Lexus Considering a Compact Crossover Below the NX?

Lexus NX Compact Crossover

Lexus is considering a crossover even smaller than the NX, according to an Autocar interview with Lexus Europe vice president Alain Uyttenhoven:

Uyttenhoven said the launch of a small SUV was “not impossible” for Lexus and such a model “made sense” for the brand, but he stopped short of confirming it for production.

Lexus is looking to downsize and diversify its model range to reduce its reliance on the North American market, which accounts for around half of its 500,000-plus unit annual sales.

He noted that premium cars were getting ever smaller, and around 60 per cent of premium models sold in Europe were sold for less than 40,000 euros. “The premium market starts with a car as small as the Audi A1,” he said.

While it’s true Lexus is trying to expand in other markets worldwide, the brand may not yet be in a position to build vehicles that won’t succeed in North America as well.

That said, the BMW X1 is currently averaging 2,000 sales per month in the USA, so there’s certainly a market for a subcompact crossover.

(Curious that Uyttenhoven mentions the Audi A1 — could Lexus also be thinking about a subcompact car as well?)

[Source: Autocar]


  1. No. Don't go to German's way, Lexus. They keep on releasing niche vehicles!!!!
  2. not true AKIO insist in a lot of interview no car below 30K and from the next CT AKIO as reported to make it 35K
  3. I think a smaller crossover will be a good thing in the right direction for Lexus because there are many other markets that need an even smaller crossover than NX to increase Lexus's sales example China, India, Japan, Europe and SEA. Small crossover that comes with smaller capacity engines would command lower taxes for some countries, and a lower price point to compete with lower end products from Audi, MB and BMW.
  4. What was this for that matter? (see attachment) Definitely not the RAV-4 related NX, so please do not debunk my theory based on that. The TX trademark may apply to whatever these May 2013 CT200h test mules are based on and not a large CUV. Toyota rarely files frivolous Lexus trademarks for that matter and the 7-seater crossover is the 2016 RX. The 2017 GX (recently designed) is likely going to remain identical to the Prado and possibly become more niche focused. Most Lexus nameplate trademarks are unveiled in less than 2 years, so possibly a late 2015/early 2016 launch if already approved at all. Also, Lexus since the 1989 LS400 and LFA, Toyota do not test mule nor approved body design prototypes any longer than 2 years.
    • I see what you're saying and plus the NX mule was a RAV4 with a Lexus steering wheel, mirrors, and a few other Lexus things. So, this CT could be something else.
    • Yep, shockingly enough Lexus has other plans contrary to previous statements. They would not go through this trouble, especially if it can be done at personal/corporate testing grounds in Aichi. That testing method allows for rejected secret models to be tested, without anyone ever knowing they existed. In public and in mainland Europe with competitors, means that such a vehicle will eventually be produced. Based on professional experience, Jaguar Land Rover does not even authorize non-production intent models to be tested, unless part of development project, model redesign programme or a concept show vehicle.
    • I have actually read in an article that Toyota is going to build a B-SUV in the Turkish plant. Maybe a model based on Toyota B-Segment SUV? I think I've pointed that out when these pictures were first posted here. Plus I don't think Lexus would test NX against Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti.
    • It might be related to the B-segment model, good observation. Are you referring to the point you made elsewhere concerning the NX? I'm assuming you are, otherwise that is not what I said. I am not referring to the NX one bit, as the only test mules for that were RAV-4s in 2012 and 2013. The vehicle above is Lexus related, especially with a Q3 being benchmarked. I had an argument 2 years ago concerning RAV-4 mules that clearly had misfit body panels in comparison to actual 2013 RAV-4 prototypes, that I believed were a Lexus CUV in disguise. Those mules were caught testing with the Evoque, Q5, and BMW X3. Many people, including Lexus and Toyota personnel debunked my claims. I was 100% right in the end and they were bold informed liars and dead wrong based on willful ignorance.
    • Yes I meant a comment in another post some time ago about these pictures being of NX mules. I agree with you the misfit RAV4 prototypes were for NX and this probably for a smaller SUV.
    • Oh okay, thanks. Wasn't really sure, as I try to be as accurate as possible.
  5. ray

