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Lexus Yet To Commit To New Crossover With Third-Row Seats, May Launch Stretched RX Instead

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Lexus HPX concept

Lexus HPX concept

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Talk of a new Lexus crossover with third-row seats dates back several years, with Lexus even rolling out a concept of just such a vehicle, the HPX, as far back as 2003. The last we heard, Lexus was looking at launching a new crossover, possibly named the TX, as a replacement for the truck-based GX SUV. But based on recent comments from senior Lexus executive Jeff Bracken, it appears the automaker is yet to commit to a new crossover with third-row seats.

"It could be any number of solutions," Bracken told Automotive News (subscription required) when asked about such a vehicle being launched. "We could bring it to market in 2016 or 2017.”

Bracken said launching a crossover with third-row seats was a priority because there is strong demand for a crossover with more than the five seats of the RX, but didn't confirm whether a new one was coming. Lexus does have the GX and LX SUVs, but both of these feature truck-like body-on-frame construction and don’t match the fuel economy of crossovers offered by rivals.

Instead of replacing the GX, which is a highly profitable model for Lexus, the automaker may simply launch a stretched version of the next-generation RX. The next RX, which is due in late 2015, will share its platform with the latest Highlander, which already offers a third row, so building a version for Lexus with the third row intact shouldn’t be too difficult.

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