When asked to think of all the premium manufacturers who fancy taking a stab at Lamborghini on the performance SUV stage, chances are Lexus wouldn't even make your top five.
Still, rumours are quickly building online the Japanese marque is gearing up to produce a luxury performance SUV to rival the Lamborghini Urus as early as 2021.
Speculation has it the new Raging Bull rival could be based on the LF-1 Limitless design study, from which the silks were pulled in Detroit back in January, and that a concept model could arrive as early as 2020.
Colour us intrigued, if a little sceptical. At 5014-mm long by 1986-mm wide on a 2974-mm wheelbase, after all, the dimensions are only 98 mm, 30 mm and 29 mm off the high-end Lamborghini, respectively, while Lexus was very keen to showcase the design and technology of its (potentially) new flagship model by 'combining high-performance with unrestrained luxury.'
Few luxury SUVs feature higher performance than the 305 km/h sub-3.5-sec-to-100-km/h Urus, and the LF-1's mooted drivetrain, despite covering all bases from plug-in hybrids to internal combustion and all-electric, was being specifically catered to a 'rear-wheel drive chassis', a pre-requisite for any performance model.
It gets even better, given that spy shots of the newer, hotter 2020 Lexus LC F have fuelled speculation the new performance coupe could donate its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 – said to chuck out as much as 600 hp – to an 'F' version of the production LF-1 Limitless. Were that the case, that could see power for the performance SUV leap as high as 660 hp, trumping the 650-hp Urus as a result.
Understandably, and as you'd expect, Lexus has remained tight-lipped on these speculations, and tempting as it is to brush these claims off as too much strong cheese at night for the motoring community's Reddit boards, it's not like Lexus doesn't have previous form in this regard.
The Japanese marque for instance had never ventured into the supercar wheelhouse before the LFA arrived in 2011 following almost a full decade of development, weep-inducing millions of dollars being spent on the 'case study', and a troubled production history. That the low expectations were met with almost bafflingly high praise for the limited-edition LFA spoke volumes.
Unlikely as a Lambo-rivalling Lexus might be then, history has shown it's not altogether out of the question.