Thus far, Lexus' F performance division has stuck to throaty V-8 engines, but the future may hold hybrid power. The F brand could very well include electrified cars in the future, and there's even a possibility for a hybrid GT car.
Such is the word from brand president Yoshihiro Sawa. Speaking to Auto Express at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sawa said F will need to look at different powertrains in the coming years as the sub-brand continues its work to help define Lexus as a true alternative to German premium brands. Sawa added Lexus' motorsport activities have also helped push F forward.
No matter what the future holds, expect Lexus and the F brand to look at a variety of solutions.
"We don’t stick to V-8, V-10, twin-turbocharged; they’re important but we’re looking at the future. We’d like to find a way to connect to the next era," Sawa said. The executive is also keen to keep emotion in F performance models and noted customers like the sound and dynamics of an internal-combustion engine.
The future may include a standalone F GT car. The brand president conjured up the thought of a hybrid grand tourer with a "strong engine" and an electric motor for a "different kind of drive feel." When asked if the next-generation Toyota Supra may provide the basis for a driver-focused model, Sawa did not comment. It's thought the Supra will also feature a hybridized model after the inline-6-powered car launches in early 2019.
Aside from performance models, Sawa said to expect a purely electric car from Lexus, but the brand hasn't decided on what exactly it will be. He said the company needs to decide "which kind of electric vehicle will be lovable" first. Lexus has previously said it has every intention of skipping plug-in hybrids and moving straight to battery-electric and fuel-cell cars.