A Sneak Preview of the 2023 Lineups
Toyota and Lexus held their annual new product showcase the first week of June at their Plano, Texas, headquarters. More than 100 automotive journalists were brought in to see new vehicle announcements, two “sneak peek” models (when the sheet was pulled from them we were given stern instructions to not say anything further) and then the chance to drive and be driven by pro-drivers around a challenging racetrack.
This overview, in alphabetical order, is a glimpse of what Toyota and Lexus have coming out in the next few months. Make sure to sign-up for the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (upper right) to be alerted when reviews are posted on several of these cars, trucks and SUVs.
Toyota New Stuff
Corolla Cross Hybrid
The Corolla Cross, launched in 2021 with a gasoline engine, will be joined in 2023 by the compact crossover Corolla Cross Hybrid, one more gasoline-electric hybrid offering from Toyota. Available in five trim levels and only in all-wheel drive, the Corolla Cross is rated at 194 hp while returning an estimated 37 miles per gallon (combined city/highway). Clean Fleet Report has tested many Toyota hybrid models and know this fuel economy number can easily be topped, getting in the 40+ mpg range. Pricing and availability will be announced in the second half of 2022.
- Corolla Sedan and Hatchback
– Toyota says the Corolla “rolls into 2023 a changed car.” The changes begin with the 2.0L 4-cylinder gasoline engine replacing the 1.8L engine. With the change comes an increase in horsepower from 139 to 169, faster 0-60 mph by two seconds and fuel economy increased to 31 mpg city/40 highway/34 combined. The bigger news is that the Corolla Hybrid, which gets 52 mpg on the highway, will have the option of electronic on-demand all-wheel drive that has a rear-mounted electric motor. The Corolla Hybrid LE comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive will be available in the LE, SE, and XLE trims. Pricing and availability will be announced in the second half of 2022.
Question: What has all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that pumps-out 300 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and is named after a president?
Answer: The 2023 GR Corolla Morizo Edition named after Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s nickname. This limited edition (200 numbered units) is a track-oriented version of the Gazoo Racing GR Corolla. Go here for more information on this serious hot hatch. Pricing has not been released, and availability will be sometime in 2023.
If driving fast (legally) is your thing, checkout the all-new Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Cup that uses high-performance versions of the street GR86. The cars begin as a stock GR86, but are transformed into the GR86 Cup car in TRD’s (Toyota Racing Development) state-of-the-art facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. The GR86 Cup will be fitted with Bosch engine management, custom Borla exhaust, SADEV 6-speed sequential transmission, Alcon brakes, JRI adjustable shocks, OMP safety equipment, roll cage, carbon fiber rear wing, 22-gallon fuel cell, specially designed MacPherson struts, Stratasys custom bodywork, a bespoke splitter and more. Pricing on the vehicle and track locations will be announced in summer 2022.
The GR86 is already a blast to drive, but Toyota thought a few improvements would take it up a notch or two. Enter the 2023 GR86 Special Edition that offers more power, tighter handling and, exclusive to this model, Solar Shift Orange paint. Powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder, it turns 0-60 mph times of 6.1 seconds with the 6-speed manual or 6.6 seconds with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Even with all that performance, fuel economy is rated at 31 mpg on the highway. Additional modifications include a cat-back performance exhaust system with stainless steel pipes and black chrome tips, and matte-black 18-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. The ensuing growl should be impressive. The GR86 Special Edition is limited to 860 units, with pricing and availability to be announced.
- 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition
The 2023 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition, limited to 4,040 units for the U.S. market, comes with 4-wheel drive, a 4.0L V6 producing 270 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque through a 5-speed automatic transmission. Toyota is celebrating more than 4 million cumulative 4Runner sales. The Special Edition model will be distinctive by its exterior colors of White, Midnight Black Metallic and Barcelona Red Metallic, bronze-colored 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-color-matching Toyota heritage grille and a bronze-colored 40th Anniversary exterior tailgate badge. What will really make it stand out will be retro-inspired yellow/orange/red body graphics that harken back to the paint schemes from Toyota’s early racing days. Pricing and availability to be announced.
RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition
The 2023 RAV4 Hybrid gets the Woodland Edition treatment, becoming Toyota’s first-ever hybrid off-road special edition SUV. Outfitted with TRD-tuned suspension, all-terrain tires and roof rack cross bars, Toyota says it is “everything needed for the next outdoor adventure.” To support education programs and accessibility to open spaces, Toyota is donating $500,000 to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). The RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition will be in dealers in fall 2022.
The all-new 2023 Sequoia full-size SUV is now only available as a hybrid. Built off the Tundra pickup platform, the Sequoia offers three-row seating in comfort and style. For a full review, go here.
The 2023 Tundra full-size pickup is now available with the SX Package, offering unique appearance elements. The Tundra is powered by one of two i-Force powertrains. The i-Force gasoline-only V6 has twin-turbochargers and puts out 389 hp and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. The i-Force Max gasoline hybrid V6 delivers 437 hp and 583 lb.-ft. of torque.
Lexus New Stuff
- Lexus RX 350, 350h, 450h+ and 500h
All-new for 2023, the RX has four powertrains, with three of them electrified. The RX 350 comes with either front- or all-wheel drive and a 2.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, while the 2.5L gasoline-electric hybrid only comes in all-wheel drive. The RX 450h+ is a plug-in hybrid, and the 500h has a hybrid system with a 2.4L turbocharged gasoline engine. Performance numbers for the powertrains range from 275 – 367 hp, and 317 – 406 lb-ft of torque. Prices have not been announced, but an expected on sale date is the end of 2022.
Lexus RZ 450e
The first of many Lexus all-electric models to come is the 2023 RZ 450e. This much anticipated EV has all-wheel drive, a new steering control called a yoke, and steer-by-wire electronic control of the front wheels. The dual electric motors will produce an estimated 308 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds. All-electric driving range is estimated to be 225 miles. Pricing has not been announced, but expect a base price of $55,000, with an on sale date of late 2022.
New for 2023, all UX models will have a hybrid powertrain. As Lexus works towards becoming a carbon-neutral company, expect hybrids to be in most if not all Lexus models. The UX 250h will be available with the F Sport design and handling package that offers unique exterior and interior designs and an active variable suspension for enhanced handling. The multi-media system is new, has a larger touchscreen with higher definition and improved voice assistant technology that continues to use phrases such as “Hey, Lexus” to get your questions answered. Pricing has not been announced but expect the base to be somewhere under $40,000. The UX 250h will be in dealers in late summer 2022.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Lexus.