Lexus is Dropping the 't' Badges For Their Turbo Models

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Lexus is Dropping the 't' Badges For Their Turbo Models

Over the last few years, people have lamented how luxury car manufacturers have changed the numbering on their product badges such that they are no longer representative of engine capacity, but rather "equivalent" performance. This became an especially big problem with the widespread introduction of turbocharging, where now a "30i" or "300" badge on a BMW or Mercedes-Benz respectively refers to a high-spec turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. 

Lexus seemed to have held out for a while when they 'went turbo', sticking rigorously to the capacity-based numbering and tacking a 't' on the end to denote the addition of a turbocharger. And all was well in the world, and there were a few who were happy that Lexus stuck to what they perceived to be appropriate convention. But it seems that with the up-and-coming Lexus UX, the Japanese luxury car brand will be dropping the 't' badging and instead will adopt the 250 badge to represent their 2.0-litre turbo, as reported by Go Auto

But why is this the case? There are a few reasons to justify the abandonment of the turbo badge, partially for marketing reasons and partially for internal reasons. We'll use BMW as an easy example to begin with: their turbocharged 2.0-litre engine comes in either 184 PS/270 Nm or 252 PS/350 Nm flavours. The former is designated with a 20i badge, as in the 320i and 520i, while the latter uses a 30i badge as in the 330i and 530i. This is easier for consumers to understand and differentiate rather than Audi's simple 2.0 TFSI designation that could mean a variety of tunes.

The next argument for dropping the 't' and increasing the number is that everyone else is doing it. While purists would prefer if Lexus stuck to their guns with this naming scheme, the reality is that average customer will have a difficult time rationalizing that a GS200t has a comparable amount of performance to a BMW 530i. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been fairly similar in terms of their number and naming, and perhaps it's time Lexus followed suit (and Audi as well). 

Perhaps as an indication of progress, this new numbering scheme is better as well. BMW is again a good example: how does one explain that an F30 320iT (if we were to go by old convention) is faster than an E46 330i? The simple and far less confusing solution is to go with the equivalent performance idea, and using 330i instead of 320iT is a fairly good representation of what kind of performance to expect. 



Aswan

Aswan

Places more value in how fun a car is to drive than outright performance or luxury. He laments the direction that automotive development is headed in, but grudgingly accepts the logic behind it. Can be commonly found trying to fix yet another problem on his rusty project car.


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