You know what’s great about gearheads being at the helm of a car company instead of dour bedwetting accountants? Entertaining product tends to crop up, that’s what. And while the machine shown here is not intended for the North American market, we think there could be a case for it on this side of the pond.
This is the Lexus LBX, a tiny machine which is nearly a foot shorter than the already diminutive UX crossover that’s been on sale in America for a spell. At the Tokyo Auto Salon happening right now in, well, Tokyo, Lexus showed off an LBX Morizo RR Concept which takes much in terms of powertrain from the hyperactive GR line of grin-makers.
A turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine making about 300 horsepower puts power to all four wheels through an electronically controlled AWD system and Direct Shift eight-speed automatic transmission. Lexus says “all key elements” of the car have been honed for performance compared to a stock LBX, including tweaks made to the suspension and tires. We see some aero changes to the body on this concept car, alterations which were apparently ripped from lessons learned through technologies in the world of high-speed air racing.
The model, a concept for now, was created with direct input from Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman and Master Driver Akio Toyoda – also known as “Morizo”. Remember the gearhead versus accountant shade thrown above? Yeah, that’s where those differences come into clear play. Chairman Toyoda is a huge part of the reason Toyota as a brand is finally and mercifully crawling away from years of Big Beige, with tremendous cars like the Supra and GR Corolla forming cornerstones of a march back to sportiness.
What do you think? Would this type of machine add to the Lexus brand in our market or would it dilute its focus in a showroom filled with three-row crossovers and large luxury vehicles?
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