Lexus announces timeline for new BEV and PHEV vehicles, hybrid ES also in development

First plug-in hybrid will be unveiled this year, bespoke battery electric vehicle to follow in 2022

Lexus BEV and HEV prototype


  • Plug-in hybrid likely to be leaked 2022 NX 450+
  • New BEV will be a large-size SUV that could replace the current-gen RZ
  • New ES Hybrid also teased in camouflaged photos

Lexus has officially announced the launch timing of its first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and battery electric vehicle built on a dedicated EV platform. 

The PHEV will be internationally unveiled later in 2021, while the BEV will be revealed less than a year later in 2022. 

It’s not known what either model will actually be at this stage, however, the PHEV will most likely be the long rumoured and recently leaked Lexus NX 450+, which was reported to be unveiled this year.

Archive Whichcar 2021 02 24 1 2022 Lexus Nx Suv Revealed 07
The leaked 2022 Lexus NX

As for the BEV, Lexus just previewed its vision for a fully electric vehicle last month with the unveiling of the LF-Z Concept, so it's likely the pair could be a match.

It’s thought, whatever the new BEV is named, it will be similar to the large-sized SUV concept, which has a wheelbase measuring 160mm more than the current RX (2950mm, to be precise). 

Some are even speculating the next-generation RX will in fact be this new fully electric vehicle, given Lexus recently trademarked the 'RZ 450e' name in Australia. 

The current four-generation AL20 RX has been around for almost seven years and is nearing the end of its production cycle. If you also consider it’s based on Toyota’s K platform, which has been around since 1999, it's more than overdue an upgrade.

What's more, attached to this most recent news from Lexus is a photo showing a highly-camouflaged SUV prototype the Japanese automaker refers to as the "Lexus BEV prototype". 

Screen Shot 2021 05 18 At 3 45 42 Pm
The Lexus BEV SUV prototype in heavy camouflage

Whatever the case, Lexus’s first fully electric vehicle built on a dedicated EV platform will almost certainly utilise a version of Toyota’s e-TNGA modular platform – which will underpin numerous EVs for the Japanese firm under its newly-established BZ electric sub-brand

The BEV could also score the rear-mounted electric motor and 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack seen on the avant-garde LF-Z Concept. 

According to Lexus, the BEV will feature the marque’s new DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive torque distribution technology too, as well as steer-by-wire. 

Lexus claims the combination of these two systems working in sync will provide a dynamic driving experience offering enhanced levels of agility.  

Lexuskenshikidecember 2020 Corneringdirect 4 Hevprototypehrhr

In another photo provided by Lexus, a prototype of the luxury brand's current ES is seen testing on track, and accompanying it is a caption that says: "Lexus HEV prototype".

This suggests Lexus could be planning a more performance-oriented hybrid variant to sit alongside the four-door sedan's current 300h and 250 model line-up. 

This latest EV news comes as Lexus and its parent company, Toyota, strive to offer several more EV options within the next decade. 

Lexus also announced that by 2025, it will have debuted no less than 20 electrified vehicles.

The luxury carmaker’s first fully electric vehicle, the compact UX 300e SUV, is due to be released in November 2021.


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