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Next Generation GX May Go Unibody??

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Old 05-31-12, 05:03 AM   #1
CdeFabio
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Default Next Generation GX May Go Unibody??

Here is an article speculating that Toyota may take the next generation of the GX to a unibody platform. Has anyone else heard about this?

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/05/30/l...n-turbo-power/
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Old 05-31-12, 07:22 AM   #2
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I do not think this will happen. They have several crossovers already and this would hurt their sales. If they change the GX/4Runner to a crossover they will lose pretty much all the model’s enthusiasts. I for one would not even consider it! As far as putting a turbo 4 cylinder in the GX, I don't think so. They offered a 4 cylinder in the 2010 4Runner and it was a flop. It only got 1 or 2 more mpg then the 4.0 V6 and it was a DOG. They discontinued the 4 banger the next year. Toyota really dropped the ball with dropping all the nice features that was in the 4th gen 4Runner, like LED tail lights, Torsen LSD center locking diff (only in the Limited model), air susp, V8, etc. They even went back to a regular antenna. Most 4Runner enthusiasts were pissed off about not offering a V8 in the new 4Runner.

BTW - They mention the 3.5 V6 as having direct injection. The 3.5 in the IS has two injection systems, direct and port! I do agree that it is one of the best engines in the world. It makes 306 hp WITHOUT any type of power adders (turbo/SC). Normally aspirated and can get great mileage (I have gotten 30 mpg under perfect conditions).
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Old 05-31-12, 01:03 PM   #3
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Although I can understand how a rumor such as this is going to **** a bunch of people off on this forum, the reality is, the GX enthusiasts on this website make up a small percentage of real wrold buyers. Numerous studies have shown that only a small percent of SUV buyers take their trucks off road or tow boats. Now I'm not saying that people don't do that but I am saying that it's only a small percent even more so when you compare the GX to it's counter-part the 4Runner which will have a higher than normal percentage of people actually towing and taking their truck off road. The reality is the GX is a boulevard vehicle and mainly soccer moms are driving them who can barely drive in the rain, let alone off road where the nearest Neiman Marcus is 200 miles away.

Of course, nothing beats a n/a v-8 on a "truck" platform for towing but as we've seen over the years, everybody is basically going the way of the turbo engine and in many cases, the turbo engines are making extreme hp and extreme torque figures while still returning relatively decent mpg.

So to move the GX to a unibody was only the inevitable. Most soccer moms buying the GX like the image of the rough and tough truck but will scream bloody murder if anybody so happens to put a door ding on it in the mall parking lot let alone on some trail. What they want is room for their family and their errands. Most people buying the GX don't even understand the difference in platforms and it's generally not something that's brought up during the sales process by the sales person. People that understand the difference don't ask and people don't know the difference don't know to ask.

Other things to think about are the fact that a body on frame doesn't really offer any true advantage over a unibody except where towing and hauling are concerned. A unibody will exceed the bof in every other area. Handling, efficient use of space, nvh levels, drive train efficiencies, safety, etc.

My guess is with the LandCruiser continuing and LX570 continuing, they're going to leave those as is on a true truck platform because in many countries, LC are sold and are taken off road. It wouldn't make sense to retool such a low volume truck where the LC is old school truck platform and the LX570 is moved to a unibody platform so I expect LC and LX to remain on a truck platform.

Of course anything can happen but it's always where the money is that drives change. It would appear that the old truck platform is a dying breed if you look around at the other manufacturers so be prepared for a change.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Koz View Post
I do not think this will happen. They have several crossovers already and this would hurt their sales.Koz
They did it in the Ford Explorer, didn't they?
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Old 05-31-12, 06:47 PM   #5
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the gx is a dying breed. MPG sucks and this is likely the main reason for switching to unibody. Of course, if that happens, then why would you have an RX and a GX. My guess is toyota will likely stop making this model soon.

and fyi most of the GXs on the road are being driven by women (1st and 2nd gen). ive never seen a guy driving a gx
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Old 05-31-12, 08:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by T4Fun View Post
the gx is a dying breed. MPG sucks and this is likely the main reason for switching to unibody. Of course, if that happens, then why would you have an RX and a GX. My guess is toyota will likely stop making this model soon.

and fyi most of the GXs on the road are being driven by women (1st and 2nd gen). ive never seen a guy driving a gx
That is a very good question and Toyota/Lexus needs to really get their planners together and have a come to jesus meeting because Toyota/Lexus has stuck with a very basic product portfolio for a very long time. It has worked for the most part because a few key cars have been very successful, ES, RX, and IS. The rest of their lineup is really to just be filler cars and if you wanted something that they didn't offer, you were forced to look at another manufacturer.

