Earlier than Lexus autos had been offered in Japan as they’re in lots of different markets, Toyota would often take a Lexus automobile, slap a Toyota badge on it and promote it at dwelling that manner. The Lexus RX was, for a time, rebranded because the Toyota Harrier, however the mass-market automaker has since cut up the 2 traces to separate autos. The most recent Harrier, coming this yr, is trying mighty promising, even when it (most likely) will not come to the US.
Toyota has unveiled photos of the brand new Harrier, which is slated for launch this coming June. The brand new Harrier is a hanging SUV, borrowing loads of its design language from the newest technology of Mirai fuel-cell autos, particularly up entrance. The rear finish has many shades of the Jaguar F-Tempo, particularly across the taillights and the liftgate. It is sleeker and appears extra premium than any stateside SUV, at the least in my view.
That concentrate on high quality extends to the inside, as nicely. There’s an entire lot of stitched leather-based in right here, wrapping across the door panels and creating a beautiful little two-tone getup within the photos Toyota offered. Whereas the company steering wheel is there, the middle stack appears to be like barely extra distinctive, with some bodily buttons in place for the HVAC controls. It might not be a Lexus, however it’s actually blurring the traces between Toyota and its fancier offshoot. The panoramic sunroof has electrochromic controls, so it may change the quantity of sunshine that enters the cabin. The rearview mirror also can document photos of what is occurring in entrance of or behind the Harrier.
Two powertrains are on supply. The usual gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter, direct-injection I4 producing 169 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque, mated to your alternative of front- or all-wheel drive, with an ordinary repeatedly variable transmission. There’s additionally (shock, shock) a hybrid mannequin that produces a internet 215 horsepower. Each fashions are positively brimming with tech, together with the same old complement of energetic and passive security techniques, along with an out there 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a nine-speaker JBL sound system.
Toyota has not made any point out of bringing the Harrier to the US, the place it could probably slot someplace between the RAV4 and Highlander. That mentioned, there are rumors that Toyota might carry again the Venza nameplate for a brand new hybrid crossover, so maybe there’s some hope for this forbidden fruit in spite of everything.