Future Lexus F Models Could Soon Ditch V8s in Favor of Electrified Powertrains [News]

It's been a strange dichotomy for the brand - hybrid powertrains and big V8s.

Future Lexus F models may ditch the V8 engine in favor of hybrid powertrains - 2018 Lexus GS F
Lexus may ditch its V8 engines in future F performance models. [Photo: Lexus]

Electrification may soon claim one of the few remaining naturally-aspirated V8s in the luxury sedan market.

For the past decade, Lexus has wedged a huge, 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 in the IS, the RC and the GS. While the company has pursued the Germans in terms of quality and luxury for nearly thirty years, 2007 marked the first year of the high-performance F marque. Now, the F sub-brand may soon get its first major shift as electrification gains traction and big, traditional fuel-chugging gasoline engines lose market share.

According to a recent AutoExpress report, Lexus Senior Managing Officer Yoshihiro Sawa hinted at a new hybrid model in the F performance lineup. “I think that now, we’re in a transitional period. At this moment people say EVs are trendy but three years later, who knows?” Talking about the emotional connection between Lexus and its buyers, Sawa says gasoline power is not completely off the table. “People like the sound, the dynamics. I think we cannot stick to the one solution when it comes to providing emotion.”

2018 Lexus RC F
2018 Lexus RC F. [Photo: Lexus]

Losing the V8

There are two current F models in Lexus’ performance lineup: The RC F coupe and GS F sedan. The Lexus LC 500 coupe also uses the brand’s 2UR-GSE V8 engine. Given Lexus’ natural inclination to hybrid vehicles, electrifying their performance models is a reasonable solution. The company’s competitors, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz are moving toward hybrid platforms. Speaking from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sawa makes that point clear: “We don’t stick to V8, V10 (in the case of the LFA), twin-turbocharged; they’re important but we’re looking at the future. We’d like to find a way to connect to the next era.”

We’ll have to see what comes from the next round of Lexus F performance models. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more performance news, views and real-world reviews.