Lexus President Admits A Premium Pickup Might Be Coming
Lexus International just got its new president in April, but already, he’s speaking out about the automaker’s future. At a recent press conference, Takashi Watanabe said that by 2026, Lexus will look completely different as it begins selling new EVs worldwide. In preparation for the Japan Mobility Show in October, the former engineer handling the EV side of the company is now speaking out about certain subjects. Like, for instance, a potential luxury pickup truck.
What will Lexus debut at the Japan Mobility Show?
For the show itself, Toyota’s premium brand is teasing an EV sports car. That is good news, as its last attempt, the LFA, only sold in very small numbers. Its last year of production was in 2012. Yes, there have been others in the past, like the RC F GT3, but it was a track-only star. And the current LC500 is more of a touring vehicle.
Another thing Watanabe is revealing is that Lexus, and actually all of Toyota, will begin rethinking its production methods, according to Automotive News. This is obviously in response to Tesla’s doubling down on its Gigacast machine casting techniques. Will Lexus find a better solution?
Would Lexus really make a luxury pickup?
Pivoting to pickups and off-road vehicles, Lexus has already shown its ROV Concept hydrogen-power dune buggies. Toyota was giving hydrogen a big push before it began flipping the script toward EVs. But the bigger overall idea of Lexus off-road products is they’re off-road. For a luxury brand, that’s a big left turn right there.
And we can say the same of a premium pickup. Not since the Cadillac EST, Lincoln Mark LT, and Mercedes X-Class have there been luxury trucks of late. But Watanabe says that if Lexus customers want such a truck, it will build them. And he also says it won’t be using the HiLux, Tacoma, or Tundra platforms.
Lexus makes a lot more than just sedans and SUVs
So it would be a ground-up new platform, and it would be electric. Once engineers were able to begin development, Lexus will have already shifted over to electrification. “If there is a strong need from consumers for Lexus to release or launch a pickup, it’s a matter of a possibility in the future. We will not deny a Lexus pickup. But as of now, we have no such discussions.”
So there’s your opening. If you want it, speak out. Tell the Lexus brain trust you want a Lexus pickup truck. Make your thoughts known.
You wouldn’t have expected an off-road beach buggy from Lexus. Nor would you have thought it could do something like the LFA or a minivan like its LM. But at the end of the day, it produces products that will make money. And if it thinks there are enough truck enthusiasts out there who want a Lexus truck, it sounds like they’d built them.