Lexus‘ long-rumoured baby SUV will be revealed in May, according to a Japanese report.
Best Car Web reports the new model will reportedly slot in under the Lexus UX as the brand’s smallest SUV.
It’ll reportedly be based on the Toyota Yaris Cross and offer a 1.5-litre hybrid powertrain, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive Yaris Cross hybrid models use a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated with two electric motors for a combined power output of 85kW.
The all-wheel drive Yaris Cross hybrid adds a third electric motor, positioned on the rear axle, though its total system power output is unchanged.
The Yaris Cross’ version of the Toyota New Global Architecture, called GA-B, is shared with other small Toyotas like the Prius C-replacing Aqua, the Aygo city car, and the Sienta mini MPV.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a baby crossover from Lexus, with rumours having circulated since 2020 about such a model.
These were fuelled by the company’s trademark of the LBX name in markets like Australia specifically for a “SUV crossover, including all-wheel drive SUV crossovers”.
The Australian trademark was filed on March 22, 2021.
Best Car Web reported last year that Lexus would introduce a new small car in 2024 to replace the dated CT, with petrol, hybrid and electric options.
It noted this model would have hatchback-like styling, which was supported by Lexus’ release of a teaser image that appeared to depict a hatchback-like model.
By offering a smaller footprint than the Lexus UX and the same premium-brand badge on the grille, the LBX – or whatever it will be called – will have little in the way of direct competition.
The UX measures 4495mm long, just 4mm shorter than a BMW X1. A Mercedes-Benz GLA is slightly shorter at 4417mm long, and a Volvo XC40 measures 4440mm long.
The Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman are shorter at 4208mm and 4297mm long, respectively, but the former is being axed and the latter will grow in its next generation.
For reference, a Yaris Cross is 4180mm long.
Mini has confirmed it will introduce a smaller Aceman crossover, however this will be available exclusively with electric power.
The Lexus UX currently opens at $46,085 before on-road costs, more or less lineball with the smaller Audi Q2 – therefore posing the prospect of a circa-$40,000 Lexus once again, a price point the CT previously occupied before it was axed locally.
Lexus will reportedly bookend its existing crossover line-up with both the LBX and a new three-row model that may wear the TX name.
This is another vehicle that appears to have been previewed in the aforementioned teaser image from Lexus.
The TX is expected to give the Lexus brand a better-packaged three-row model for the large SUV segment, with the outgoing RX L – a stretched version of the fourth-generation RX – being rather compromised in terms of third-row accessibility and comfort.