Toyota Yaris Cross made its global debut a few days ago
As per international media reports, Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus is reportedly planning to develop a mini SUV based on the recently unveiled Yaris Cross. Reported to be named as Lexus BX, the new entry-level SUV would be positioned below UX which is currently the smallest crossover in Lexus’ global portfolio.
Small premium crossovers are in the vogue in major automotive markets, especially in Europe and Asia. The new Lexus mini SUV in question is expected to share its underpinnings and powertrain lineup with the Toyota Yaris Cross but one can expect it to adopt a completely different top hat.
The Lexus BX is certain to adopt the Japanese luxury brand’s trademark spindle grille and edgy LED headlamps. Like every other Lexus, we expect the new mini SUV to feature flashy chrome details and edgy sheet metal surfaces. To some extent, interior design and components are likely borrowed from the larger UX.
Powering the new Lexus mini SUV would be the Yaris Cross’ 1.5-liter petrol hybrid powertrain which has a combined output of 116 hp. Lexus, being a premium brand, may squeeze more performance out of this system. While the standard variants are expected to be equipped with a CVT driving the front wheels, it is also being reported that a go-faster F could also be in the works with all-wheel drive capability.
With an estimated price tag of around 28,000 euros, the Lexus BX mini SUV will be locking horns with the likes of Audi Q2 and would be aiming to attract young audience under its umbrella. Likely to be manufactured at Toyota’s French production facility alongside its Toyota sibling, the BX could emerge as an important volume spinner for the brand in the medium term. It is expected to make its world premiere in 2023.
The Toyota Yaris Cross has the right size and specifications to be an interesting prospect for India. However, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has already committed itself to introduce its own version of the Maruti Vitara Brezza in our market to fill the crossover-shaped hole in its local portfolio. That being said, Lexus may be interested in bringing its BX to our market.
In India, Lexus is the newest luxury brand and has a long way to go before standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the well established German giants. A unique proposition like a mini crossover which has no direct rivals from the competition could give Lexus the much needed break in our market.