Sub-UX Lexus hybrid SUV speculated by Japanese media

The Lexus UX may not be where Lexus draws the line for its entry-level product. If a new report from Japan’s Best Car is to be believed, a Lexus hybrid SUV positioned below the compact Lexus UX is in the pipeline.

Lexus is working on a model derived from the Toyota Yaris Cross, a new small SUV that debuted last year. Historically, Lexus SUVs have been luxury offshoots of Toyota models and follow two-three years later. However not all Toyota models get a Lexus twin. Also note that a couple of models like the Lexus UX (the ‘esteemed’ cousin of the C-HR) and the Lexus LM (a grander version of the Toyota Alphard) are available in just a few markets, so a sub-UX product could be limited to some regions.

Measuring 4,180 mm (164.6 inches) in length, 1,765 mm (69.5 inches) in width, and 1,590 mm (62.6 inches) in height, the Toyota Yaris Cross is a sub-compact SUV. The B-segment model has a wheelbase of 2,560 mm (100.8 inches). Expect the Lexus offshoot as a slightly longer and wider car.

Launched on August 31, 2020 in Japan, the Yaris Cross is quite popular and outperforming Toyota’s sales projection. Toyota planned to unveil the Yaris Cross at dealerships on September 26-27, 2020, and expected monthly sales of 4,100 units. Monthly sales have exceeded 6,700 units consistently since September 2020 and have registered even over 10,000 units once.

The Toyota Yaris Cross is available globally with the 120 kW (118 hp) M15A-FKS 1.5-liter regular gasoline engine and also a THS II hybrid system w/o E-Four electric 4WD system. The hybrid powertrain employs the M15A-FXE 1.5-liter gasoline unit, with a total power is 85 kW (114 hp). The Lexus version may feature a more powerful hybrid powertrain that has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, it is speculated.

In markets like Japan and European countries where small SUVs are big sellers, the Lexus hybrid SUV derived from the Toyota Yaris Cross could become the brand’s best-seller. The new entry-level Lexus model may arrive in 2023, says the Japanese publication, based on the usual time gap between the past Lexus and Toyota models.