Rumor: Lexus working on the CX 300h hybrid baby crossover

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 4, 2011

One of the six new hybrids that Toyota is planning to launch by the end of 2012 is a new Lexus, according to German car magazine AutoBild. This new Lexus is a smaller sibling for the brand's very popular RX 450h hybrid crossover utility vehicle.

This new compact crossover, which is dubbed as the CX 300h, will be based on the Toyota RAV4. This suggests that like the RAV4, it could be produced in North America too.

Currently, there is no RAV4 hybrid model but from these reports, it’s likely that there will be a RAV4 Hybrid. Having two compact hybrid crossovers would be similar to the setup between the bigger Lexus RX 450h and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which are built on the same basic platform.

Toyota is expected to launch a fully electric conversion of the RAV4, which will go on sale in 2012. The limited-production model is engineered by Tesla and was first shown at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

It’s expected to be named the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV. The upcoming Lexus CX 300h will be going up against the smallest crossovers from other luxury brands, such as the BMW X1, the upcoming Audi Q3, the Infiniti EX, and the Cadillac SRX.

There are also a few in the industry who believe that the powertrain for this CX 300h will be the larger 2.5-liter four that’s featured in the Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in the Camry Hybrid and the unsuccessful HS 250h dedicated hybrid sedan.

A smaller hybrid crossover would add to Lexus’ strength since the RX crossover line remains to be a mainstay in the U.S., its most powerful global market. As of May 2011, the RX line made up 45 percent of Lexus’ US sales so far this year.

Topics: lexus, crossover

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