People really love small SUVs. While I’m all for compact versions of capable all-wheel-drive people haulers, do they have to be such incredible eyesores?
The current craze consists of coupe-like crossovers with steeply angled hatches and raked windshields. Think Acura ZDX, BMW X6, and to a certain extent the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. Porsche may even enter the game with a small SUV called the Cajun. While the automakers are crazy for these oddities, I’m not sure the car-buying public has latched on with quite the same fervor.
BMW seems satisfied enough with sales of its X6 that it plans to build an X4, which would be based off the newly introduced 2011 X3. Neither the X6 nor the X3 will win any beauty contests, but the sketches for the X4 are nearly vomit-inducing. If the AMC Eagle were being revived today, it would look exactly like this. Not good.
Autoweek says of the coming ‘ute:
Although it shares the same floorpan, drivelines, chassis, and engineering hard points as the X3, the X4 is set to receive individual styling in a move to give it a more sporting image and enable BMW to position it higher than the SUV upon which it is based.
I simply read that as: “The X4 is a more expensive and less attractive version of the X3.” Awesome. Where do I sign?
The BMW X4 isn’t set to hit dealers until 2014, so the normally brilliant minds at Bimmer have some time to rethink this one.
A project that doesn’t need much rethinking is one from Lexus. The Japanese luxury carmaker certainly isn’t known for its sports cars, save for the supersonic LFA, but that could change. A report from Motor Trend says that Lexus is planning a successor to its SC 430, tentatively called the LC 600h.
The LC would retain a convertible form with a retractable hardtop, however engineers want this roadster to go seriously upper class and compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. That’s no easy task, but Lexus thinks a version of the LS 600h L’s 5.0-liter V8 hybrid system would do the trick. Power would total at least 500 horsepower and the sprint to 60 would take less than 5 seconds.
As great as that sounds, don’t expect to put your deposit on a new LC 600h until 2015.
Would you buy the BMW X4?