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Lexus plans small crossover

Fri, 05 Apr 2013

Lexus plans to show a production-ready compact SUV to rival the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 at the 2014 Geneva motor show, a company source said.

The hybrid model, which will be based on the redesigned Toyota RAV4, will slot below the Lexus RX 450h.

It was unclear if or when the vehicle would come to North America. Toyota Europe declined to comment on future plans for the model.

At the Detroit auto show in January, Lexus chief Kazuo Ohara said a concept version of the SUV would be unveiled at the Tokyo motor show in November.

The compact SUV will likely use the Toyota hybrid drivetrain currently found in the Avalon sedan, which uses a four-cylinder 2.5-liter gasoline engine mated to an electric motor.

Automakers are racing to add small SUVs to their lineups because of the popularity of models such as the Audi Q3 and Buick Encore.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report

By Michael Knauer- Automobilwoche