With the recent addition of the RC-F coupe, Lexus has gained some performance clout over previous endeavors. The 2020 models gets a shorter rear-axle gearing, and the Track Edition is 60 pounds lighter, while gaining more aggressive aerodynamics. The automaker is showing signs of a possible evolution for the F brand.
At the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, one of the many events held in Daytona Beach, Florida, Cooper Erickson, Vice President for product planning and strategy at Lexus, discussed with the Motor1 the “active conversation” involving the F-badged crossover or SUV. Chika Kako, executive Vice President and chief engineer to the Lexus UX, stated that the crossover has the possibility of joining the F family as a high-horsepower gasoline-electric hybrid. However, Erickson explained that Lexus is still in the deliberation stage of deciding what the F crossover or SUV will represent for the automaker.
The body-on-frame Lexus GX and LX models offer the diverse ability to drive and go anywhere. Lexus has built the brand on the luxury, comfort, and drivablility. The F sub-brand will need to develop a different design approach to create a high-performance vehicle capable of going off-road.
The Lexus F performance sub-brand doesn’t translate with buyers the same way the BMW M or Mercedes-Bens AMG does with their customers and enthusiasts. The UX-F would be designed to compete with the BMW X2 M35i and Mercedes-Bens GLA45 AMG. Does the market need a Lexus version of an off-road crossover? Should it be left to the Toyota sister-brand? In all reality, the F-branded crossover or SUV will most likely focus on on-road handling and not off-road performance, and remain exclusive to the luxury automaker’s coupes and sedan production side.
Image Credit: Lexus