    Once you step under the £20,000 mark, it is no longer premium. The Audi A1? Premium? just LOL. Have you ever sat in one? Providing you can actually fit inside......
    • PG

      well, the A1 is decidedly more premium than other offerings its size, i.e. Fiesta, Yaris, Polo, Ibiza, etc.
  6. No. Toyota can do that job. Lexus must not have anything below a Hybrid Compact Hatch.
  7. If i was Lexus i would actually move up market where ferrari, porches are. kill the CT leave the rest as is it and just make a bunch of LFA's
    • you are amazing same idea in my mind but i am in much more extreme by mot even killing the CT but also the ES and RX and turn the NX to IS chassis and built a new big CUV aka TX as LEXUS trade name this and make it on the GS chassis, then send the LX & GX to be under a unified Land Cruiser name with the addition of the NG-SC, NG-LFA, the trio of TOYOTA SUPRA & BMW Z?? add also the RC then you will have the most amazing fabulous line-up in the world clean up job will make LEXUS much more premium
    • yes, i forgot the ES, kill it! mature the RX as NX. the toyota logo as is it is very respactable, luxury cars like the CT can go under the toyota name and still be very respactable. Lexus should go extreme altra and hyper luxury holding nothing back. right now they are moving way too close to what should be a toyota and the problem with that, toyota is respactable and trusted on its own right
    • can't agree more finally i find someone agree with me in my view about LEXUS TOYOTA even have a pair of cars that was the answer of sport and luxury from 1950 until 1990 (global) or even until now (Japan) aka MARK & CROWN
    • Exactly, Toyota mass FWD/AWD with transverse engine, Lexus high-end-luxury-performance RWD/AWD with longitudinal engine.
    • I completely disagree with the idea that Toyota can compete in the small prestige market. Here in the UK Toyota is known for bland, plasticky, buzzy little runabouts. The brand has ZERO kudos in a very label-conscious market. Toyota/Lexus are giving tens of thousands of sales away to MB, BMW and Audi by not serving that market. Remember, outside of N America small does NOT necessarily mean cheap. Car tax rates are going up in many countries, so a small, beautifully engineered Lexus (not a trumped-up Prius) would mean ££££ for Toyota.
    • honestly look at Hyundai even in UK before and after Genesis & it's new design everyone start make Hyundai even higher than Toyota
    • Yes, I agree and understand the UK market as well. Toyota is not even seen on the same level as Honda in some cases. Investment in smaller, yet well-engineered vehicles is key. JLR has understood this and we've developed the X760/61 range accordingly, the 2015 XE sports compact saloon/estate. Not the same comparison, but just an example.
    • Killing the Lexus ES is a senseless idea, if Toyota were to authorize that. It is their moneymaker and essentially funds any aspirational models (F performance) and covers any minimal profit from other models (LX, GS, LS). That will not be happening anytime soon, unless a truly viable alternative can be executed.
    • true, it would be very hard to kill the ES now since it doing so well. but just because the car is doing well does not always mean it right for that brand image. but i trully get what you saying, ES can not be killed
    • I always wished Lexus would turn the ES into a four door coupe (its almost there). I have always loved the ES (I own a 2005) so I'd hate to see it die but yes, it needs to be more premium.
    • ask anyone related to cars about ES, RX & CT he or she will answer you do you mean Camry, Highlander & Prius those 3 are the main reason why a lot of people look to LEXUS as just a tarted up TOYOTA honestly if LEXUS didn't delete them or the new disaster aka a smaller car than the NX i will start thinking that LEXUS / TOYOTA board member have schizophrenia 1) how dare they didn't sell MARK-Xs & CROWNs outside Japan and selected markets for the reason they will interfere and in the same time they already keep interfering LEXUS with TOYOTA. 2) how dare they have 30 billion USD with nothing to do by even put them financially, and they are not taking the path of VOLKSWAGEN to stay always big and stable, i am not talking about buying another corp, i am talking about ASTON MARTIN when Dr. Bez was there, or Proton to have all Malaysian market by both PREDOUA & PROTON and also have LOTUS or even Tata. sorry why they never continue those 51% of DAIHATSU, or the 19% of SUBARU or talking MAZDA as long long rumoured. we are in a fierce business times right now, simple look at NOKIA the one that got around 80% of mobile phone share in 2 year in row, or even in Auto market look at FORD with around 12 car brand and if they was just good in management they may have all of them until now. i want all of you as TOYOTA manager to read the history well and see the size of VOLKSWAGEN before entering the fight with BMW on ROLLS ROYCE, simply was nothing, and everyone in the whole world even in Germany was looking at the VOLKSWAGEN brand as even less than budget cars, same as FIAT but just after they got BENTLEY and then LAMBORGHINI & BUGATTI suddenly VOLKSWAGEN become a premium cars even they just make s**t until now. so bottom line LEXUS must delete all the FWD cars and go up, TOYOTA must do as HYUNDAI with EQUUAS & GENESIS by CROWN & MARK-X, and do like VOLKSWAGEN by buying another mainstream brands to relief some pressure from only one mainstream brand, and some or even one British or German car maker, without this everyone will still look at LEXUS as a tarted up TOYOTA even after million years.
