While we’re still waiting for the identity of the all-new Toyota SUV that will come out of a soon-to-be-completed assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama, the Japanese automaker has just announced an investment of nearly $1 billion at its existing Princeton, Indiana factory.
The money will be used to prepare the manufacturing line for two all-new, three-row SUVs with seating for up to eight, “designed with the active Gen Y American Family in mind.” They will be officially introduced later this year, but we know that one will bear the Toyota name and the other will be a Lexus.
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Toyota also said these vehicles will join a diverse, electrified product portfolio—likely meaning they will feature a hybrid powertrain similar to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Venza and Sienna, not to mention the Lexus UX 250h, NX 300h and RX 450h—and will help the company get another step closer to its global aim towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to Toyota, customers should expect cutting-edge technology including a semi-autonomous driving system that allows for hands-free driving in certain conditions. Also, they will be able to use their smartphone as a digital key to access the vehicle and to control the remote parking system.
Toyota’s Princeton factory currently builds the Sienna, Highlander/Highlander Hybrid and Sequoia. It’s not clear yet whether the two new SUVs will be fresh additions to the lineup or a new generation of existing models.
The Toyota 4Runner and Sequoia are both due for a complete redesign soon, while the Land Cruiser will be discontinued in the U.S. after 2021. Toyota also recently filed to trademark the "Grand Highlander" name in the U.S. and Canada. Over at Lexus, new generations of the GX and LX are not too far off.
Care to make your own guess? In any case, keep following The Car Guide for more details and announcements.