Under the hood of this Lexus compact crossover is the 300 hp turbo-triple heart from a GR Yaris.
While there has long since been rumours of Toyota to soon be plonking the GR Yaris’ turbo triple heart into a Lexus-fied GR 86, it appears however that the first model of the Japanese automaker’s luxury lineup to be powered by this tiny yet potent power plant was to be its LBX compact crossover instead.
Known by its full name as the Lexus LBX Morizo RR, this showcar that makes up part of Toyota’s wider 2024 Tokyo Auto Show lineup comes shoved within its arches the recently-updated GR Yaris’ turbocharged 1.6-litre G16E-GTS. This hence translates to a power and torque output of 304 PS and 400 Nm, which is certainly more than double the 134 hp its 1.5-litre electrified triple currently churns out in standard form.
And much like the updated GR Yaris, driving all four wheels in this compact crossover concept is to be Toyota’s new eight-speed Direct Shift Transmission. Lexus however has remained coy on whether the standard six-speed manual on the hot hatch will also be made available with this hot LBX, but you and I both likely know the depressing answer to that question…
In any case, alongside the engine upgrade in this hot Lexus concept is a slightly lowered ride height and stiffer suspension. A set of massive disk brakes all round (18-inch ventilated units up front and 16-inch round the rear) with yellow calipers also should help bring this LBX to a stop as quickly as it should go.
As for the other aesthetic changes meanwhile, a mean set of black-painted 19-inch alloy wheels complements more aggressive front fascia with a blacked-out grille and redesigned rear bumper featuring the same twin tailpipes as the GR Yaris. Found inside this concept as well are a pair of sports seats up front with exclusive yellow seat belts and a set of alloy pedals.
Now as the Morizo in this concept name implies, it should therefore not come as a surprise to discover that the automaker’s master driver (and incidentally chairman) has played a key role in pushing for this project to go from an idea to a physical prototype. It however remains to be seen whether Akio Toyoda will have enough sway to get this tarted-up version of Lexus’ Yaris Cross to dealerships, where it will certainly make for a better-looking alternative to the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45.