    • some people are even puting HYNDAI higher then LEXUS & toyota, so the ppl that think these no way toyota can be seen premium, think again, in the middle east, the toyota LC is the car/truck to be seen in. In these days LEXUS & TOYOTA are confusing each other big, styling and material wise. I see toyota toning down the styling and quality materials of toyota cars, just so it stays lower and it dont be better then lexus or match it. Look at the Auris compare it to VW golf if the CT was the toyota Auris, it would be top selling, the new RAV4 is toned down purposely to give room to this new NX. this is a problem in many countries where lexus is not popular because ppl in those countries dont understand why toyota is getting beaten by companys such as HYNDAI, styling and material wise. for me LEXUS should move up to give room for the mother brand TOYOTA. I agree with you, I always wished toyota takes Aston Martin. BMW's engineers are afraid of this fact. if you put two similar looking coups one with the toyota badge the other with BMW logo, the toyota will win. same case with the BRZ and the ft86. the bashing of toyota is just anger and a cry of the good old days when toyo gave us the supras. im trying to prove a point toyota can sell a good premium looking car faster then everybody else but they should move lexus "UP'
    • YES! haha I want to see more supercars from Lexus and even affordable coupes! But maybe not kill the CT; It does well and can just get a better design to still be a classy Lexus.
  8. The only thing I think Lexus should create at this point is something to rival the cls and gran coupe. What do you guys think?
    • Yes, but it should really be very different, not like a 4 door coupé but more like a 4 door supercar. A7 and GranCoupé do not differentiate enough from A6 and 5/6 Series.
    • The fact that a shapelier L10 resembling 4-door test mule was spotted in late 2013, points towards a 4-door coupe. The GS is not receiving a redesign (new generation) anytime soon, so whether that is a new variation of it is another question.
    • You have already seen test mules in a modified L10 body, so that tells you what is planned or been attempted.
  9. Agreeing with a lot of you guys, I think Lexus needs to up their game a little and create a more premium image. (Lexus Cohan) I agree with the need for a four door coupe in the lineup. Maybe, I don't know what a name for that could be though since it is a coupe (C) and a sedan (S) technically in one. Maybe LC can be used for that where L stands for Long. I don't know though; I always wished for the ES to fill that but the ES does so well as is, it may kill its reputation. I also agree with others who say Lexus needs so more Porsche and Ferrari rival vehicles. A sexy 911 competitor would be awesome and a cheaper supercar that doesn't have unit limit.
    • Lexus sould aim competing against Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, not that overpriced overrated so called premium-trio.
    • PG

      before Lexus can't even think about competing with those storied marques. Lexus, globally seen, lags miles behind even the German Three in terms of brand equity. This is, by the way, something acknowledged by Lexus when they explained their decision not to produce in China. The lack of brand equity forces Lexus to sell on reliability.
    • Lexus does not really compete with Jaguar outside of the XJ-Series. Only recently have some of our developments, borne similarities to the GS and IS. The SC would easily cover this though, as we invest in a future XK replacement, after ditching our X151 program.
  10. I get the impression that some of you do not realize the need for adequate profitability to fund vehicle development. The ES, being one of the least favorite Lexus models to me, is essential to the Lexus brand. As is the RX. A 4dr coupe and this subcompact CUV are likelihoods, due to spotted test mules. Whether due soon, is a different story. Bear in mind for all the naysayers, Toyota will usually produce new Lexus products seen testing in mule or prototype form publicly. Otherwise, they will have an adequate explanation in place of not doing so (LS TMG). You rarely see Lexus spy photos anyway, so all this pessimistic doubt is absurd. As are some of the outlandish requests, that would hamper Lexus' engineering resources and profitability.