Lexus chief branding officer Tokuo Fukuichi says that the traditional sedan must evolve to compete with ever-popular crossovers … or die.
"Unless we can really offer a sedan experience you cannot have with an SUV or crossover, I think the sedan may not be able to survive if it does not evolve," Fukuichi told Automotive News.
Of course, rumours of Lexus pulling the plug on the GS have been circulating for a few months now.
"At a certain point of time, the traditional, square, three-box sedan will go away," he added.
According to Fukuichi, Lexus plans to tackle this problem by lending its future sedans better driving dynamics that are unable to be matched by crossovers and making its luxury saloons "more casual".
Fukuichi told the US publication that giving Lexus sedans lower centres of gravity and sharpening their steering response would help to improve their dynamics, adding this had already been largely achieved with the LC coupé.
"At the initial touch, it needs to respond sharply. The LC is quite close," he said, suggesting that lessons learned with the LC could be applied to sedans.
Fukuichi said that the new LS featured a fastback silhouette rather than the traditional three-box profile, adding that the brand may even consider creating something that is similar in shape to the Porsche Panamera or Panamera Sport Turismo.
"Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources. Maybe not as tall as an SUV, but not as short as a wagon. There could be some optimised packaging,” he revealed.
"If we're going to do it, it can't be just an ordinary station wagon," he added.