A patent application recently filed in the US suggests that Lexus has a new flagship model in the works. The big question is, what is it?
AutoGuide reports that Lexus applied to register the nameplate LQ for “automobiles and structural parts thereof.” Now as anyone familiar with the brand’s nomenclature will tell you, the letter L is typically applied to its top models. Think LS sedan, LC coupe, LX sport-ute, and the LFA supercar.
Q, on the other hand, is not a letter that Lexus typically uses. That’s more Infiniti’s style. So what could Lexus have in store for us?
The simplest answer could be “nothing.” Automakers often register names that never get used, whether they’re intended to or not at the time of application. But let’s assume for now that Toyota’s luxury division actually has a use in mind for the nameplate.
Arguably the most likely scenario, as AG points out, is a new crossover. The model would sit above the UX, NX, and RX in the brand’s crossover lineup. But LX is already used for the gussied-up Land Cruiser, and apparently the automaker is keen on keeping that model in its lineup rather than follow the lead of the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder in switching from a truck-like body-on-frame to a more car-like unibody construction.
Lexus showcased such a concept in the form of the LF-1 Limitless at the Detroit Auto Show this past January. And word has it that a production version could debut in Tokyo next year. If and when it does, don’t be too surprised to see it wearing the letters LQ – though its rivals at Infiniti might have a thing or two to say about that.