Lexus wants to be build an high-performance F brand crossover, but are still debating which direction to take — from a Motor1 interview with Cooper Ericksen, vice president for product planning and strategy at Lexus USA:
While Chika Kako, executive vice president and chief engineer to the Lexus UX, previously acknowledged the brand’s smallest crossover “has potential” to join the F family as a high-horsepower gasoline-electric hybrid, Ericksen stated that Lexus continues to evaluate what an F crossover or SUV might emphasize.
“[What] we’re currently trying to figure out is [if] the on-road performance aspect [is] more important [for Lexus] to invest in than the off-road performance.”
Based on the current lineup, this position makes sense — the UX, NX, and RX are all built on FWD platforms, and would struggle to deliver the performance expected from an F brand vehicle, while the truck-based GX or LX would benefit more from an off-road upgrade similar to Toyota’s TRD Pro offerings.
However, there’s an obvious choice waiting in the wings: the LF-1 Limitless Concept that debuted at last year’s Detroit Auto Show may not be confirmed for production just yet, but it’s a slam dunk for the first F brand crossover with its expected rear-wheel drive platform.
(Interestingly enough, Lexus Enthusiast readers voted the LF-1 Limitless as their choice for the first F brand crossover in a recent poll, with 38% of votes. The RX was second at 24%.)