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Lexus To Debut New Compact Crossover In Tokyo: Report


2012 Lexus RX 450h

2012 Lexus RX 450h

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Compact luxury crossovers are the new darlings of the automotive industry, as they give buyers the amenities they expect while delivering improved fuel economy (compared to their larger siblings) for their respective manufacturers.

Land Rover has its Range Rover Evoque, BMW has its X1 and Audi will soon have its Q3 on U.S. dealer lots. The Buick Encore will be along shortly, too, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class and the Porsche Macan. Even Lincoln wants in on the action, showing its MKC crossover concept at the Detroit Auto Show.

Only Lexus and Cadillac are late to the party, though we’ve known that a sub-RX model Lexus (possibly called the NX) was under development for the past nine months or so. Now, The Age’s Drive blog is reporting that the baby Lexus crossover will be revealed at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show in November.

While admitting that a concept vehicle will debut late this year, Lexus’ executive vice president, Kazuo Ohara, was careful not to release too much additional detail. Agreeing that a compact crossover is crucial to the brand’s future growth, Ohara would only state that such a model is under “serious consideration.”

Drive thinks the smaller Lexus crossover could be based on the new Toyota RAV4, or possibly even the existing Lexus CT200h hybrid. When pressed on this last option, Ohara said only, “It’s still secret, but we are seriously considering.”

Take from that what you will, but a compact luxury hybrid crossover from Lexus could be just what the brand needs, though one based on the CT200h would be a bit small and  underpowered for American tastes. We’ll keep you apprised of developments as more information leaks form Japan.  
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