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Lexus Sub-Compact in 2012?

Once again, Lexus Australia’s chief executive John Roca has spilled the goods on the future of Lexus, this time in regards to the oft-rumored sub-compact:

Devised to take on the premium European small cars exemplified by the BMW as well as the Audi A3, the forthcoming compact is understood to be in co-development with the next-generation IS due about 2012.

The sub-IS model is priority number one at Lexus at the moment as it seeks to weather the economic storm, lure more younger buyers and move in the general downsizing direction of the luxury car market. The fact that there will be a hybrid version of the BS leads to the conclusion that a hybrid IS might also see the light of day when the all-new version arrives.

Lexus has even put the sub-RX luxury SUV (to be based on the LFXh concept) on hold as it focuses on bringing the BS to market.

“At one stage we were discussing the option of a vehicle below the RX, but at the time we felt that the priority would be for a car below the IS and not the RX,” Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca told GoAuto last week. Mr Roca promised that the C-Premium would not be a restyled next-generation Toyota Corolla, or share major mechanical components with it.

“It will be a dedicated Lexus car, that I am certain of,” he said. “Whether it is rear-wheel drive, that has not been determined yet either. Frankly a car of that size, a front-wheel drive car in that category would be viable. But we are looking at a specific Lexus product.”

There’s plenty of other information in the article, including the fact that Toyota has yet to confirm that this vehicle even exists. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but this is hardly idle gossip or an unexpected development.

There’s no question, this model should be a priority, in fact, given the excitement and growth of the segment, I would be surprised if Lexus waited until the 2012 model year. A sub-compact equipped with hybrid technology is an absolute winner, especially if the engine is a V6.

[Source: GoAuto Image from: Paul Tan]