Lexus UX Concept: Sign of a Crossover to Come?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
lexus ux concept sign of a crossover to come

Lexus has leaked a photograph of its UX Concept vehicle ahead of a planned September 29 unveiling at the Paris Motor Show.

The concept displays a new design direction for the luxury automaker — and an edgy one at that — but is there a chance that the concept heralds a wholly new model?

The automaker doesn’t say much about the concept, except that it is the product of its ED2 European Design Center.

Muscular fender bulges and a rakish roofline are expected on smaller crossover concepts, and Lexus doesn’t disappoint. The styling department swerved into overboard territory with the UX’s dagger-like side view mirrors and a tire tread pattern resembling Snake Plissken’s pants in Escape from New York. Also, an unusual marriage of beltline and C-pillar has spawned a pair of taillight-topped tailfins.

Styling excesses aside, Lexus likely has an ulterior motive for the UX Concept. It’s possible that the automaker wants to go small and play in the subcompact luxury crossover category, which TTAC’s Timothy Cain says makes up 6 percent of the luxury SUV/CUV market and is growing fast.

A small, sporty crossover slotted below the compact NX would allow Lexus to fend off the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

A line in the automaker’s press release reveals the UX’s intended audience, and surprise — it happens to perfectly describe a subcompact luxury crossover buyer.

“Its strongly differentiated identity is meant to appeal to a progressive, urban audience living in a connected environment,” Lexus writes. Hmm… One wonders if these progressively progressive urbanite gadget enthusiasts are in the market for a new, smaller Lexus?

[Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 08, 2016

    Don't make me hate you Lexus.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Rust-MyEnemy on Sep 09, 2016

    I wonder how many of these progressive, connected urban types (which, broadly, means almost everybody under 70) will ever park their new, smaller Lexus SUV outside anything as swanky as the dwelling in the rendering.

  • W.Minter W.Minter on Sep 09, 2016

    It's just the C-HR dressed as a Bird of Prey, erm, Lexus. Scion iM size. TNGA platform.

  • Formula m Formula m on Sep 13, 2016

    I will take this vehicle for myself and the rest of you may go buy sedans just like Jack says to. Gasp, Women may even like it