The new head of Toyota/Lexus said he wants to put the sport back into the brand. I definitely appreciate his desire to do this and I'm sure we can all agree that the LFA is appreciated but putting "sportiness" into a brand is more than just building one car.

I personally think they should to some extent follow BMW's and Mercedes' philosophy when it comes to filling car categories. What I mean is they pretty much have every car category covered so there wouldn't be a reason for someone to go car shopping at a competing manufacturer.

I think Lexus needs an super upscale model to compete with the S Class and 7 Series. Either introduce an upscale model or move the LS upscale. The GS should be more focused on the 5 Series and E Class and the IS needs to be more focused on the 3 Series and C Class. They also need to keep going with the IS-F to compete with the M3 and the C63. The next gen IS should come in a proper coupe rather than a convertible/coupe or sedan. Also, the GS should have a coupe equivalent to match the E Class coupe and 6 Series. The ES and CT should stay put.

As far as SUV, they should stick with the LX because that is a very unique vehicle thaty's based on the Lnadcruiser and the LC has a very strong heritage and story. The RX fills a great niche but Lexus needs to introduce a sporty SUV badly to compete with the X5 and Cayenne. Let the GX compete with the M Class.

The other thing Lexus needs to learn is how to introduce better "sport" models. They need to take a page from BMW and all of their new "editions." Pretty soon BMW is will have their "is", "performance", "m -package", "sport", and "M" packages. For many, all of these editions can become confusing but ultimately, it's bringing people in the door and getting them excited because it's new and sporty and it's making people want to trade up to a new edition.

Lexus has been pretty stale in this area pretty much since it's inception. They introduce a model and in 3 or 4 years do a light re-fresh and then in about 3 more years introduce the next generation model. That obviously doesn't get people to excited and it doesn't keep them excited. The new GS seems to be embracing this methodology but we'll have to see what Lexus does in the next couple of years to see if they keep trying to make it fresh and new.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:37 AM   #7
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One thing to keep in mind is that the GX/4Runner is also sold as Prado overseas in many other countries where it is considered a full 4 wheel drive off road vehicle.
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Old 06-01-12, 07:38 AM   #8
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The fact is Toyota/Lexus is the top automotive manufacture (volume and profit) in the world, even with all the BS with accelerator recalls and Congressional hearings. With this said, I think they know what they are doing as far as products and marketing. When you are in this position you can make vehicles for niche markets. There is market for each type of vehicle (real SUV, crossover, etc). Changing the GX to a crossover is not going make customers run out and now buy a Toyota vehicle. I personally think you would take sales away from the RX. The RX is the best selling luxury crossover on the market.

I believe Toyota needs to develop and improve each type of vehicle in their line. I think they made a mistake with some of their recent new designs. Examples; the 4Runner went down hill with eliminating BASIC key features and materials to save money. Some features/options that the previous owner had and expect. The new GS has been redesigned and looks great but they forgot about performance. They put the same 3.5 V6 back in with the same amount of hp. Toyota/Lexus has always been very conservative with the power output and I think this is where they are talking about change (and they should). The IS-F is a great car but they kind of dropped the ball again by playing it safe with conservative power. The IS-F was designed to compete with the M3 and it does, but that is it, it just about equals it. They should have added another 50 to 75 hp, an adjustable susp, brembo, etc. The IS-F is sports car and has to compete with some very capable cars. Now for the LFA, what was Lexus thinking? They put years of time and money into an overpriced exotic that has NO power (for an exotic). The LFA has to be the stupidest waste of time and money in the auto industry, ever! Who in there right mind would pay that kind of money in a car that does not go!

