After making us wait for a long while, Toyota's luxury car brand Lexus will now officially begin its India operations from 24th March 2017. With the launch of the Lexus brand, the company will be entering a whole new territory in the Indian market and we have already told you about Toyota's plans for Lexus. The carmaker will begin its venture with the launch of its hybrid crossover, the Lexus RX450h, subsequently followed by other models.
Now, we first got the confirmation about the brand's arrival in India about a year back in February 2016. Since then there have been several sightings of different test mules and test vehicle, all hinting at the Brand's imminent arrival. Interestingly, the company has already imported 50 to 60 cars into the country but, all will be used to garner interest within dealer principals first, which means that potential customers are now being tapped and test drives for the cars have begun.
As mentioned earlier, Lexus will begin its India operations with its range of hybrid cars, particularly the Lexus RX450h and the ES300h. The RX 450h is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 VVT-i petrol engine that comes paired with an electric motor and belts out a combined output of 304 bhp. On the other hand, the ES300h gets a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine which when coupled with the hybrid powertrain gets 200bhp of peak power. While the former will rival the likes of Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Lexus ES300h will compete is executive sedan space going up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
There will be four showrooms to begin with - one in Mumbai, one in Bengaluru and two more in Delhi. The preferred dealership partners for Lexus are the ones who currently have Toyota dealerships and yes, there are going to be separate dealerships as we've said earlier. Lexus and Toyota will however, share the same service network, although there will be a separate bays altogether for servicing Lexus cars.
There will be an onslaught of cars by the end of 2017 as we'll see the LX450 diesel, LX 570 petrol and the NX make their way to India. The RC F sports car will not be coming to India though it has been spotted here. The RX450h will be priced more than ₹ 90 lakh (ex-showroom price) while the ES 300h will cost close to ₹ 60 lakh (ex-showroom). The cars will be direct imports to India and hence will attract import duties. Lexus also plans to bring the LS600h by January 2018.