By Steve Laser
The new Lexus LBX went on sale in Europe and Japan last year as the luxury brand’s smallest crossover. While the “Premium Casual” production models can be customized with Bespoke Build color and trim options, Lexus took it to the next level at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Called the Lexus LBX Morizo RR Concept, the performance-focused model was developed with direct input from a famous master driver – Morizo, better known as Akio Toyoda, is chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.
The concept made its debut at “Morizo Garage,” a combined display of Toyota GAZOO Racing and Lexus at Tokyo Auto Salon. The LBX concept shared the stage with other Morizo favorites, including the Toyota Century GRMN.
Exterior modifications for the new LBX concept include Sonic Chrome paint, a custom front bumper, grille, fender arch and rocker moldings. The grille sports a yellow unified spindle accent, a color inspired by Morizo’s sneakers.
There’s a customized rear bumper and Morizo RR badge on the tailgate. The LBX concept rides on 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped with 235/45R19 tires. Upgraded brakes include 18-inch ventilated front and 16-inch rear discs with yellow calipers.
Under the hood is the first Lexus 1.6-liter 3-cylinder intercooled turbo engine (G16E-GTS), with 224 kW (304 PS) at 6,500 rpm, and 400 Nm of torque 3,250 to 4,600 rpm. It’s teamed with a Direct Shift 8-speed automatic and electronically controlled full-time All-Wheel Drive.
Along with the turbo engine, the suspension, AWD control, and transmission have all been refined for performance driving. In comparison, the regular production LBX features a self-charging HEV system with a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine (100 kW total system output) and e-CVT.
Inside, the concept gains special sport seats, aluminum pedals, yellow seatbelts, and Morizo RR logos. In summary, the LBX Morizo RR Concept provides unique casual luxury, “that Morizo himself could enjoy on weekends as a trusted partner, like his favorite pair of comfortable, well-worn sneakers,” says TGR/Lexus.
News sources and photos courtesy of Toyota GAZOO Racing and Lexus
Note: The LBX Morizo RR is a concept vehicle and is not for sale
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