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Old 06-01-12, 05:25 PM   #9
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I could see a new model to compete with the JX from Infiniti. Call it the RX-L and make it a 7 passenger luxury crossover with hybrid option. Basically you stretch a RX and bam you have the step up for the soccer moms to go from RX to RX-L and you keep the GX for the small percent who want to have the option to go off road or the ones who want to look like they can .
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Old 06-03-12, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank69m View Post
They did it in the Ford Explorer, didn't they?
yeah, but Ford didn't have anything like the hot selling RX under the same brand. Lexus does. why buy an unibody GX when you can get the RX for cheaper, unless you want JDM product, if they go unibody route for the GX, i wouldn't be surprised they build that in the same factory as the RX.
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Old 06-03-12, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bam View Post
It has worked for the most part because a few key cars have been very successful, ES, RX, and IS. The rest of their lineup is really to just be filler cars
Thats really not true. What about the LS? Thats a filler car? The LS IS Lexus, and Lexus is the LS. The LS has always sold very well.

Quote:
I think Lexus needs an super upscale model to compete with the S Class and 7 Series. Either introduce an upscale model or move the LS upscale. The GS should be more focused on the 5 Series and E Class and the IS needs to be more focused on the 3 Series and C Class.
So much of what you're saying Lexus "needs" to do has already been done, or is in the works.

With the ES being larger and moving upscale, no doubt this will occur with the LS. As for the GS...its always been focused on the 5 series and E Class. And what else would the IS be focused on other than the 3 series and C class?!?

Quote:
Also, the GS should have a coupe equivalent to match the E Class coupe and 6 Series.
It comes out in 2013.

Quote:
The RX fills a great niche but Lexus needs to introduce a sporty SUV badly to compete with the X5 and Cayenne. Let the GX compete with the M Class.
The 2013 RX comes in an F Sport version. Its never going to be a real sporty SUV because its front biased. Anyways...it handily outsells the X5 anyways. I doubt the Cayenne is even on their radar.

Quote:
Lexus has been pretty stale in this area pretty much since it's inception. They introduce a model and in 3 or 4 years do a light re-fresh and then in about 3 more years introduce the next generation model. That obviously doesn't get people to excited and it doesn't keep them excited. The new GS seems to be embracing this methodology but we'll have to see what Lexus does in the next couple of years to see if they keep trying to make it fresh and new.
Obviously they do something right, because Lexus outsells every other luxury carmaker in the US. The way you want them to operate is just not in Toyotas MO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlgrym3
yeah, but Ford didn't have anything like the hot selling RX under the same brand. Lexus does. why buy an unibody GX when you can get the RX for cheaper, unless you want JDM product, if they go unibody route for the GX, i wouldn't be surprised they build that in the same factory as the RX.
Sure they do, its called the Edge. Why buy a unibody GX when you can buy an RX for less? Because the GX seats 7...the RX seats 5, the GX has a V8...the RX has a 6. The GX is a beefier, heavier, bigger vehicle with more quality and amenities befitting a higher price. GX and RX appeal to very different demographics.

Anyways, 90% of GX buyers probably don't even know the difference between unibody and body on frame construction.

My guess is 90% chance the next GX is unibody.
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Old 06-04-12, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SW10ES View Post
Thats really not true. What about the LS? Thats a filler car? The LS IS Lexus, and Lexus is the LS. The LS has always sold very well.



So much of what you're saying Lexus "needs" to do has already been done, or is in the works.

With the ES being larger and moving upscale, no doubt this will occur with the LS. As for the GS...its always been focused on the 5 series and E Class. And what else would the IS be focused on other than the 3 series and C class?!?



It comes out in 2013.



The 2013 RX comes in an F Sport version. Its never going to be a real sporty SUV because its front biased. Anyways...it handily outsells the X5 anyways. I doubt the Cayenne is even on their radar.



Obviously they do something right, because Lexus outsells every other luxury carmaker in the US. The way you want them to operate is just not in Toyotas MO.



Sure they do, its called the Edge. Why buy a unibody GX when you can buy an RX for less? Because the GX seats 7...the RX seats 5, the GX has a V8...the RX has a 6. The GX is a beefier, heavier, bigger vehicle with more quality and amenities befitting a higher price. GX and RX appeal to very different demographics.

Anyways, 90% of GX buyers probably don't even know the difference between unibody and body on frame construction.

My guess is 90% chance the next GX is unibody.
I can appreciate your enthusiasm for the Lexus brand but there are certainly a couple of things that need to be cleared up from your post. Although the LS does sell, it certianly doesn't sell in numbers anywhere close to the S550 and no matter how Lexus tries to spin it, a $100k+ hybrid is still not comparable to a v-12. Part of owning a v-12 is the status of being able to saying you have a v-12. That's why they actually put a v-12 badge on the car and not a v-8 badge.

