Sport utility vehicles are so hot right now that no automaker is counting them out—not even Ferrari. Aston Martin’s DBX is the British brand’s hottest seller, and Lamborghini’s Urus is outselling the sleek Huracan two to one. Lexus isn’t immune to this either as its first electric vehicle for the North American market, the 2023 RZ450e, is a crossover; what's more, both the RX and NX family haulers are its top-selling models. However, according to Autocar, Lexus European boss Spiros Fotinos says the automaker is not leaving sedans and sports cars behind in its pursuit of EVs.
“[We are] working on alternative body types that would allow us to not only offer a wider range of vehicles but also meet the growth ambitions we have for Europe.” That’s great news because I’d hate to see body styles like the LC500h die when the brand goes all-electric. Maybe we’ll even get that rumored successor to the LFA.
As you may remember, the Toyota King of Exuberance Akio Toyoda presented the company’s electrification plans in late December of last year. After expressing some hesitation toward the push for electrification in past seasons, the CEO was all in, pledging $70 billion in EV development through 30 Toyota and Lexus models.
While the RZ450e will ride on the BEV-specific e-TNGA platform, Lexus’ Fotinos isn’t ruling out new ideas.
“For a company and a brand that has the ambitions we do–to be 100 percent BEV-ready, offering a BEV in every segment we compete in–technically that would be impossible to do with one platform, so obviously we’re looking at other opportunities as well,” Fontinos said. “We’re not excluding anything. The segments in which we compete and the segments that are the volume-sellers in Europe are the segments we would be looking at primarily.”
I see this as great news. Clearly, European markets require smaller vehicles that fit into teeny-tiny street parking spaces. If you’ve ever been across the pond, you’ve noticed the acrobatics drivers complete to parallel park. Here in the U.S., we tend to like our giant vehicles but I’m hoping the market brings more interesting designs and a variety of body types.
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