Lexus To Launch Small Crossover Next Year In Geneva

Rav4-Based Model Headed For Europe.

Next year at the Geneva Motor Show, Lexus will introduce a small premium crossover designed to fend off the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. Automotive News reports that the Lexus model will be based on the Toyota RAV4 and could be shown in concept form at the Tokyo Motor Show this November.

The new Lexus small premium crossover would reportedly use a hybrid powertrain that includes a 2.5-liter inline-four gasoline engine. It would be Lexus’s first entry into the popular new segment, and an important model for the European market. Lexus doesn’t currently offer any crossovers smaller than the RX (pictured), which is considerably larger than many premium crossovers sold in Europe.

The BMW X1 and Audi Q3 have already cornered that market overseas, and Mercedes-Benz will soon join, too. The German company confirmed it will build a compact crossover, likely called the GLA-Class, on the MFA flexible chassis that underpins Europe’s A-Class and the U.S.-market CLA-Class. By repurposing the existing Toyota Rav4 platform, Lexus will be able to reduce development costs of its new crossover.

In the U.S., Buick entered the compact premium crossover segment with the 2013 Encore. That car is sold in Europe as the Chevrolet Trax and Opel Mokka.

Source: Automotive News

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