Where are you getting your information about a GS coupe in 2013? That's the first I've heard of this.

Even though the RX has an F-sport package now, it's not even remotely close to saying that it has sporty handling. It's just marketing speak. If you actually believe that adding the F-sport package makes the RX sporty then the Lexus marketing dept has defintely done an extremely excellent job in convincing you so easily.

The IS is supposed to compete with the 3 series which is the benchmark in the segment but even when the IS300 was first introduced, they missed the boat. When the 2nd gen IS was introduced, everybody was hoping for a more focused redesign and in many areas it fell short. One of the most frequent complaints is the size. It is just way to small.

My point in saying that Lexus should introduce more models is many fold.

1. It keeps their product portfolio fresh and so every year, they have something to introduce and get their customers excited about.
2. This keeps bringing people to the showroom and whether they actually buy the original product they wanted to look at or not, it gives Lexus more opportunities to up sell or cross sell once in the showroom.
3. Having a more complete product porftolio keeps the client from going to another brand to fill the need that they want.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:59 AM   #13
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GX going to a unibody frame can be good and bad. The positives seem to outweigh the negatives though.

Pros:

Unibody based SUV would allow for better floor space/seating arrangement, possibly better 3rd row seat position
Better ride thanks to a car based suspension
Weight savings
Better fuel economy
Lower center of gravity

Cons:

Lost Land Cruiser Prado heritage.
Loss of true off road capability...but then again how many GX owners actually take their suv off road.
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Old 06-04-12, 05:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bam View Post
Although the LS does sell, it certianly doesn't sell in numbers anywhere close to the S550 and no matter how Lexus tries to spin it, a $100k+ hybrid is still not comparable to a v-12. Part of owning a v-12 is the status of being able to saying you have a v-12. That's why they actually put a v-12 badge on the car and not a v-8 badge.
Actually the LS outsells the S class in the US by a significant margin (I chose 2007 as a case study because both the LS and S Class were all new that year)

2007 LS sales totaled 35,266 units.

2007 S class sales totaled 26.081 units (sales in 08 were better, but only at 30k units)

Total sales from 2001-2009:

LS: 225,942 (Average per year 28,243)

S Class: 192,505 (Average 24,063)

As for the status of a V12 being greater than a $100k+ Hybrid...I would agree...thats why the LSh is $40,000 cheaper than an S600. Again...the LS is due for redesign...wait and see what they do as they push it upmarket.

Quote:
Where are you getting your information about a GS coupe in 2013? That's the first I've heard of this.
ClubLexus:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-f...in-2013-a.html

Quote:
Even though the RX has an F-sport package now, it's not even remotely close to saying that it has sporty handling. It's just marketing speak. If you actually believe that adding the F-sport package makes the RX sporty then the Lexus marketing dept has defintely done an extremely excellent job in convincing you so easily.
I think you need to read what I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SW10ES
The 2013 RX comes in an F Sport version. Its never going to be a real sporty SUV because its front biased. Anyways...it handily outsells the X5 anyways. I doubt the Cayenne is even on their radar.
I think I said it would never be a real sport-SUV.

Quote:
The IS is supposed to compete with the 3 series which is the benchmark in the segment but even when the IS300 was first introduced, they missed the boat. When the 2nd gen IS was introduced, everybody was hoping for a more focused redesign and in many areas it fell short. One of the most frequent complaints is the size. It is just way to small.
Well the first IS was a terrible car, IMHO. The second one was a HUGE improvement, but still fell short of the 3 series. But...the IS is due for a redo, and the 3 has gotten larger and heavier, with the GS beating the 5 in comparison tests I bet the new IS will give the 3 series a run for its money.

As for size, the IS is not much different than the previous 3 Series.

IS:
Front Head Room: 37.2"
Front Leg Room: 43.9"
Front Shoulder Room: 54.4"
Interior Volume: 98.7 cu/ft
Width 70.9"
Height: 55.7"
Legnth: 180.3"
Wheelbase: 107.5"

3 Series (Previous model)
Front Head Room: 38.5" (+1.3")
Front Leg Room: 41.5" (-2.4")
Front Shoulder Room: 55.4" (+1")
Interior Volume:105 cu/ft (+6.3 cu/ft)
Width 71.5" (+ .6")
Height: 55.9" (.2")
Legnth: 178.2" (-2.1")
Wheelbase: 108.7" (+1.2")

Its certainly bigger, but not significantly so.

