Lexus is reportedly weighing its options for a seven-seat soft-roader SUV, but a decision - and production - could be still some time away.
According to Lexus brand boss Jeff Bracken, the leading proposals at this stage are an all-new model, or a stretched version of the RX SUV.
Speaking with industry paper Automotive News, Bracken said that a three-row option in the Lexus range has been the number-one request from dealers.
For now, the only seven-seat ‘SUV’ in the Lexus range is the Toyota Prado-based GX, but dealers say buyers want a softer ride than the body-on-frame GX can offer.
And with the GX available in the US only and selling in small volumes, a more premium - and global - model is needed.
“We feel like we're missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We're working hard to rectify that,” Bracken told Automotive News.
Lexus parent Toyota is known to have registered the trademark ‘TX’, although it is unclear what role the badge will play in the line-up, or which architecture it will be built around.
An all-new RX SUV, again sharing its platform with the Kluger - which saw an all-new model launch this year - is expected to debut late in 2015.
We could see five- and seven-seat options made available with that new RX range, or Lexus may instead launch a unique TX model specifically as a seven-seater.
"It could be any number of solutions," Bracken said. "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."
For now, we can look forward to the compact NX SUV joining the Lexus range in the near future, with a hybrid model hitting Australia later this year and a new turbo variant arriving in 2015.
Watch this space.
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