Could Lexus make a luxury pickup truck?


The Spanish automotive site comes up with a rendering of a Lexus pickup truck, and now it kind of makes sense.

For years, luxury automakers have stayed away from the pickup truck market, and for a long time, it made perfect sense. Pickup trucks were for people who needed the practicality and towing capabilities of a tough vehicle with a bed. They were not luxurious or premium machines. Well, that’s changing.

You can now buy a Ford F-Series pickup truck for nearly six figures. The truck will have things like heated and ventilated massaging seats and the latest and greatest technology. It will still do all the things a truck is supposed to do but it will also be luxurious. Mercedes-Benz realized the shift in the market, and that’s why it’s putting out its X-Class mid-sized truck. It’s a smart move.

Well,, a Spanish automotive news site put together an awesome rendering of a Lexus truck it calls the LT. It looks great and it has people buzzing about the future possibility of a Lexus pickup truck and luxury pickup trucks in general.

Why a Lexus pickup truck makes sense

A pickup truck from Lexus may sound kind of crazy, but hear me out. First, Toyota already builds trucks, and it does a darn good job of it. The Tacoma is one of the most highly revered trucks on the market today, and it retains value better than almost all other vehicles on the road. The Tundra isn’t quite as highly regarded, but it’s still a well-loved pickup even in its currently aging design.

Second, the pickup truck market has already changed. Trucks are more luxurious than they’ve ever been and they sell like crazy. There is no sign that this will slow down. More people, especially in the U.S. are turning to pickup trucks, so why shouldn’t Lexus get in on that action?

Third, all automakers are going upmarket or at least looking to the premium market.  If you survey the industry and look at what every automaker is doing, it’s clear that everything is going upmarket. I mean, Kia and Hyundai are putting out better cars and selling them to higher-class buyers like they never have before (the Kia Stinger is just one example). Hyundai Motors has even established Genesis, which is a bonafide luxury brand.

Fourth, there’s a massive hole in the truck market at the luxury end. It seems to me that everything is showing the right indication for a serious luxury truck. Lexus should jump at the opportunity. It should build either a Tacoma or a Tundra-based pickup with Lexus styling, badging, and quality.

It has to be a serious truck

If Lexus, or any other luxury automaker for that matter, decides to build a legit pickup, it needs to make sure it builds a real truck, one that can tow, haul, and off-road. Lincoln tried to make a version of a pickup before and botched it with a truck that was only okay in terms of performance and capability when compared with the Ford F-150. It was called the Blackwood, and it bombed.

A luxury truck still needs to be a truck. It has to be able to tow massive trailers, haul a lot of materials in the bed, and be able to handle at least more off-road duties than your typical crossover.

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If Lexus can take the Toyota Tacoma and its Tundra platforms and use them as a base for its own pickup truck, I think the company would have a true winner on its hands.