LEXUS WILL SHOWCASE a new SUV concept at the Paris motor show later this month. The vehicle is set to preview a future hybrid production model to replace the CT200h hybrid hatchback. Called the UX Concept, it is said by Lexus to have been created to offer a glimpse of the brand’s future design direction. Its look was penned at Lexus’s European design centre, ED2, and is said to target “a progressive, urban audience living in a connected environment”. A single image has been released ahead of the car’s debut, showing that it’s a five-door model that mixes swelled wheel arches with a coupe-like roofline. It has carriage doors, with front and rear door handles next to each other in the centre of the car.
A pair of rear-facing cameras take the place of conventional door mirrors, and although the cabin has not been shown yet, Lexus said it features “imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience”, hinting at the fitment of an advanced infotainment system. It added that materials mix traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques. The car appears smaller than Lexus’s other SUV models, the RX and NX. This supports information from sources that the concept previews a successor to the CT200h, which sits below the RX and NX in Lexus’s current line-up.
Given the rapid growth in demand for jacked-up crossover models, swapping a hatchback for a compact SUV would make sense. Many of Lexus’s rivals, including Mercedes-Benz and BMW, already offer compact SUVs. Although no technical information on the concept has been released, a pair of rear tailpipe surrounds suggests a combustion engine is used. Considering that the CT200h uses a petrol-hybrid drivetrain, it is likely the concept will be hybrid or incorporate electrified power. The UX Concept will make its world debut at the Paris motor show on 29 September.