Lexus has announced plans to launch a second flagship model in the not-too-distant future.
“We need a flagship. It doesn’t have to be a sedan,” revealed Jeff Bracken, Lexus’ general manager, in an interview with Reuters.
The executive didn’t say what will join the LS at the top of the Lexus lineup. A plausible option is that Bracken is referring to the production version of the LF-LC concept that has recently been spotted undergoing shakedown testing in California. Built on a shortened version of the platform that will underpin the next-gen LS, the coupe will essentially be a toned-down version of the stunning concept that previewed it.
Bracken could also be referring to a new range-topping crossover. The RX, the company’s biggest soft-roader, is aimed at the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The next model up in the Lexus hierarchy is the bigger GX, an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV whose roots go back to the UN-friendly Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that’s sold in a number of global markets. The GX is a popular option for buyers who need to tow or go off the beaten path, but it has a difficult time competing with the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE in terms of performance and fuel economy. The same applies to the LX, which is essentially a spruced-up Toyota Land Cruiser.
Lexus has previously hinted that it plans on quickly adding a bigger crossover to its lineup.
“Third-row seating is the No. 1 issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we’re missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We’re working hard to rectify that,” revealed the executive last year in an interview with trade journal Automotive News.
Bracken confirmed that Lexus’ second flagship will be introduced in January, meaning that it will most likely greet the public for the first time — either as a concept or as a regular-production model — at next year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show. Incidentally, that’s where the original LF-LC concept was presented.
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