Is Lexus Planning an Even Smaller Crossover?

Smaller Lexus Compact Crossover

According to Car Advice, Lexus may be considering something even smaller than the LF-NX:

Asked about the potential for a compact SUV during a media round-table at the Frankfurt motor show, Lexus design division project general manager Takeshi Tanabe responded: “Why not?”

Larger than originally expected at 4640mm long, the LF-NX concept – set to be transformed into the Lexus NX for production from 2014 – is almost identical in size to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 that compete in the premium mid-sized SUV segment.

It leaves space for an even more compact model like the GLA, Audi Q3 and BMW X1, all of which are roughly 150-200mm shorter…

The idea of Lexus building a smaller compact crossover is interesting speculation, but there’s a bigger story here. Going strictly by length, here’s how the competition breaks down:

  • BMW has the X1 (4457mm), X3 (4652mm) & X5 (4886mm)
  • Mercedes has the GLA (4417mm), GLK (4529mm) & ML (4803mm)
  • Audi has the Q3 (4385mm) & Q5 (4639mm)

If the production NX ends up 4640mm long and the RX remains at its current length of 4770mm, Lexus will have the smallest size gap between models (only 110mm difference). Unless Lexus plans to have two models occupying the same segment, there are two possibilities, as I see it:

  • The production NX could be smaller than the LF-NX concept — to sync up against the X1, GLA & Q3, it would have to shrink around 200mm.
  • The next-generation RX, rumored to be introduced in 2015, is going to grow in size.

There have been rumors of a Lexus three-row crossover for some time, with the assumption that it would replace the GX in the lineup — could this new model be the RX? Should Lexus mess with their best-selling model?

[Source: Car Advice]