Lexus USA Dealerships Want Large SUV “Escalade Fighter”

Lexus LX SUV

Lexus USA dealer council chairman Carl Sewell III spoke with Automotive News about the biggest need in the current vehicle lineup:

Sewell said Lexus could use a Cadillac Escalade fighter — a big, three-row luxury SUV — but there are other considerations beyond what dealers want, such as how vehicles fit into the brand’s regulatory plans.

“I think every dealer would raise their hand for that product, certainly,” Sewell told Automotive News last month. “One of the big things we’ve been working on over the last two years on council is our premium luxury utility vehicle lineup for the future. Right now, we’ve got a really strong sub-$50,000 lineup. But when we look above that, we’ve got some great product today, but what do those products look like for the future?”

On the face of it, the call for another three-row SUV is curious. After all, Lexus just strengthened their three-row lineup last year with the introduction of the extended RX L — alongside the GX & LX, that’s now three crossovers available with seven seats.

This becomes even more complex when you consider the LF-1 Limitless Concept that Lexus showed off at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The expectation is that this will lead to a rear-wheel drive flagship crossover that can stand with the LC coupe, LS sedan, and LX SUV. The only issue — a production LF-1 would not compete with the Escalade in size or sentiment.

(If anything, Sewell seems to be talking about an SUV above the LX in size — reading the tea leaves, perhaps this hypothetical SUV could be based on the next-generation Toyota Sequoia. The idea is appealing, though it would crowd the top-end of the SUV lineup with the LX and eventual LF-1.)