F This: Lexus Mulling a Hotter Crossover

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
f this lexus mulling a hotter crossover

There’s no shortage of F Sport models populating the Lexus lineup, but those efforts amount to little more than an appearance package designed to foist some of the aura of the brand’s F performance division onto pedestrian models. There’s no additional power.

While the brand already has two F models in the form of the GS F and RC F, there’s groundwork afoot to identify the right crossover for F duty. Surely you’re not surprised.

Speaking to Motor1 on the sidelines of last weekend’s Rolex 24, Cooper Ericksen, vice president for product planning and strategy at Lexus, said the prospect is an “active conversation” among company brass.

While Ericksen didn’t mention a specific model, Chika Kako, executive vice president and chief engineer to the Lexus UX, previously stated that the new subcompact crossover has “potential” to become the brand’s third F vehicle.

If turned into a street performer, the UX would adopt a ballsy hybrid system to do the deed. Currently, the UX, which went on sale in the U.S. in December, makes do with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a continuously variable transmission. Output for the 3,300-pound crossover is 168 hp and 151 lb-ft. (The engine does double duty in the Toyota Corolla hatch.)

The UX is a stepping stone designed to get urban Millennials into the brand, and a performance variant of said vehicle could endow the model with appeal that goes beyond just the premium badge. That said, a new F-badged crossover or SUV is still just a thought, not yet greenlit by Lexus uppity-ups.

“[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,” Kako told Motor1.

[Image: Lexus]

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  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jan 29, 2019

    Good for Lexus. If these guys are going over the CUV rainbow, they might as well make some that go fast.

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Jan 29, 2019

    The UX is FWD except for the Hybrid.They should make the sporty version AWD. We live on a steep hill and have an AWD RX ,currently looking to downsize,the NX is not much smaller,the lack of AWD for the UX means we will look elsewhere.

  • Bullnuke Chief Transition Officer, eh? And the term "Lean Manufacturing" being spoken... Is that the sound of the headsman's axe being ground sharp that I hear in the background? Brings back memories of the late '00s at my old OEM coatings plant.
  • BEPLA At the right price, would be a great EV conversion candidate.
  • BEPLA In other news: It costs more to eat out than to eat at home.
  • Kwik_Shift I like, because I don't have to look at them. Just by feel and location while driving.
  • Dwford This is the last time we are making these, so you better hurry up and buy (until the next time we make them, that is)