Lexus compact crossover based on the UX could debut in Geneva

They'll have to tone it down from the wild concept, but CUV would slot in below the Lexus NX.

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We have but one line to go on, from Car magazine's section on Lexus in the rundown of Geneva Motor Show reveals: "Baby SUV not yet confirmed, but word is that a Lexus small crossover based on UX concept is due." Actually, there's a tad more than hearsay to add to that line: Lexus International EVP Yoshihiro Sawa said one year ago that the carmaker already approved a production version of the UX, and that it is "not so far away."

The trail goes cold there, though, when trying to divine what a civilian UX would look like. The production model should borrow its platform and some organs from the Toyota C-HR, which rides on the TNGA bones also shared with the Prius. Yet the UX concept, shown at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, warped so many dimensions it belongs in the coming Avatar sequels or a " Time Bandit" reboot. Chapeau to the designers for compressing so much action in so little space; at 173.2 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, and 59.8 inches tall, on a 103.9-inch wheelbase, the UX concept was a smidge larger than an Audi Q3, a smidge smaller than the Mercedes GLA. A retail crossover based on the concept would need to give up 93 percent of the UX's character, but that remaining 7 percent would still be powerful — especially when you add a big ol' spindle grille.

We expect the Lexus baby CUV to come to America, but that's not confirmed. Lexus did trademark the names UX 200, UX 250, and UX 250h with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016, and Jeff Bracken, Lexus' North America group VP and GM, said, "Our dealers are all over us to produce that concept vehicle."

And why not? Crossovers constitute the majority of Lexus' U.S. sales, and Lexus seriously seeks the younger buyers who can't get enough compact crossover bait. And the production UX would provide a new entry-level vehicle to challenge entrants in the GLA and BMW X1 class, where the Germans and other carmakers are minting money. Lexus has pledged not to sell a vehicle in the U.S. for under $30,000, but it's got room to play with between that floor and the $35,985 Lexus NX.

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