Lexus plans to take its long-anticipated plunge in the premium small crossover segment with the debut of the UX at the Geneva auto show on March 6.
Lexus confirmed the Geneva debut in a statement on Tuesday outlining its show plans
While Lexus gave no further details, a spokesman for its parent Toyota Motor said the vehicle is the production version of the UX Concept shown at the 2016 Paris auto show.
It will get a more toned-down design than the aggressive-looking UX Concept, which had heavy creasing, bold blister fenders, angular wheel wells and a massive mesh version of the brand’s trademark spindle grille.
The UX is expected to be based off the Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover, which is built on Toyota’s TNGA modular platform that also underpins the Prius.
Powertrain details for the UX concept are still under wraps, but the production version could use at least one of the three available globally in the C-HR: a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder in the U.S. and a hybrid powertrain or a 1.2-liter turbo four cylinder available outside the U.S.
All-wheel-drive is also a possibility.
The UX nameplate helps round out the Lexus lineup with a crossover-styled vehicle at the small end of the spectrum as customers flock to crossovers of all stripes.
The Lexus NX was the top-selling compact premium crossover in the U.S. last year, and the RX topped the premium midsize ranking. There is little competition in the luxury small segment outside the Infiniti QX30. But mass market subcompact crossover sales in the U.S. surged 14 percent last year, despite the overall market’s slump.
Lexus executives have long wanted to tap that demand.
Lexus sold 45,098 cars in Europe last year, up 1.5 percent, of which almost 20,000 were the NX, according to figures from JATO Dynamics.