We wouldn't blame you if you forgot about the Lexus GX470's existence, but come next fall, a new version of the midsize luxury SUV is on its way, Ward's Auto reports.

The GX470, which is based on the European Toyota Land Cruiser shown at left, arrived in the U.S. in 2003 and has only been mildly updated since. With the larger LX570 (Lexus' U.S.-market Land Cruiser) now powered by a 5.7L V-8 producing 383 hp, the GX's powerplant will be upgraded, as well.

A 310-hp 4.6L V-8 -- the same one in the 2010 Toyota Tundra -- will power the new GX, replacing the 263-hp 4.7L V-8 currently under the hood. This means the new SUV's moniker will probably become the GX460.

Lexus GX sales have fallen from a 2004 peak of 35,420 units annually -- about 2950 a month on average -- to just 2210 last month. Still, the segment is an important one for Lexus to fill. The RX only seats five compared to the current GX's maximum of eight. There's also towing capacity to consider: an AWD RX350 can tow 3500 lbs with the tow package but the GX can tow 6500 lbs. Let's not forget that you could buy two RXs and still not equal the base price of the LX570 SUV.

The 2010 GX will sport different sheetmetal, an updated interior and, perhaps most importantly, a different rear door than the side-opening version on the SUV presently.

The 2009 Lexus GX470 (pictured at top) currently lists for $48,490 including the destination fee. Expect that figure to move closer to $50,000 for the next-generation model.

Source: Ward's Auto