Rumors

Lexus Considers First High-Performance F Brand Crossover

Lexus F Badge

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.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless

(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%.)

Comments
F
The GX and LX would be badass in the F variant, but it would lose on utility: "off-road", but not many people drive luxurious SUVs offroad do they? I could be wrong. Those who do offroad usually change the suspension and tires and front bumper for a winch option that I've seen on a few select models in the Atlanta territory.

I think the RX F variant would hit a sweet spot because it is so popular and as a daily driver, which a majority of our RXs are for. This could compete with LandRover Sport or the Jeep Cherokee SRT variants, X5 M sport (whatever), etc. I think it would be awesome to have AWD V8 or V6-TT. But first...LEXUS IS F, please.
FearTheYu
But first...LEXUS IS F, please.
YES. Lexus needs to be bring back the IS-F, I'm getting sick of the overhyped m3/m4.
Does anyone have a rough idea when the production version of the LF-1 will debut?
carguy420
Does anyone have a rough idea when the production version of the LF-1 will debut?
Per information previously posted here by Carmaker1, about 2 years from now (Fall 2020, for Model Year 2021).
Joaquin Ruhi
Per information previously posted here by Carmaker1, about 2 years from now (Fall 2020, for Model Year 2021).
It can't come soon enough. In my opinion Lexus is a little like Apple in the sense that they don't always release the latest technology or be the first to enter a certain segment (or create one) but they take their time for a better (more reliable) execution. I personally think Lexus takes too long, hopefully reliability more than makes up for the extra time they take, but its probably just later decision making or being too conservative when it comes to segment or tech innovation.

I guess some could make the same argument for Carplay. Not necessarily important for me but it appears to be a common thing Lexus (potential) owners complain about.
L
I've pushed the NX and RX as hard as one can and while I would love to see a F model, I would hope its the next generation. Barring some miracle of engineering they simply are not ready for that type of life.

If anyone has driven a X5 Sport let alone a X5 M or Cayenne GTS/Turbo etc they drive like cars and don't give you the feeling of being awkward in truly sporting driving. So for me the all new LQ or whatever hopefully would signal the first F Lexus SUV.. a true rethink on things...

And I have yet to touch it but every review and every person I've talked to says the Alfa Stelvio is a blast to drive.
Although still refusing to clarify which Lexus crossover or SUV (if any) would be the first to receive an F variant, it seems the idea is "under active consideration" according to this Motor1.com article:

Lexus Wants To Build A Hardcore F-Badged SUV
BY: GREG FINK, Associate Editor
Will the Japanese brand opt to emphasize on-road handling or off-road prowess?


Lexus's performance-oriented F sub-brand may soon find its way to the Japanese luxury brand's crossovers and SUVs. Speaking with the media prior to the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race in Daytona Beach, Florida, Cooper Ericksen, vice president for product planning and strategy at Lexus, acknowledged that an F-badged crossover or SUV is an “active conversation” among folks working for the marque.

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.”

Although the brand’s crossovers are likely limited to the former line of thought, the body-on-frame Lexus GX and LX models offer the go-anywhere capabilities the F sub-brand needs if it plans to create a high-performance off-road machine.

Despite our desire to see a Ford F-150 Raptor-like Lexus LX, we’d wager an F-branded crossover or SUV will ultimately settle on pushing the vehicle’s on-road handling prowess and not its off-road performance. Whether that comes in the form of a high-performance gasoline-electric Lexus UX, a boosted Lexus RX, or a Mercedes-AMG G63-like Lexus LX remains to be seen. Of course, there’s always the potential the F sub-brand will remain exclusive to the luxury brand's coupes and sedans.
https://www.motor1.com/news/302801/lexus-f-crossover-suv/


It's somehow confirmed that the first Lexus F SUV/CUV will be the LQ
That's why in introduction of the concept they didn't say a word about the engine except it can have any engine or motor or hybrid of both
maiaramdan
It's somehow confirmed that the first Lexus F SUV/CUV will be the LQ
That's why in introduction of the concept they didn't say a word about the engine except it can have any engine or motor or hybrid of both
I agree as well. Since the LQ will be RWD it can easily have an F variant. Lexus could do a lot with the LQ. I look forward and can't wait...

LQ 500 rwd
LQ 500 awd
LQ 500h
LQ F
Just don’t build something that needs a step ladder to get in if you’re under 6’ tall.
On-road of course. Only Land Rover and Jeep make any kind of noise about off-road in their advertising and yet SUVs/CUVs of all makes are flying off of dealer lots.
UX is common sense choice cause it doesn't require super powerful powertrain, instead they can use something they already have. Keep in mind that even 300hp would make UX a performance CUV.
C
The LF-1 will be the first CUV to receive an true F offering. The new IS will follow suit as a 5 door CUV or sport wagon, exclusively, to hearken the days of the Sportcross and also to keep from jumbling the midsize sedan offerings.
mediumhot
UX is common sense choice cause it doesn't require super powerful powertrain, instead they can use something they already have. Keep in mind that even 300hp would make UX a performance CUV.
I really thought the UX would be the perfect launching point for F brand crossovers -- it makes no sense for Lexus to treat F like something sacred when other brands slap their high-performance badges on everything. Still think waiting for the LF-1 is too much waiting.

