Lexus has teased the third generation of its body-on-frame GX SUV, which has always been a more upscale version of the Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
The company’s local arm had no comment on the GX’s chances for a local launch.
That will give the brand an indirect replacement for the defunct three-row RX L, which must be a welcome relief for Lexus Australia given the recently teased unibody three-row TX crossover – related to the Toyota Grand Highlander – is understood to be left-hand drive-only.
A couple of teaser images released by the brand, indicating an imminent reveal, show styling elements similar to the larger LX.
These include its squared-off bonnet, slim headlights with L-shaped daytime running lights, and a full-width light bar underneath the Lexus wordmark.
Lexus has previously indicated it would launch three new models in three new segments in Australia by mid-2024, with another set to be the LM people mover. It’s unclear at this stage what the third will be.
It had also trademarked the GX550 nameplate locally in 2021, fuelling speculation the GX would finally come here after around two decades.
The GX is likely to drop its petrol V8 engine in favour of a twin-turbo V6 petrol.
Based on the 550 designation, it could be less powerful than the twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 in the LX600. The flagship Lexus SUV produces 305kW of power and 650Nm of torque.
The outgoing GX460 uses an atmo 4.6-litre V8 producing 224kW and 446Nm. The vehicle is aimed predominantly at the North American market, though it’s also sold in some other markets like Vietnam, the Philippines and Panama.
The GX has always been built in Japan, but has always been produced exclusively in left-hand drive.
Also expected to move to this architecture is the next Prado, reportedly set to launch in Japan before the end of this year, as well as its counterpart for markets like North America, the similarly aged 4Runner.
Reports out of Japan have varyingly suggested the next Prado could use the 300 Series’ 3.3-litre turbo-diesel V6, as well as a hybrid 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four, a hybrid 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four, and even the Tundra’s new twin-turbo 3.5-litre hybrid V6.