that shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Kluger, a Hyundai Santa Fe rival in the global market. The RX450h gets a 308PS 3.5-litre motor. The RX 450h is manufactured in Ontario, Canada, and this too will be imported. This premium offering will lock horns with the BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne and the Volvo XC90. The Lexus RX 450h has already been spotted at the company's dealerships in India.
Expected price: Rs 2.34 crore
The Lexus LX 450d is the flagship offering from the Japanese automaker. Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX series is offered in both petrol and diesel engines. However, we believe the LX 450d will be launched first followed by its petrol counterpart. The LX 450d does come with similar off-road tech as the Land Cruiser. It also comes equipped with dynamic radar cruise control wherein the vehicle automatically adjusts the throttle to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. However, if the same will be offered in India is not clear. This premium SUV will primarily compete with the Land Rover Range Rover in India.