Lexus has unveiled a concept compact SUV at the Paris motor show, which is said to strongly predict the brand’s future direction.
Industry rumours suggest a production model evolved from the UX concept will replace the current CT 200h as Lexus reacts to the mushrooming appeal of crossovers.
Created by the Lexus design studio in France, the UX is described by the brand’s European CEO, Johan van Zyl, as a “vision of a premium urban crossover for the future.”
The model retains Lexus trademark styling signatures, such as the spindle grille, sharp body creases and L-shaped lights, but in what van Zyl dubs “An entirely new interpretation.”
The car is smaller than existing Lexus crossovers, adding weight to predictions that it will become a new model line, and its coupe-like body shell includes rear-hinged back doors.
The doors merge into the large wheelarches and a signature touch is the grouping of the door handles for front and rear next to each other. However whether such details as a see-through front windscreen pillar will make it to production remains to be seen.
Inside the UX is said to offer “imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience”, alongside the high quality finishes for which the brand has become renowned.
The brand’s Kinetic Seat Technology is employed, while the instrumentation uses HMI technology to give a 3D impression.
Mechanical details of the car have not been revealed though it is bound to use a hybrid powertrain. In his speech unveiling the UX van Zyl reveals that a staggering 98% of all European Lexus sales are of hybrid cars.
“We offer the broadest range of premium hybrids in the industry with ten different models, and we sell more than any other manufacturer,” he says.
The range-topping LC is also making its debut on the Lexus stand in Paris. Using a new multi-stage hybrid system, the car is due on sale in January 2017.