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Lexus UX crossover is go

U turn: The Lexus UX concept will become a production reality according to one of the company’s most senior executives.

Production version of quirky Lexus UX Concept confirmed for production


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8 Mar 2017


LEXUS’ sub-NX crossover has officially been given the green light for production and will hit showrooms in the coming years to take on the likes of Audi’s new Q2.

The sub-compact SUV will be based on the quirky UX Concept that Lexus uncovered at last year’s Paris motor show.

The existence of a production version of the UX was confirmed by executive vice-president of Lexus International, Yoshihiro Sawa, on the Japanese car-maker’s stand at the Geneva show overnight.

Mr Sawa said the success of the NX and larger RX proved that the company could entice new buyers with SUVs, and there is sufficient potential in an even smaller segment.

“We already introduced the (small) concept model and so far NX is so successful – NX and RX. We are kind of confident with the small concept cars.”

When asked if the UX would get the sign off for production, Mr Sawa said:“We are doing. Of course we are doing.

“Please expect UX.”

While he was unable to provide timing for the new entry-level SUV, he said it was “not so far away”.

When pressed further on whether a second-generation version of the ageing CT hybrid premium hatch was being developed, Mr Sawa said it was “also a secret”.

The UX Concept carried Lexus’ latest edgy exterior design with a massive spindle grille and pointed headlights, as well as a futuristic cabin, and the Japanese car-maker is known for pushing many show car features through to production.

It is likely that the production version of the UX concept would be built using Lexus’ parent company’s Toyota New Global Architecture that also underpins the just launched C-HR crossover.

Lexus Australia product PR and events manager Nick Raman told GoAuto when the UX was revealed last year that if a production model was to be made available, the company would have its hand up for it.

“We would be very interested in the UX if it became available as a production vehicle,” he said at the time.

As well as the freshly launched Q2, the UX could face competition from the new Mini Countryman and other slightly larger models including the Infiniti Q30, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1.

Mr Sawa said the recent change in design direction and emphasis on building an edgy brand image was having an impact on the age of Lexus buyers.

“Except IS and small car CT, Lexus owners’ age becomes older and older. Because loyal users are always changing the car, but the average age is going up. So this year we would like to shift buyers’ age to younger. Maybe two peaks – younger buyer and loyal buyer.”

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