Lexus To Go Turbo By 2015: Report Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Jun, 25 2013 | 2 Comments

If the rumours are correct, Lexus will add a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine by 2015.

The news is significant for Lexus and its parent company Toyota, which have both steered clear of forced induction since the late 1990s.

Lexus has technically never had a turbocharged engine in its line-up, however models like the GS and SC were sold with turbocharged inline sixes in the Japanese market, although badged as Toyotas.

The current range of Lexus powertrains is entirely naturally-aspirated (its hybrid range in combo with electric motors), but with increasingly stringent emissions legislation both in Europe and the USA it appears that the Japanese automaker is about to adopt cleaner-burning turbo technology.

And, according to US industry paper Automotive News, that technology will take the form of a direct-injected turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol inline four.

Automotive News also reports that this engine will make its first appearance in a new compact SUV to be dubbed the NX 200t. The NX 200t will likely be the base model in Lexus' sub-RX compact SUV range, a range which has been high on Lexus' wishlist for some time.

With key opponents like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 being powered exclusively by turbocharged inline fours, the Lexus NX may need to follow suit to remain competitive.

With power and torque outputs similar to Lexus' current 153kW/252Nm 2.5 litre atmo V6, the turbocharged 2.0 four could easily find its way into the IS small sedan (above), the RX SUV, the ES medium sedan and even the GS large sedan.

It could eventually move sideways into Toyota products too, although it's too early to say whether we'll see turbocharged Camrys on Australian roads.

The projected debut date for the NX compact SUV is for late 2014 or early 2015. Watch this space.

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