Although it hasn’t received many updates for the 2015 model year, the Lexus RX 350 remains a strong competitor in the crossover market mainly due to its luxurious cabin and smooth ride. However, the vehicle lacks the power of its main rivals and, more importantly, it doesn’t come with the third-row seat featured in the Acura MDX for instance.
Lexus is obviously aware of the latter, especially with many customer complaints reaching its headquarters via dealers, and, according to brand chief Jeff Bracken, the company is planning on resolving this issue by rolling out a seven-seat crossover under the TX nameplate.
"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," Bracken told Automotive News, without going into specifics.
Despite the lack of details, it appears that the vehicle is likely to be a car-based crossover underpinned by either the platform used for the Toyota Highlander/Camry (FWD) or the architecture found under the Lexus IS and GS sedans (RWD). Specifically, the seven-seat crossover will be similar in size to the RX, with a slightly longer body to provide additional third-row space inside the cabin. "We won’t be bothered if it steps on RX. We want it," Bracken was quoted saying.
A little more than a clean sheet of paper at the time of this writing, the vehicle won’t arrive until "2016 or 2017" and there’s no word as to what engines might be offered. The TX name remains unconfirmed for the time being, but the aforementioned source reports that Toyota has already applied for a trademark.
Note: The recently unveiled Lexus RX pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Lexus TX.