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Lexus compact crossover to be introduced in Geneva

Presumably meaning Urban Crossover, Lexus UX will be built on new platform

Published: February 28, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: March 4, 2018, 3:30 AM

Lexus UX Crossover

Lexus, which had earlier signalled intentions to unveil its new compact utility vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show, has now released an image of the upcoming UX.

Lexus UX Crossover

Although Toyota hasn’t released much information on the new crossover utility (presumably, UX stands for Urban CROSSover), there are a couple things we do know or can ascertain.

Although it’s not readily evident from the grille badge, the new model is a hybrid. Lexus usually adds a blue hue to the grille and rear deck badges on its hybrid models and it’s there if you look closely enough, but more telling is the script at the bottom of the rear doors, which reads HYBRID.

2010 Lexus HS 250h info gauge

The other badge of note is on the fender directly behind the front wheel — the F marque badge, indicative of Lexus’s “flagship” status in each model line, and also its sportiest designation. In this model, the F will likely designate an F-Sport package, rather than a UX F model.

We base that deduction on an earlier teaser image of the rear, showing slim taillamps carved out of the rear haunches, with a full-width LED strip across the hatch-gate. Boosting the light, shows that the nameplate in the lower right corner of the door seems to read UX 250h, again pointing to a hybrid and likely designating use of an updated powertrain probably using a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept

Borrowing styling cues from the recently introduced LF-1 Limitless concept, the new UX is touted by Lexus for its bold and stylish design, and expressive bodywork, but our first impression is that it looks (at least from the front) like other Lexus models in the current lineup, with the large, jutting spindle grille, sleek headlamp bezels with integrated arrowhead LED running lights, and multi-level sharp creases along the bodysides. It also looks like it has sensors or cameras underneath the side mirrors, so it likely has blind-spot monitoring, and perhaps also lane-keep assist; but if it’s a camera, it might have an overhead rendering for parking assist.

Built on a new platform, the UX’s high beltline and accentuated wheel haunches promote muscularity, which is kind of counter to the “urban” intent of the CUV. In fact, the low centre of gravity and improved body rigidity is more amenable to on-road ride smoothness and handling precision.

Lexus UX Crossover interior from video screen grab

We anticipate the next tidbit of information Lexus releases will concern the interior, which this time around can only be quickly glimpsed at in a released video teaser. It’s described as being big on technology and style (and again, seems to be very much in keeping with current Lexus vehicles), with heavy emphasis on driver-focussed presentation (though it’s hard to tell if it features all convenient controls on recent Lexus models).

The world premiere of the new Lexus UX will take place in Geneva on March 6.