The brand-new turbocharged engine that we will see next year in Lexus’s new NX SUV is the luxury brand’s own handiwork, but we may yet see it in Toyota models. Emphasis on ‘may’.
Speaking with TMR at this week’s Australian launch of the NX 300h hybrid, local Lexus boss Sean Hanley said that while the upcoming NX200t’s 175kW turbo engine could appear in a future Toyota model, there are no official plans.
What of the wider Lexus range? The carmaker is known to have registered the trademark ‘IS 200t’, adding credence to widespread speculation that the next turbo model would be, of course, in the IS sedan range.
There, the turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine would make for a more obvious rival to the small-capacity turbo midsizers from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, potentially as a replacement for the six-cylinder IS 250.
However, Mr Hanley said that registering trademarks is simply smart business, not necessarily a promise of things to come.
"In reference to trademarking, we do it all the time. I wouldn't draw conclusions from that, but we're always looking at our model line-up,” he said today.
It is also believed a powered-up version of the turbocharged engine will make its way to the big new RC coupe as an entry-level offering, but the carmaker has also yet to confirm plans there.
Whatever, the new turbo raises the possibility of some interesting future models. While the new turbo engine was developed with the NX in mind - and despite Mr Hanley's comments today - it would be ludicrous for Lexus to not utilise it in a wider range of models.
There can be little doubt that confirmation of more turbocharged Lexus models is around the corner.
As for the NX 200t, we can expect to see that model here in early 2015, joining the NX 300h that makes its Australian debut today.
Why the delay? “To get it right," Mr Hanley said.