No Lexus Compact Crossover Until 2017?

Lexus RX

According to Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb, a sub-RX compact crossover could be five years away — from The Motor Report:

But although internal studies are underway to evaluate a potential small SUV design, Cramb says the lead times involved could put the market debut for such a model as far away as 2017.

“If we got the greenlight today, then it’s potentially a five-year delay,” he said.

A 2017 launch seems like a overly generous timeline, and might just be a case of managing expectations — rumors of a compact crossover have been building, and this might be a signal that a production model is not in Lexus’ immediate plans.

While it’s hard to believe development could take so long, this second quote from Cramb might offer some explanation:

Cramb did, however, confirm that any possible Lexus compact SUV would be more than just a re-skinned RAV4:

“The discussion is definitely around building a Lexus-specific vehicle. If it was going to be built, it would be entirely Lexus.”

[Source: The Motor Report] (Please note, the image above is the 2013 RX.)