Lexus Is Building an LS-Based Flagship SUV that Could Have Over 600 HP: Report

Craving another high-performance SUV? Don’t you worry.

byJames Gilboy|
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Lexus has never been a company comfortable being outdone, so now that Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz all offer high-performance crossovers near the top of their respective ranges, Lexus has reportedly decided not to be shown up. Within a couple of years, the Japanese automaker will reportedly answer its German competitors with a crown jewel SUV of its own, said to be called the LQ.

The Lexus LQ is reported by Car and Driver to "share key structural elements" with the company's flagship sedan, the LS, possibly signaling use of the rear-drive TNGA-L platform. Lexus will reportedly power the LQ using engines borrowed directly from the LS, including the standard 3.4-liter, twin-turbo V6 making 416 horsepower and its optional hybrid powertrain, which joins a 3.5-liter V6 to twin electric motors to produce 354 horsepower.

A high-performance F trim "might" be Lexus's way of serving up a twin-turbo V8 variant boasting over 600 horsepower, says the publication, curiously echoing rumors of a similar vehicle that circulated in 2018. Word then was that Lexus was winding up a 661-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 SUV to sucker punch the 641-horsepower Lamborghini Urus, and salt the open wound by beating Lamborghini on price point. This same rumor supposed that there would be a base model with a familiar-sounding twin-turbo V6, albeit retuned to make 424 horsepower, with hybrid augmentation on the table.

Admittedly, these rumors don't fully corroborate each other's details. The 2018 story suggested the LQ F could top out at $150,000, whereas Car and Driver says the LQ won't stray far past the six-figure threshold. Its reveal was allegedly scheduled for 2020, though with coronavirus bringing car retail networks to their knees, Lexus could feasibly postpone the model's debut to launch it in more favorable economic conditions. If (or when) the LQ does hit showrooms, sale in the United States is likely; Lexus's parent company Toyota holds trademarks on the "LQ" nameplate in four countries, including Canada, China, France, and the States.

When contacted, Lexus declined to comment on the matter.

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