Toyota on Wednesday announced a $ 803 million investment to support the production of two new crossovers at its Princeton, Indiana plant, one of which will be Lexus. The new investment is expected to create about 1,400 jobs at the plant and even more at suppliers. Both crossovers will be large three-row models aimed at young, active families, with electrification and an 8-seater saloon.
Toyota’s new crossover is expected to be a long-wheelbase Highlander called the Grand Highlander. A quick search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals that Toyota took steps to protect its name last December. The Highlander, which is produced at the Princeton plant alongside the Toyota Sequoia and Sienna, already has three rows, but the last row is only suitable for young children. Grand Highlander should address this issue.
The upcoming Lexus will be tied to the Grand Highlander, just like the current RX and RX L are tied to the Highlander. However, Lexus is expected to be sold under a new name, probably TX. The TX name has been rumored for almost a decade, and Lexus patented the trademark last September.
Toyota has also confirmed that both crossovers will be equipped with a driver assistance feature that will allow hands-free driving in certain conditions. Most likely, this will be a version of the new Lexus Teammate feature, which will debut in the Lexus LS 2022. The system, which requires constant monitoring, can work in one lane on some highways, as well as coordinate lane changes, move along certain junctions and work in traffic jams.
It will also be possible to use the smartphone as a digital key and remote control system to park cars outside the cab, Toyota said. The release dates for the new crossovers are not disclosed.