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Lexus promises sedans and sports cars have a future in Australia despite its increasingly SUV-centric range. Bring on the electric Lexus IS and an EV LFA successor!

Lexus Australia promises the electric era will herald the return of the sedan, or at least something like it.

While its focus has been firmly on SUVs in recent years, Lexus has committed to continuing to bring sedans and sports cars to Australia in its next electric chapter.

Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of its latest SUV model, the LBX, Lexus Australia Chief Executive, John Pappas, explained that sedans will have a future, even in SUV-obsessed Australia.

“We do see a future for sedans,” he said. “You would have seen a few concepts at the Tokyo Mobility Show - we’re looking at how we can electrify our sports cars into the future because we don’t want to move away from that either." 

When asked if it was safe to say Lexus Australia would be putting its hand up for any new sedan offered internationally, Pappas gave an unequivocal “yes.”

For an idea of what that could look like, the Tokyo Mobility Show late in 2023 yielded the sedan-like LF-ZC concept.

This vehicle, which has more of a liftback-style silhouette but certainly rides lower than an SUV, is said to be scheduled for a production launch in 2026, and will be the debut vehicle of a next-generation of Lexus electric vehicles.

Characterised by “sleek proportions, a low centre of gravity, a spacious cabin and an emotionally charged design”, the LF-ZC will “build on technologies from Lexus RZ development” including the new electric all-wheel-drive system and a steer-by-wire system. It is targeting a drag coefficient of approximately 0.2, which would make it one of the most aerodynamically efficient vehicles ever built.

Lexus has committed to continuing to bring sedans and sports cars to Australia in its next electric chapter.

It will also be the launch product for a new software operating system in the cabin which is said to “utilise AI technology” to adjust voice recognition and features like navigation preferences to suit the driver.

It also features a natural Bamboo-style theme for its interior trims, implementing “circular resource use” and to “explore new possibilities for traditional materials".

The overall interior aesthetic previews the next-generation of the brand’s “eyes on the road” principle, although it is unclear if the more wild elements like the yoke steering wheel will ultimately make it to production.

Dimensions of the concept shown at the Tokyo mobility show of 4750mm long, 1880mm high, and 1390mm wide make it slightly larger than the now-discontinued final version of the Lexus IS. With 2026 quickly approaching, we expect to see a closer-to-production version of the LF-ZC soon.

The electrified concept is set to debut by 2026 and is said to follow in the footsteps of the LFA supercar.

Also riding this next-generation architecture will be a production version of the brand’s Sport Electrified concept which it revealed in 2021. This vehicle, also set to debut by 2026, is said to follow in the footsteps of the LFA supercar, and the concept previews wild styling, like a larger Supra, thanks to its elongated bonnet but with Lexus design cues.

Lexus has told media in the past that it needs to “humbly learn” from brands like Tesla in order to simplify the way it builds electric vehicles to remain competitive.

While its Australian range is SUV-heavy now - with the exception of the LS limousine, LC sports coupe, and LM people mover - Lexus made its name in Down Under with its original offering of sedans, which quickly became popular.

Originally launching back in 1990 with the first-generation LS large sedan, the brand followed up with the mid-sized GS, Camry-based ES, and its well-received and comparatively compact IS200 to compete with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 1999.

But it was the RX that emerged as the brand’s best-seller. It launched in 2003 and by 2006 had a hybrid variant, and it was the first of its kind in the mid-size luxury SUV space.

Safe to say the RX set the brand on the course that it remains on today, fielding no less than seven SUV models, one coupe, two sedans (the ES and LS outliving the IS and GS) and one people mover.

Next for Lexus is the arrival of the Toyota Prado-based GX off-roader, which will be the first time the internationally renowned nameplate makes it Down Under.

The brand plans to be fully ‘electrified’ - that is, not fully electric but hybrid, plug-in, and BEV only - by 2030 as it looks to phase out combustion-only variants and models.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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