Lexus Admit They Are Considering A High-Performance SUV

Lexus likes to look at itself as a rival to the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. However, its family of models is nowhere near as extensive and it lacks a single high-performance SUV to fight those of its German competitors. This, however, could change.

During an interview with Motor1 prior to the 24 Hours of Daytona last weekend, Lexus vice president for product planning and strategy, Cooper Ericksen, said that the Japanese automaker is indeed considering such a model.

According to Ericksen, one of the most important things Lexus is trying to determine is what form a high-performance Lexus SUV could take.

“[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.”

Performance-focused SUVs from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar, typically place a priority on road performance at the sacrifice of off-roading abilities. In all likelihood, Lexus would go down a similar route with a go-faster version of one of its high-riding models.

As for what would be the most likely Lexus SUV model to get such a version, that remains unknown but the UX, RX, and LX are all possible candidates, but if we had to choose we’d lean more towards the RX to bring the fight to the X5 M and GLE 63 AMG. Among the key boxes which Lexus would need to tick include sporty handling, gobsmacking power, and eye-catching looks.

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  • Refayat Haque

    I would say that this new SUV will ride on a all new RWD-biased chassis, none of Lexus’ current SUV offerings have a performance-influenced design (they’re all economy-minded FWD platforms and the big SUVs are on prehistoric body-on-frame platforms). The LF-1 Limitless concept is probably what this performance SUV will end up looking like, they’ll probably create a Q8ish SUV, but with a long hood and an obvious RWD chassis.

  • BlackPegasus

    Yeah, because soccer moms and certified public accountants are demanding a performance variant suv. 🙄


    It’s not going to be the RX. It’s going to be a new model that’s going to compete with the Q8 or so.

  • ztamg04

    There’s no way the RX could compete with the big boys…it doesn’t even have a V8..anywhere in its range. The X5, the GLE, and the Q7 all use either juiced up 6 cylinders, or (SQ7, X50i, GLE550) V8’s. It will probably be a new model for another reason: dynamics. The RX drives like a pregnant sea-cow.

    • OdysseyTag

      LMAO Pregnant sea-cow.

  • botornot387

    The current RX definitely wouldn’t be it. It could never handle AMG type power and would likely be prone to flipping over if it ever had to go into a corner at speed. The UX could possibly get a mile power treatment. It’s got better size, and a smaller size. My bet is on a next gen RX if it moves to a true GLE competitor or a brand new vehicle entirely

  • MarketAndChurch

    They need either a flagship SUV like the LF-1 concept, or more importantly, an electric SUV like the Model X, or Ford’s upcoming “mustang-inspired” electric SUV. If they can’t afford that right now, than don’t waste resources on something that very few will buy over a competing German product.

  • Joe E

    Lexus needs to accept its place as the “New Oldsmobile” and not even bother with this. In fact, a hot RX would be the modern-day equivalent of the Olds Toronado Trofeo. It won’t sway buyers from other marques, and I think a true hi-po version would intimidate the Lexus customer. Putting all eggs in the RX and ES basket has come home to roost. Not worth the investment. Instead, they should use the energy to inject a bit more verve into their F-sport trims, but anything beyond is a waste on their mainstream models.

    • getoffme

      LOL. Oldsmobile wished it was as successful as Lexus. Literally.

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