Lexus Considering Compact Crossover, According to Sources
A Lexus compact crossover would slot into the brand’s lineup just beneath this RX.
The luxury compact crossover market is booming. So much so that BMW had to push back the American introduction of its X1 because of high demand in Europe. Asked if the company is happy with the X1’s initial U.S. sales, a spokesman tells us that they are “thrilled.” Land Rover’s factory in Halewood, England, currently is utilizing three shifts to pump out enough Evoques. Audi is scrambling to get the Q3 into America dealerships as soon as possible, and Mercedes-Benz is doing the same with its GLA. And if Australian publication The Age is to be believed, it won’t be long before Lexus joins the fray, too.
According to the Australian outlet, Lexus executive vice president Kazuo Ohara said that a compact crossover to slot into the brand’s lineup underneath the RX is under “serious consideration.” Ohara then went on to confirm that a concept vehicle will be uncovered this year, likely to show up at the Tokyo auto show this November, the Australian publication said.
Although Lexus declined to comment on the matter when asked, we can deduce that those quotes are pretty close to the mark based on trademark applications the brand submitted. Lexus has filed to trademark the moniker NX, and specific names NX300h and NX200T. The NX300h indicates a hybrid offering, likely using the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor out of the ES300h. The NX200T, however, indicates a probable turbocharged 2.0-liter—which seems rather inconsequential until realizing that neither Toyota nor Lexus currently feature a turbocharged engine in any offering in this country.
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Lexus RX350 F Sport
- Instrumented Test: 2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
To take on the offerings from Europe, Lexus could potentially already have two in-house options in platform. The architecture that underpins the CT200h already fits into the rough dimensions of today’s compact-crossover segment, and the all-new RAV4 would provide a readymade foundation for the Japanese luxury brand to build upon.
By John Lamm