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Geneva show: Lexus to reveal production UX

Del-UX: Lexus will add another SUV to its stable, with the UX expected to slot in below the NX, RX and LX models.

Small UX crossover to bolster Lexus’ SUV range with hybrid reveal in Geneva

Lexus logo20 Feb 2018

By TUNG NGUYEN

LEXUS has confirmed it will unveil the production version of its UX crossover concept at next month’s Geneva motor show, revealing a single shadowy teaser image of the SUV’s rear wearing a 250h badge.

The hybrid variant corroborates at least one of the variants GoAuto uncovered last year that is expected to be offered in the new premium small SUV, with the other two – the UX200 and UX250 – still to be confirmed.

The single image also reveals brake lights that flow across the rear decklid to form an unbroken red line across the width of the UX, as well as subtle roof racks, stylised tail-lights and what could be black-plastic cladding protruding from the wheelarches.

According to the Japanese premium brand, the UX is “a power reinterpretation of the Lexus design signatures” and it reflects “the determination by Lexus for each of its models to have a unique, standalone character”.

If the skyline in the background looks familiar, that’s because it is Melbourne, however it is not a hint that any UX design work was conducted by Toyota’s Melbourne design studio.

Foreshadowed by the UX Concept revealed at the 2016 Paris motor show, the showroom-ready crossover will also likely drop the large hoops and small side mirrors of its forerunner, while other elements including Lexus’ trademark spindle front grille and sleek styling are likely to be retained.

Although not yet confirmed, the UX is rumoured to be built on the same Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) platform as Toyota’s C-HR crossover with similar dimensions, and will compete directly against the likes of the Audi Q2, Mini Countryman and soon-to-be-launched BMW X2.

Powertrain details are yet to be revealed, but the 250h badge indicates a hybrid offering that could be the same petrol-electric system that powers the latest Prius and the European market C-HR hybrid.

UX200 and UX250 versions will likely be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine found in the IS sedan, NX SUV and RC sportscar that have all changed their nomenclature from 200t to 300.

Lexus Australia has not made any secret about its desire to bring the UX to the local market, with product PR and events manager Nick Raman telling GoAuto that the outfit is keen to get the new small SUV into showrooms, however nothing is confirmed.

Slotting in under the NX as the Japanese luxury brand’s new entry-level crossover, the UX is poised to capitalise on the booming premium small-SUV segment that in 2017 grew 5.5 per cent and in the first month of the year has jumped 34.5 per cent.

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