The wraps will finally came off the chiseled, compact, premium crossover from Lexus when it made its world debut at the Beijing motor show on 20 April.
Called the NX, the newcomer will mark Lexus’s entry into the mid-size crossover/SUV market and targets customers new to the brand with defined, edgy styling. Both in terms of its striking design and its use of high-end technologies, it will stand as a hero model, setting new standards for future Lexus models.
The NX has been designed to look as though it is has been cast from a single piece of metal. Strong, flared wheel arches house 17 or 18-inch wheels, giving the car a crouching, muscular stance. Lexus’s signature spindle grille is the central focus of the NX’s angular shape, reinforced by LED headlamps and daytime running lights. The grille blends seamlessly into a sculpted bonnet, creating strongly contrasting surfacing that projects a sense of depth.
The side profile is instantly recognisable as a Lexus, accentuated by a roofline that’s set towards the rear of the vehicle to give maximum visual impact. Details include an innovative door mirror design and a world-first door handle mechanism with a concealed key barrel and integrated lighting. These features enhance the overall premium look by creating a smooth finish along the side of the car.
The rear is punctuated by Lexus’s L-shape combination lamps, fitted with seamless LED lighting. The bodywork design echoes the spindle grille treatment at the front.
Lexus aims to bring a sense of excitement to the NX’s cabin with a design more like a sports car interior, complimenting the angular bodywork.
Details include a thick-rimmed sports steering wheel and contrasting trims. At the same time, Lexus has focused on interior space and seating and has worked to ensure the driver enjoys intuitive interaction with the controls, instrumentation and HMI technology. The NX continues the development of Lexus’s display and operation zone concept.
Powertrains and technology
Three powertrains will feature in the NX range: a highly efficient petrol-electric hybrid in the NX 300h; a Lexus-first 2.0-litre petrol turbo in the NX 200t; and a naturally aspirated petrol unit in the NX 200. Each will offer the choice of front and all-wheel drive. The SA powertrain line-up will be disclosed closer to the local launch but Lexus SA can confirm that we definitely will be getting the exciting new turbocharged petrol engine. There’s also a very good likelihood that in line with the brand’s strong eco-focus, the petrol-electric hybrid will be on the cards.
Innovative on-board technologies include a Lexus-first wireless charging tray for portable devices; a new iteration of the Lexus Remote Touch Interface with a touch pad control; a Panoramic View Monitor; and a comprehensive multi-information display with a Lexus-first G-sensor and boost meter. The NX will also offer a head-up display, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Takeaki Kato, NX Chief Engineer, said that Lexus has approached ‘all phases of the model’s development from the perspective of its target customers’, i.e. it’s aimed at young, urban drivers with active lifestyles who want premium products.
The freshly minted Lexus NX will reach local shores during the first half of 2015.