First Lexus plug-in hybrid to debut in 2021, followed by dedicated EV in 2022

Lexus in March said it will have 20 electrified vehicles in its lineup by 2025, encompassing hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery- and hydrogen-electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, the automaker announced that its first plug-in hybrid vehicle would arrive in 2021, and its first dedicated EV would arrive the following year. Lexus didn’t say what the vehicles would be but we have some clues.

The plug-in hybrid is most likely a variant of the redesigned NX crossover due out later this year as a 2022 model. The new NX is related to the latest Toyota Corolla which already offers a plug-in hybrid option. Lexus plug-in hybrids are expected to feature an “h+” in their model names.

As for the dedicated EV, it will most likely be a close relative of the Toyota BZ4X due on sale in mid-2022. The BZ4X is a battery-electric crossover similar in size to the RAV4, which Toyota previewed last month in concept form.

Lexus in March showed its own battery-electric crossover concept. Dubbed the LF-Z Electrified, the concept may be a preview of the upcoming Lexus dedicated EV. At its reveal, Lexus said the LF-Z Electrified concept previews design elements destined for future EVs from the brand.

The concept also previews an all-wheel-drive system with highly precise torque vectoring made possible via the use of an electric motor at each axle. Called Direct4, this all-wheel-drive system is to become a staple of future EVs (and hybrids) from Lexus. Steer-by-wire systems will also feature in future electrified models from Lexus, the automaker said.

Note, the dedicated EV won’t be the first fully electric Lexus. The automaker has been selling a battery-electric version of its UX crossover overseas since 2019.

Lexus’ latest announcement comes after the automaker in April reported the sale of its two millionth electrified vehicle. All those sales were racked up since 2005, when Lexus’ first electrified vehicle, the original RX 400h hybrid crossover, went on sale.

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