Lexus to Add Seven-Seat Crossover to Lineup
Lexus has seen great success with its RX midsize SUV, but customers are demanding seven-passenger vehicles. While the Japanese automaker offers such an option with the GX 460, its body-on-frame structure makes the ride too truck-like. The solution? Expand the current RX 350 or produce an all-new vehicle. "Third-row seating is the No. 1 issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we're missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We're working hard to rectify that," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus Division chief, at the 2014 New York Auto Show.Back in 2007, Lexus debuted the LF-Xh concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, but thanks to the recession, production plans were halted. With the demand for a seven-seat crossover on the rise, it looks as if Lexus may revive that concept. Right now, Toyota has applied for a trademark for the TX nameplate, but it's not clear whether this new model will feature the Highlander-Camry-Avalon front-wheel drive architecture for improved packaging or the Lexus IS/GS sedans' rear-wheel drive structure for a sporty drive. Then again, the automaker could just stretch the current RX model to accommodate a third row. Bracken went on to say, "It could be any number of solutions. We could bring it to market in 2016 or 2017. If we can get it, that's the priority. We won't be bothered if it steps on RX. We want it." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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