Lexus has taken the wraps off its all-new NX SUV. The compact SUV showcases Lexus’ updated design language and promises a high level of driving dynamics. The new NX will be Lexus’ first plug-in hybrid model.
What is it: Lexus compact SUV, first launched in 2014, quickly became its best-selling model in many countries. This second generation evolves the design, with a concept of vital dynamism and advanced technology. It’s 20mm longer and wider at 4660mm x 1865mm, with a 30mm longer wheelbase.
Design: The NX’s designers aimed for an athletic stance. Performance-oriented proportions such as larger tires, wider tread, and shortened rear overhangs are some of the key features. The target is to communicate performance via a simple, clean design. The spindle grille looks more subdued, while at the rear is the new brand signature: “Lexus” spelled out rather than the usual “L” logo.
Interior: Interior space will be similar, with the driver moved slightly forward and taller rear headroom. There’s a big improvement in luggage space, with a compartment that’s 40mm longer. The cockpit follows the Tazuna Concept, or “reins” controlling a horse, where the driver should intuitively operate the car’s secondary functions while concentrating more on driving. Quiteness is still the key to Lexus, with a sound level reportedly 15% lower than the previous model. There’s a 14-inch center screen that augments the gauges and head-up display.
Powertrain: The highlight here is the plug-in hybrid system, which allows a considerable all-electric range: a 2.5-liter inline-four with high-output electric motor. Base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four with 8-speed automatic, with front or all-wheel drive. There’s also a 2.4-liter turbo engine, and a 2.5-liter hybrid.
Chassis: The NX will be the first to carry the brand’s Lexus Driving Signature. This promises a greater sense of stability, power and security. This is achieved by delivering a linear driving feel from the driver’s input, particularly in the steering. NX uses the GA-K platform enabling a lighter, rigid body with low center of gravity.
The F Sport variant will have adaptive variable suspension. 20 and 18-inch tires are on the menu.
Safety: NX has on board the Lexus Safety System+. This includes pre-crash safety to help avoid collisions—it can trigger an alarm and activate the brakes. There’s also radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and lane tracing assist. There’s also a new door switch that’s electrically activated, inspired by Japan’s ubiquitious sliding doors.