Quote:
My point in saying that Lexus should introduce more models is many fold.
Thats just not how Toyota does business. Remember they are the largest automaker in the world, and Lexus is the best selling luxury car in the US...so their way of doing business works.

Quote:
1. It keeps their product portfolio fresh and so every year, they have something to introduce and get their customers excited about.
Remember...they already outsell everybody else.

Quote:
2. This keeps bringing people to the showroom and whether they actually buy the original product they wanted to look at or not, it gives Lexus more opportunities to up sell or cross sell once in the showroom.
Already #1

Quote:
3. Having a more complete product porftolio keeps the client from going to another brand to fill the need that they want.
They have some of the highest brand loyalty in the industry already.

I'm not saying improvements can't be made, improvements can always be made...but you're definitely way out in left field with some of your comments.

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Old 06-05-12, 07:50 AM   #15
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Actually the LS outsells the S class in the US by a significant margin (I chose 2007 as a case study because both the LS and S Class were all new that year)

Well the first IS was a terrible car, IMHO. The second one was a HUGE improvement, but still fell short of the 3 series. But...the IS is due for a redo, and the 3 has gotten larger and heavier, with the GS beating the 5 in comparison tests I bet the new IS will give the 3 series a run for its money.

As for size, the IS is not much different than the previous 3 Series.

IS:
Front Head Room: 37.2"
Front Leg Room: 43.9"
Front Shoulder Room: 54.4"
Interior Volume: 98.7 cu/ft
Width 70.9"
Height: 55.7"
Legnth: 180.3"
Wheelbase: 107.5"

3 Series (Previous model)
Front Head Room: 38.5" (+1.3")
Front Leg Room: 41.5" (-2.4")
Front Shoulder Room: 55.4" (+1")
Interior Volume:105 cu/ft (+6.3 cu/ft)
Width 71.5" (+ .6")
Height: 55.9" (.2")
Legnth: 178.2" (-2.1")
Wheelbase: 108.7" (+1.2")

Its certainly bigger, but not significantly so.
I did a tremendous amount of research when/before I bought my IS350 (in 2007). The fact is when the second gen IS was introduced it caught BMW with their pants down. It was embarrassing when a luxury car maker (Lexus) designed and engineered a new car that was superior then the ALMIGHTY top 3 series model (330i). Not only was its overall performance better (a full second quicker), it also was superior in just about every other aspect and features. The only feature that the BMW owners would mention was the steering had a better feel of the road. You have to remember that every single car rag mag had the 3 series on this pedestal. It was so bad that one of the major car comparisons somehow had a math problem with the points used to rate each cars features and the IS lost by one point. The funny part was how all of them introduced new criteria that was based on personal opinion that was subjective and gave this criteria a very high percentage of overall value. The IS was the better car and BMW had to scramble to make drastic changes. The following year BMW had to make more power so threw on twin turbos to their existing engine. They did this even though BMW always belittled other companies when they did it. The fact is BMW had to throw on twin turbos just to be competitive with the IS and it turned out to be a disaster. The IS still made more power with a NA engine and in stock form (the 335i) was just equaled to the ISs performance. I have lined up against stock 335s many times and can honestly say the IS has a slight advantage because of its gearing and how consistent it runs. Time has shown that the BMWs TT engine was extremely unreliable and to this day no one (media and BMW fanboys) will admit there even was a problem. The real funny/amazing part of this is that this engine won awards for being one of the best engines made (what a joke). Again, because of the 3 series being put up on this pedestal, for so many years, it was hard (impossible) for anyone to give the IS a fair shake.

IMHO - The 2nd gen IS did not fall short of any car in its class. It has proven to be a GREAT car and extreamly reliable!

Koz
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2007 IS350 Red/Blk (Lux-18"/Nav/ML/Park Assist/Spoiler/ClearBra/F-Sport dropin/JoeZ/Greddy Exhaust/TSW Snetterton Wheels)
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Old 06-05-12, 07:50 AM
 
 
 
 
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