Despite the fact that its segment may be one of the most ravaged by the market downturn, the Lexus GX may be getting a new generation, according to some sources.
Ward’s Auto is reporting that Toyota will reveal an all-new Lexus GX sometime this fall. The GX is a midsized luxury body-on-frame SUV that debuted in 2003 and shares its platform with the Toyota 4Runner. Seeing as the 2010 Toyota 4Runner already has been confirmed as a redesigned model, it’s not a big surprise that the GX will follow suit.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with the plans, Ward’s says the new GX will get the 310-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 from the 2010 Toyota Tundra in place of today’s 263-horsepower 4.7-liter V-8. As one would expect from a full redesign, the GX will get an all-new interior (including a “next-gen” navigation system) and all-new sheetmetal.
Speaking to Ward’s at a media preview for the Lexus HS 250h sedan in Newport Beach, California, Lexus General Manager Mark Templin said that despite falling sales of the midsize luxury segment, Lexus wants to keep a presence there.
“The largest SUVs have been hit the hardest, but there’s still a segment of the population that wants those vehicles,” he said. “(SUV owners) tow things. They play hard. They do a little bit of off-roading, not much. More than actually doing it, they want to know they can do it if they have to. We still think there’s a viable market with our GX.”
Templin declined to confirm the reports of the new GX being unveiled this fall.
The GX’s sales have declined in recent years as newer entries from other luxury carmakers have entered the market. Lexus sold 505 GX SUVs in April, down almost 70 percent compared to last year, while BMW sold 2065 X5s and Acura sold 2337 MDXs (both down about 40 percent). For the first four months of 2009, the GX is down 66 percent compared with the first four months of 2008, while the BMW and MDX are down 24 and 49 percent respectively for the same time period.