Lexus evaluating a V8 diesel version of its LX 4×4, the Lexus LX450d to Australia
Lexus, a brand once renowned for insisting that petrol/electric hybrid drivetrains were a more efficient option than diesel, may be back tracking and bringing a diesel down under.
The car in question is the Lexus LX450d, and it is intended to be a more economical alternative to the hulking and petrol only Lexus LX570.
The LX450d will share the same turbo-diesel V8 with the Toyota LandCruiser Sahara on which it is based, and average fuel consumption is claimed to be 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres, noticeably less than the LX570’s 14.4 litres.
But there’s a rather strange catch – the LX450d will only be able to seat five passengers as opposed to the LX570’s eight. Why? Because although the LX450d and the LX570 share a lot of components, the diesel engine is heavier than the petrol equivalent, so Lexus had to ditch the third row to keep weight down.
Lexus Australia has approach dealers to assess customer reaction, and Lexus Australia boss Peter McGregor told Drive that overall feedback on the diesel LX was mixed “in conversation with our dealers we have a mixed response … some people were enthusiastic for it, some people thought the [third row of seats] was critical,” adding that he thought there could be a market for the car. “I’m not convinced yet that seven seats is mandatory but the initial feedback from some of our dealers is that it was.”
It is believed that although mid-range SUVs such as the Toyota Prado with seven or eight seats prove highly popular, the extra chairs are said to be less crucial in higher end offerings such as the Lexus LX and its nemesis, the Range Rover.
Should Lexus Australia choose to bring the LX450d down under, it shouldn’t be too difficult, as our Kiwi neighbours can already buy them, as can people in a few other markets.s
There’s no word on a potential timeframe or pricing, but expect it to be considerably more than the LandCruiser Sahara, which is priced from $120,000 but less than the $140,500 LX570.