Lexus considers a small sport ute after all: While Toyota’s Lexus division has denied interest in such a vehicle in the past, the trend toward luxury compact sport utes has the company reconsidering. The new model would obviously slot below the RX 350, and compete with the Infiniti EX35, Acura RDX and the upcoming Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK. Toyota Motor Sales USA President Jim Lentz says that a small sport ute could appeal to customers “sick of the suburbs, but who don’t want to give up the utility of their SUV,” he told industry trade paper Automotive News. The new model would likely be based on the Toyota RAV4 platform, but that’s most likely where any similarities would end.
Ford’s convertible Focus will find its way to North America: The Sleuth’s spies in Germany report that Ford is ready to unveil a Focus Coupe-Cabriolet for the Euro market at the Geneva, Switzerland, motor show in March. The newly designed Coupe-Cabriolet with its retractable hardtop will be manufactured by the Italian company Pininfarina, which also had a hand in designing the car. Ford has a history of giving its European division models that are so much more attractive than the ones we see here. But the Sleuth’s tipsters say that change is on the way. The Focus in Europe will be the Focus here — including the Coupe-Cabriolet — by 2009. It is all exciting news for a brand that needs a jolt of WOW.