Lexus Teases New UX Crossover: Have Tail Fins Returned?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
lexus teases new ux crossover have tail fins returned

Lexus is teasing the new UX crossover prior to its big March 6th premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, and something immediately stands out: itty-bitty tail fins. To be fair, we don’t know how much molding is actually happening in the singular photo provided by the automaker. The fins do seemed toned down compared to the earlier UX Concept vehicle — but they also look further separated from the rest of the bodywork.

Compared to a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, the Lexus’ fins could be best described as vestigial. However, they do appear to be legitimate — extending upward from the vehicle’s rear haunches in a distinctive manner.

Does this mean the small Japanese crossover heralds a second renaissance for tail fins? Possibly. Toyota’s Prius currently has a subtle set of fins and so does the CH-R to a lesser degree. But the vehicles’ busy bodywork makes them fairly difficult to identify. The Chrysler 300 and Cadillac XTS also have a slight indentation along their backside that denotes something fin-like. But neither are bold enough to truly qualify.

Interestingly, all signs point to the UX being based on the Toyota C-HR subcompact, which uses the same TNGA modular platform underpinning the lightly finned Prius. Lexus hasn’t confirmed anything, but it’s likely the premium crossover will borrow an engine from its mainstream counterpart. As we’re not particularly fond of the C-HR’s 144-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four (paired with a CVT), we’re hoping Lexus provides a more savory powertrain option.

At any rate, the UX will help the brand round out its crossover lineup and give the Infiniti QX30 some competition. Premium crossovers are doing exceptionally well and having an affordable entry can only improve Lexus’ sales, which increased 14 percent last year against a stagnating market.

[Image: Lexus]

Join the conversation
3 of 11 comments
  • Conundrum Conundrum on Feb 20, 2018

    It's excitement, Akio Toyoda style. Ooh, spaceship! Give it Gothic overwrought bodywork, putrescent green lower body color with white roof like some CH-Rs, a flaccid powertrain and then watch retired schoolmarms flock to the dealer for one.

  • Higheriq Higheriq on Feb 21, 2018

    The return of tailfins??? They NEVER really disappeared. My Dad's 88 Fleetwood Brougham had them, and I would argue that there has been at least one Cadillac having tailfins every year since the 50's.

    • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Feb 21, 2018

      There were Caddys, I don’t know the year(s), where the fuel port was behind one of the fins.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird As the former owner of an 87 Thunderbird with the 3.8 that was quite reliable and served me well for over a decade I can attest that this Turbo coupe is a fair deal. I used to frequent the TCCOA site for service and parts information and it’s filled with folks who know these cars. Parts for them are mostly right off the shelf Fox body items except for some of the Turbo coupe only items like the electronic suspension items. Just clean up and bring back to the original brushed aluminum finish those nice 16” wheels. Geez not every thing has to be “murdered out” dude bro culture.
  • SCE to AUX Obviously, yes. But they can't think about it for 5 years.A hybrid RAV4-based truck would be very competitive.But the real question is whether Toyota wants to undercut profits by selling such a vehicle. Mavericks aren't rare because Ford can't build them; they are rare because Ford makes more money on their other vehicles and therefore doesn't want to build Mavericks.
  • Redapple2 C2 is the best. C3 next. Then C7 (looking at you jimII).
  • Jeff S Vulpine--True the CAFE rules are for ICE.
  • Gray I grew up in the era of Panther and Fox platforms. If only they developed a good looking two door Conti. The four doors became a cult in their own right. And kept the 351W as a top line option.