audi-q3-side

Lexus is readying a BMW X1 rival. Automotive News reports that Toyota’s luxury brand plans to show a production-ready premium compact SUV to rival the X1 and Audi’s Q3 (pictured above) at next year’s Geneva show, quoting a company source. To be based on Toyota’s RAV4, the new compact hybrid SUV will slot in below the current Lexus RX 450h.

It’s a Lexus, so it has to be hybrid, and the rumoured powertrain is the one currently found in the Lexus IS 300h, which pairs a 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol to an electric motor.

At the year opening Detroit auto show, Lexus chief Kazuo Ohara was reported to have said that a concept version of the SUV would be unveiled at the Tokyo motor show this November.

Lexus’ move to bolster its SUV range with a small member is logical – not only do the premium carmakers know that this segment is lucrative, mainstream brands have of late rushed out small SUVs like the Peugeot 2008, Ford Ecosport, Opel Mokka and Renault Captur. Nissan, an early player with the Qashqai, has since added the Juke.