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Lexus adds new engines to its top selling ES and RX models for 2016

Lexus announced new four-cylinder options for the RX and ES models in some markets. Will those options make their way to the US/Canadian market?


Those Toyota and Lexus fans hoping that the V6 might return to the RAV4, or that the new Lexus NX 200t might someday get the Lexus V6 can stop dreaming. The trend is the exact opposite. Today Lexus announced that its top-selling vehicles, the RX 350 and ES 350, will now come with smaller, four-cylinder engines in markets outside of the US and Canada.

2016 Lexus RX 200t
The new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that debuted in the 2015 Lexus NX 200t has now migrated to another model for the first time. After we tested the NX 200t and got to try the new engine in the family, it became clear to us that this engine would someday appear in both the Lexus IS and Toyota Camry. Neither of those has yet been announced. However, in Asian markets, and particularly in China, the new base model of the RX is the RX 200t. With only 228 hp, but ample low-RPM torque, this engine will suit owners using the RX as a limo just fine. For daily driving, it will also move the RX along quite nicely.

2016 Lexus ES 200L
Lexus was very careful to make clear that the new Lexus ES 200L will be for markets outside the US. IN places that use the ES as a limo, such as Russia, China, and Taiwan, the new direct-injected, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will reduce both fuel use and emissions and keep costs down for Lexus. We do not expect this engine to ever find its way into a US Lexus ES, but look for it to replace some of the 2.5-liter engines Toyota uses in the US market at some point.

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