Lexus Isn’t Offering a Hybrid SUV in 2023
Lexus has an extensive hybrid lineup, made of multiple sedans and hybrid vehicles. So it might surprise you to find out that neither of Lexus’ full-frame SUVs offers a hybrid powertrain. But even more shocking is the fact that the Toyota Sequoia version of Lexus’ largesft SUV is only available as a hybrid.
Lexus’ hybrid crossovers
Lexus offers a hybrid version of its UX, NX, and RX crossovers. It even builds a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle version of the NX: the NX 450h+ with an EPA rated 37 miles of all-electric range. But none of these vehicles are technically SUVs. This difference is in how they are constructed.
The Lexus UX, NX, and RX all feature a stiffened body that doubles as its frame. Lexus has assembled them by attaching their hybrid powertrains and suspension directly to this “unibody.” This means these crossovers have more in common with Lexus’ hybrid sedans–the ES, LS, and LC–than its full-frame SUVs.
Read more about the difference between crossovers and SUVs.
Lexus’ SUVs aren’t hybrids
Lexus does offer full-frame SUVs. These vehicles’ powertrain and suspension are attached to a ladder frame–shared with a Toyota truck–and then their body is fastened on top of that frame. Lexus’ midsize SUV is the GX and its full-size SUV is the LX. Neither of these are hybrids, though at least one of them could be, very easily.
For the 2022 model year, Toyota and Lexus completely redesigned their largest full-frame chassis. The automaker first released a 2022 Toyota Tundra with a new 389 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6. Then halfway through the year it rolled out the top-trim powertrain for the new Tundra: a hybrid Toyota powertrain that makes 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque.
When Toyota unveiled the Sequoia SUV version of this new chassis, it shocked the automotive world by announcing that every single new Sequoia would be built around this powerful hybrid powertrain. So far, Lexus has built both a 2022 and 2023 Lexus 600 based upon the new chassis–but it hasn’t offered a hybrid powertrain with either model year.
The 2023 Lexus LX 600 is performance-oriented
In the promotional materials for its 2023 LX 600, Lexus highlights the full-size SUV’s sport performance. The automaker tuned the twin-turbocharged V6 for 409 horsepower. This means it can get to 60 MPH in just 6.9 seconds. Its top track speed is 130 mph.
Lexus has also equipped the big SUV with “F Sport Handling.” This includes aerodynamically-enhanced bodywork, 22-inch rims, and a “race-inspired” interior. Lexus also advertises an “Adaptive Vehicle Suspension” with damping that reacts to the road in realtime.
This is all well and good, but we can’t believe the Lexus-buying crowd wouldn’t have embraced some hybrid capability as well. And with the Tundra TRD Pro, we’ve seen that the hybrid version of this V6 is well-suited to performance applications. But for the time being, Lexus is offering no full-frame hybrid SUV.