Small to medium-sized premium SUVs are hot, and Lexus aims to get in on the act with a hybrid SUV to be revealed in production form at next year’s Geneva show.
According to Automotive News Europe, Lexus chief Kazuo Ohara said a pre-production version of the pending NX compact crossover would be shown this November in Tokyo of the vehicle based on the RAV4’s platform.
Motive power for the NX hybrid is believed to be from the 2.5-liter gas engine/electric motor Hybrid Synergy Drive system from the Lexus IS 300h and ES 300h.
Although the NX is still a while away, the incentive is there for manufacturers to offer entries into the fast-growing small SUV segment.
In the European market, Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1 are the most popular, and others like Nissan’s Juke and Opel’s Mokka are following in the segment expected to triple in the next couple of years.
Industry observers have said the NX could be the first of several new crossovers from Lexus and further reports are either its GX or LX SUV lines could be converted to a car-based crossover.
Aside from a hybrid version of the NX, rumors also are that the line will be the first for Lexus to make use of turbocharging.