If you’ve been paying attention to the automotive news of late, or even just paying attention to the parking lot at your local supermarket, you’ve likely noticed buyers are moving away from traditional cars. Instead, folks have been opting for crossovers and SUVs, but importantly, plenty are still looking to scratch the itch for performance. So what’s a manufacturer to do? Built a performance SUV, of course!
Porsche did it years ago with the Cayenne, Lamborghini released the Urus, and even Ferrari — which swore it would never, ever release an SUV — is developing one. So it should come as no surprise that Lexus is looking to capitalize on the high-performance trend too.
Here’s what our friends across the pond at Motor1 just reported about the possibility of a hot rod Lexus SUV:
While Chika Kako, executive vice president and chief engineer to the Lexus UX, acknowledged the brand’s smallest crossover “has potential” to join the F family as a high-horsepower gasoline-electric hybrid, Ericksen stated that Lexus continues to evaluate what an F crossover or SUV might emphasize.
“[What] we’re currently trying to figure out is [if] the on-road performance aspect [is] more important [for Lexus] to invest in than the off-road performance.”
Although the brand’s crossovers are likely limited to the former line of thought, the body-on-frame Lexus GX and LX models offer the go-anywhere capabilities the F sub-brand needs if it plans to create a high-performance off-road machine.
Quite honestly, we don’t think the brand needs to worry about making a hardcore off-road machine, as the Lexus LX is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser — which is already as hardcore off-road as virtually anyone needs a full-size SUV needs to be. So we think they’ll look to making something that’ll be geared toward performance on the pavement.
And since Lexus is said to be developing a 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 which would provide an F version of the gorgeous LC with roughly 660 horsepower, that engine could also see service in a high-strung SUV. For what it’s worth? We’d sure love to see that happen.
Given the demand for performance SUVs, we think it’s a pretty good bet that Lexus will enter the segment. That said, we don’t know exactly how or when the company will do so. But in the last few months, we’ve spent time with the NX 300 F Sport, the LX 570, and the long-wheelbase RX450h, and found them each to be great at what they do. So if you don’t need to wait for a pavement-chewing performance model, head to your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer, and check out which one fits your needs and budget!