Craig Smith
The LF-1 will be the first CUV to receive an true F offering. The new IS will follow suit as a 5 door CUV or sport wagon, exclusively, to hearken the days of the Sportcross and also to keep from jumbling the midsize sedan offerings.
Lexus is going to discontinue the IS in favor of a sports wagon? The ES is truly going to be the last car standing, if true.
C
krew
I really thought the UX would be the perfect launching point for F brand crossovers -- it makes no sense for Lexus to treat F like something sacred when other brands slap their high-performance badges on everything. Still think waiting for the LF-1 is too much waiting.



Lexus is going to discontinue the IS in favor of a sports wagon? The ES is truly going to be the last car standing, if true.
I use the term wagon loosely as I'm not sure how to categorize it. Picture the IS in the same vein, style wise, as the new Civics. Just as the LF-1 is essentially a much sexier skinned Crosstour. The evidence is in the fact that Lexus considers the Mercedes C-Class as the ES competitor rather than the more similarly sized E-Class. That's simply because it will be the lowest "sedan" offering from the brand. Lexus seems intent on blurring the lines, rather than staying within them.
L
I think the first one should be the LX 570 and here is why. Benz makes a G63/65. The ultra luxury SUV market continues to grow. The LX needs more power as an option. There would instantly be a market for it.

Not everyone who buys a AMG/M etc wants a track monster, many just want more power, the rarity and the exclusivity.

Yeah I said it... LX F lol
C
mikeavelli
I think the first one should be the LX 570 and here is why. Benz makes a G63/65. The ultra luxury SUV market continues to grow. The LX needs more power as an option. There would instantly be a market for it.

Not everyone who buys a AMG/M etc wants a track monster, many just want more power, the rarity and the exclusivity.

Yeah I said it... LX F lol
That may not be a stretch. I'm hearing that Lexus wants to compete with the Navigators and Escalades in the luxo-barge segment but imo that would require a much larger truck than the LX. I speculate that one of the newer model trademarks is for an even bigger SUV. That may make way for a sport offering of the LX as well.
mikeavelli
I think the first one should be the LX 570 and here is why. Benz makes a G63/65. The ultra luxury SUV market continues to grow. The LX needs more power as an option. There would instantly be a market for it.

Not everyone who buys a AMG/M etc wants a track monster, many just want more power, the rarity and the exclusivity.
I would argue that most of the people that buy AMG/M/F just want "more power, the rarity and the exclusivity", rather than the other way around. The Lexus strategy of treating F as hallowed ground isn't creating exclusivity, it's breeding disinterest.

"F everything" is my new mantra (in more than one way).
L
Craig Smith
That may not be a stretch. I'm hearing that Lexus wants to compete with the Navigators and Escalades in the luxo-barge segment but imo that would require a much larger truck than the LX. I speculate that one of the newer model trademarks is for an even bigger SUV. That may make way for a sport offering of the LX as well.
My take, keep the LX, make it even more special, more it even higher upmarket and offer a F. Introduce the larger (I assume Tundra based) SUV but it is under the LX to battle the Escalade.

krew
I would argue that most of the people that buy AMG/M/F just want "more power, the rarity and the exclusivity", rather than the other way around. The Lexus strategy of treating F as hallowed ground isn't creating exclusivity, it's breeding disinterest.

"F everything" is my new mantra (in more than one way).
I agree. AMG in particular has slapped badges on everything even removing the "Sport" name and calling multiple vehicles AMG now. People want more power and the sportier looks of an AMG model.

If the "F" marque introduced or kept manuals, then they would have the ultimate Ace in todays world. While I truly appreciate the N/A 5.0 V-8 and its sound and character, most don't care when the competition has a V-8 with turbos making 100 more hp.

Going back to SUV's I strongly eel the LX F makes a ton of sense in addition to hopefully other F SUVs.

BMW just yesterday introduced the X3 M and X4 M.
I think the Germans are risking devaluing those nameplates though, especially if they sell because of perceived exclusivity. To paraphrase the Underminer in the first Incredibles, if everything's an AMG than nothing's an AMG.
L
Ian Schmidt
I think the Germans are risking devaluing those nameplates though, especially if they sell because of perceived exclusivity. To paraphrase the Underminer in the first Incredibles, if everything's an AMG than nothing's an AMG.
I thought this too when it first debuted but a couple of years later it seems most don't care, just a handful of hardcore purists. I was at an AMG meet the other day, all years and types and the vibe I got was they were happy to include them all but they also all knew what a real AMG was. Those that didn't were just happy to be included.

It reminds me of how BMW said "we will never do a M SUV, the M brand is sacred" and now they have a X3 and X4 M coming. They said the same thing "M will never go turbo" and now they even offer a M2 with a non specific engine.

Hell we have Aston Martin's with Mercedes Engines and people still buy the Aston's.

A different world for sure Ian!
As long as everyone knows that the GLA AMG isn't a real AMG :)

I
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