Lexus revealed a version of its upcoming LBX crossover earlier this year with the Toyota GR Yaris’ engine crammed under the bonnet, and the company’s Australian arm has put its hand up for it.

    While the LBX Morizo RR is only a concept at this stage, it appears to be a logical fit as a new performance model for the Lexus lineup.

    Speaking to CarExpert, Lexus Australia CEO John Pappas said that no plans have been made at this stage for the LBX Morizo RR to enter production.

    If it does enter production, however, Lexus Australia is keen to get its hands on it.

    “That thing is awesome. We will definitely be looking, if that car can become available for us, we’d be very excited. Because it’s a great little performance grade for the LBX,” he said.

    “We’ll be watching very closely on that one.”

    The sporty LBX is powered by the three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the GR Corolla and updated GR Yaris.

    Instead of being offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, it uses the newly developed Direct Shift eight-speed automatic transmission that made its debut in the updated GR Yaris at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon.

    The hot LBX’s turbocharged 1.6-litre three-pot produces 224kW of power and 400Nm of torque, with power sent to all four wheels through an electronically controlled full-time all-wheel drive system.

    That’s more than twice as much power as in the regular LBX, which uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid powertrain with a total system output of 100kW.

    Lexus says the concept was inspired by Toyota Motor Corporation chairman Akio Toyoda, who goes by the nickname Morizo.

    It’s distinguished visually from the regular LBX through unique front and rear bumpers, which are claimed to contribute to “superior air flow”.

    Other exterior highlights include 19-inch multi-spoke aluminium wheels, yellow brake calipers, black mesh pattern grille, and a 10mm vehicle height reduction.

    Inside there are “exclusive” sport seats with yellow seat belts, as well as alloy pedals.

    The regular LBX, which is based on the same platform as the Toyota Yaris Cross, is set to go on sale in Australia in the first half of 2024 exclusively with hybrid power.

    MORE: Everything Lexus LBX

    Paul Maric

    Paul Maric is an Australian car expert based in Melbourne, Australia. Paul is a founder of CarExpert.com.au & formerly part of the CarAdvice founding team.

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