Well, that didn't take long. Barely a week after the official Lexus teaser for its new TX SUV, we caught a prototype hiding under heavy camouflage while cruising public streets in Michigan. And we do mean heavy camo – black vinyl hides everything save for the windows and side mirrors, and then there's a full swirl wrap beneath that.
Actually, there's some curious irony to this sighting. That Lexus TX teaser we mentioned included a crystal clear image of nearly the entire back half of the new SUV. We were shown the door, the beltline, and the TX floating roof motif that sets it apart from the Toyota Grand Highlander on which it's based. The teaser also revealed different taillights, and not just different in terms of internal structure. They are angled upward on the sides, reaching further into the SUV's quarter panel. This means the Lexus TX will have different body panels at the back, making this more than just a rebadged Toyota with extra features.
Gallery: Lexus TX Spy Photos
This prototype sighting confirms the taillight design. We can see the lenses stretching further into the panel near the top body line, and at the front, we can also see a completely different fascia with a large Lexus grille behind the thinner white covers. Corner vents are still well hidden, but there are small driving lamps poking through. It's unclear if these are placeholders or visible portions of larger lenses, but some measure of low-mounted driving lamps are there.
Despite some prominent exterior differences, the new Lexus TX shares its three-row platform with the recently launched Grand Highlander. That means it's a bit smaller than the Land Cruiser-based GX and LX, but a tad larger than the RX-L which is headed out the door. And while there's no official mention of trim levels just yet, trademark filings suggest we'll get a TX350, TX500h, and TX550h+. The h designation almost certainly represents a hybrid model, with the h+ pointing to a plug-in hybrid model.
With such thick camouflage in effect, one might think a debut is still some time away. Given that we've already seen a rather prominent teaser, we think the Lexus TX will actually debut sooner rather than later. As of now, a summer or fall reveal is certainly possible.