Australian consumers appear poised to get another diesel-burning luxury SUV in the near future, and word is it's coming from Lexus, of all automakers. Sean Hanley, chief executive of the company's branch in Oz, recently told Aussie website Drive that he's "pretty confident" that the new engine for the LX is getting the green light.
Like in the US, the LX in Australia is currently only offered with a 5.7-liter, gasoline-burning V8. However, sales of the big SUV are presently minuscule Down Under, with Drive reporting just 153 LX570s sold in all of Oz last year. Hanley is negotiating with Japan to get the new diesel in hopes of boosting flagging sales. If his efforts are successful, it would be the first diesel engine offered in a Lexus there. Hanley didn't specify exactly which mill the SUV would get. However, given the LX's close relationship with Toyota Land Cruiser, the diesel 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 already available in the Toyota in markets outside of North America seems like a natural choice.
Don't expect the variant to be hopping across the Pacific, though. Lexus spokesperson Allison Takahashi tells Autoblog she has heard "nothing" about an oil-burning LX coming to the US. That's not a huge surprise, though, because neither Toyota nor Lexus offer any diesels in their lineups today. Also, Lexus has only sold 1,981 LX570s through June, which only placed it ahead of the LFA supercar in the brand's sales. It's probably just not worth certifying the engine for such a low-volume model.