Tony O'Kane | Oct 23, 2012

Lexus Australia has reaffirmed its desire for a compact SUV variant, acknowledging the absence of a sub-RX crossover as one of the most substantial gaps in its line-up.

Speaking to the media at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb said that a compact SUV was high on his wishlist.

“I'd have to say the one part of the market that is growing dramatically and is where we really do need an entrant is probably small SUVs,” Mr. Cramb said.

“That's an area that seems to be in demand from the luxury customer. It'd definitely be a volume vehicle for us, there's no doubt about that.”

But although internal studies are underway to evaluate a potential small SUV design, Cramb says the lead times involved could put the market debut for such a model as far away as 2017.

“If we got the greenlight today, then it's potentially a five-year delay,” he said.

Cramb did, however, confirm that any possible Lexus compact SUV would be more than just a re-skinned RAV4:

“The discussion is definitely around building a Lexus-specific vehicle. If it was going to be built, it would be entirely Lexus.”

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