Mike Stevens | Aug 6, 2012

Among the premium brands, Lexus and Mercedes are currently conspicuous for not having an SUV in the small and medium segments.

But that could be about to change for one of the two at least, with reports surfacing of a compact new entry offering from Lexus.

Audi's local SUV line-up grew to three models this year with the debut of the small Q3 and BMW has a fighter in that arena with the X1.

But prestige rivals Mercedes, Lexus and Land Rover are limited to the larger M-Class, RX & GX, and Evoque SUVs.

While a direct rival for the Q3 has yet to appear in the Lexus line-up, a report by industry paper Automotive News suggests the Japanese brand is preparing to tackle the X1 and Q3 with a new model dubbed CX.

Slotting in below the RX, the new model will reportedly utilise the platform underpinning the new Toyota RAV4, driven by a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Despite the lack of test cars spied - a rarity, these days - the report claims that the new model will debut in Europe later this year.

The report follows comments from Lexus Europe VP Andy Pfeiffenberger to British magazine Auto Express that suggest the new model could be a little further away.

“We have been very slow to come to the market with a downsized SUV," Pfeiffenberger is quoted. “This is an area of our range that you will see develop over the next few years.”

For now, Lexus is appealing to buyers with a new four-cylinder version of its RX line-up, the RX 270, which launched in Australia in June this year.

The RX 270 is driven by a 2.7 litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 138kW and 252Nm of torque.

Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the RX 270 is available in front-wheel-drive form only and lists fuel consumption figures at 9.7 l/100km.

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