Lexus Planning Compact Crossover & Large Three-Row Crossover?

Lexus RX SUV

In an interview with Ward’s Auto, Lexus vice-president of marketing Brian Smith shared some details on how the Lexus SUV lineup might be changing:

The Lexus RX currently is the only CUV in the luxury marque’s lineup. A number of auto makers, including Ford’s Lincoln division, have cited small CUVs as an area of growth in the luxury segment.

“In general, CUVs of any size are becoming a bigger force in the industry. So as we sell more products globally, I think that could lead to new products for us,” Smith says, declining to reveal details.

The rumor of a Lexus compact crossover has been around for at least half a decade — the main difference between then and now is that Lexus appears to have trademarked the name NX to use as the CUV designation.

Perhaps the bigger news from the interview is this passage:

Smith says one of the brand’s two large body-on-frame SUVs, the GX and LX, could be converted to unibody platforms as the auto maker works to meet looming government-imposed fuel-economy regulations.

“In the future, if we could do a 3-row unibody (utility vehicle), I think that’s what consumers would want to see,” he says.

Lexus is the only full-line luxury brand to offer two off-road-capable SUVs, and it’s also the only luxury brand that doesn’t have a unibody SUV with third-row seating. Add these two facts together, and it makes for some very interesting speculation — if Lexus makes a three-row crossover, should it replace the GX or LX?

[Source: Ward’s Auto]