The latest evidence Lexus is considering a sub-RX luxury crossover has
arrived today in the form of new spy shots. What you see in the gallery
below is an early mule of what may be a new compact luxury crossover to
complement the vehicle that has dominated the luxury SUV market for
years: the mighty RX.
The Lexus RX 350
carries a starting price just over $40,000 including destination, yet
the midsize crossover still manages to keep up in sales with the
Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series — cars with base prices thousands of dollars less expensive. While a compact Lexus crossover
may cannibalize a few potential RX sales, the emerging segment may
simply be too promising for the brand to ignore. And in Europe, a
smaller crossover will help it compete with German rival brands.
What we see here is a Lexus that appears to be a raised CT 200h mule. We’ve heard that Lexus was considering additional CT 200h variants,
and we’re guessing a small hybrid crossover could command greater
prices than a sedan. Possibly called the Lexus NX, the production-ready
crossover could be roughly the size of the Toyota RAV4, but with a hybrid powertrain using a 2.5-liter I-4. We wonder whether a turbocharged four-cylinder might make it under the hood of a future compact Lexus crossover.
Could Lexus have the same success with the compact crossover market
it has with the RX in the midsize arena? If this early mule does, in
fact, preview a compact crossover called the Lexus NX, it could debut at
the 2014 Detroit auto show or Geneva Motor Show. A compact Lexus crossover in the U.S. would face the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Buick Encore, and maybe even an Acura based on the SUV-X concept plus an Infiniti called the QX30.