Lexus plans to produce the new model that will be based on the UX Concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last year. The new vehicle should compete in the crowded compact coupe crossover segment against the likes of the Audi Q2. Lexus International executive vice-president Yoshihiro Sawa has officially confirmed the production version at the Geneva Motor Show, and he also declared that the potential of smaller SUVs was shown by the success of the NX and RX models.
He stated: “We already introduced the (small) concept model and so far NX is so successful – NX and RX. We are kind of confident with the small concept cars.” He was also asked whether the company was considering a smaller compact crossover that will sit below the smallest NX SUV and he replied that the development process has already started. Mr. Sawa said: “We are doing. Of course, we are doing. Please expect UX.”
The date of the introduction of what is going to be company’s smallest SUV remains unknown, but according to Mr. Sawa, the new base trim is “not so far away.” Usually, Lexus’ production SUV receive a lot of details from its concept vehicles, and a difference between the two is not a drastic one. This fact means that the production UX will probably come with a trademark large spindle grille and edgy exterior.
It is still early to talk about the new UX, but Lexus will probably use Toyota’s New Global Architecture on which the C-HR SUV is based. It is also early to say where the new Lexus UX will go on sale, but Lexus Australia Product PR and events manager Nick Raman says that they are interested in the model. “We would be very interested in the UX if it became available as a production vehicle,” he said at the time.
The new model will naturally go head-to-head with Audi Q2, but some other possible rivals for the UX are Mini Countryman, Infiniti QX30, Mercedes GLA and BMW X1. According to Mr. Sawa, the company will try to focus on younger customers with the new SUV range, but these new models should be appealing to the loyal buyers and owners as well.
Sawa acknowledged: “Except IS and small car CT, Lexus owners’ age becomes older and older. Because loyal users are always changing the car, but the average age is going up. So this year we would like to shift buyers’ age to younger. Maybe two peaks – younger buyer and loyal buyer.”