Lexus Ready to Add a Compact Crossover in 2014?

by Chris Crowley on May 22, 2013

Courtesty of LexusEnthusiast.comIt appears that Lexus will be the next luxury automaker to enter the rapidly growing compact crossover segment of the market with an all-new vehicle that could debut as early as March 2014. Automotive News reports that the luxury arm of Toyota is looking to piggyback on the success of its top-selling RX SUV with a smaller, even more fuel-efficient model.

Michael Knauer of Automotive News writes:

“Lexus plans to show a production-ready premium compact crossover to rival the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 at next year’s Geneva auto show, a company source said. The vehicle will be sold in North America and Europe, the source added.

“The hybrid, based on the Toyota RAV4, will slot below the Lexus RX 450h and become the automaker’s first offering in the fast-growing segment, the source said.

“Lexus chief Kazuo Ohara has said a concept version of the crossover would be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.”

Lexus Enthusiast recently published photos of what appears to be a test version of the vehicle, cleverly disguised as an elevated CT 200h. While speculation is more widespread than confirmed facts at the moment, the new crossover will likely take some design cues from the Lexus RX, the most popular luxury SUV in the U.S.

The current trend in automotive manufacturing is a move toward lighter, more efficient vehicles, so it makes perfect sense for Lexus to head in this direction. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is also a concern, as Audi and BMW were early entrants, and Mercedes-Benz recently debuted its GLA-Class crossover concept. Even Land Rover, once the bastion of all that is great about hulking, gas guzzling luxury SUVs, has changed its mantra in the past few years with its highly successful crossover, the Range Rover Evoque.

Lexus fans will have to wait until November for a sneak peek at this new vehicle. With Lexus’s recent, edgier design style, and renewed interest in building cars that are “fun to drive,” we expect the new Lexus crossover to generate a lot of buzz from its corner of the Tokyo Auto Show.

Source: www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130408/OEM03/304089967#ixzz2U3tpClO6

Photo courtesy: lexusenthusiast.com/2013/05/15/lexus-compact-crossover-development-mule-spotted/

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