Lexus Put The Toyota GR Corolla Engine In This Tiny Crossover
At long last, Lexus introduces a model equipped with the punchy three-cylinder engine found in the GR Yaris and GR Corolla. However, this isn’t another hot hatch; instead, it’s a sporty subcompact crossover. Launched last year, the LBX is a premium variant of the Yaris Cross. At the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota’s luxury division showcased a concept powered by the G16E-GTS unit.
Smaller than the UX available in the United States, the LBX now packs a mighty 300-hp punch from its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. The inline-three unit produces 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, perfectly matching the GR Corolla Morizo Edition. Interestingly, the conceptual performance crossover also bears the Morizo moniker, the nickname of Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda.
While the GR Corolla is exclusively available with a six-speed manual gearbox, the spicy LBX comes equipped with a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission. This torque-converter ‘box made its debut in the 2024 GR Yaris at the same Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan this week. Similar to its application in the hot hatch, the transmission powers all four wheels in the small crossover, which, for now, remains at the concept stage.
Known by its full name as the Lexus LBX Morizo RR, the showcar from TAS sits slightly closer to the road thanks to a stiffer suspension setup. It also has a wider body and 19-inch wheels shod in 235/45 R19 tires. The engineers fitted a MacPherson strut front suspension and a double-wishbone rear, along with disc brakes at all corners. It also has a bunch of yellow accents as a nod to Akio Toyoda’s signature color.
A high-performance LBX would bring a colossal bump in output compared to the regular version, which features a puny hybrid powertrain making just 134 hp and 136 lb-ft (185 Nm). However, Lexus hasn’t said a word about potentially putting the LBX Morizo RR into production.