The Lexus UX hasn't even hit dealers; we just got done testing the tiny SUV on the streets of Stockholm. But rumours are already hinting at a hardcore F model. In an interview with the publication WhichCar?, UX Chief Engineer and Lexus Executive Vice President, Chika Kako, spilled some details on the rumoured hot-UV – but it's not so cut and dry.
When asked directly about a UX F, Kako said: 'Currently we haven't considered it.' But that doesn't mean that the company is shuttering the idea entirely. Previous reports suggest that Lexus' F range could move to hybrid power, and Kako hinted that – with a hardcore hybrid powertrain – the UX 'has potential' to become an F model.
Lexus is looking to the future:
'The intent of creating this vehicle is not just to create something that's accessible or cheap,' said Kako, 'but to create a vehicle for somebody that really likes the package that we've come up with…. Going back to hybrid technology we want to have a more performance-oriented, sporty image of the hybrid technology that we could offer.'
Already the Lexus UX has a hybrid option; the small SUV comes powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors that bring the total output to 175 bhp and 151 lb-ft of torque. But a warmed-up F model would require more power. The outgoing Audi SQ3 produced 200 bhp, and the Mercedes GLA 45 produces 375 bhp.
If the rumoured UX F does get the green light, don't expect it before 2020. The company is currently testing a hardcore F variant of its LC coupe, destined to arrive sometime in 2019, with an updated RC F expected to show up sometime later in the year.