Production-ready Lexus NX revealed

Production-ready Lexus NX revealed

Lexus aims to take on Audi and BMW in the compact SUV market with the boldly designed NX, which will make its world debut in Beijing

Lexus’s entry into the booming compact SUV market makes its debut at the Beijing motor show next week. The NX is the firm’s answer to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, and is set to reach the UK by the end of the year after order books open in May.

The NX production car is a follow-up to the controversial and dramatically styled LF-NX concept from the Frankfurt motor show last week. While the look has been toned down somewhat from the concept, the production car is still a bold, angular design in a class where conservatism typically rules.

Indeed, at the concept’s unveiling, Lexus design project manager Nobuyuki Tomatsu said the firm wanted the NX “to be a very influential car — one to make its rivals look boring”.

Lexus is hoping the new model will bring new customers to the brand, the NX standing as a “hero model”, one that will “set new standards for future Lexus models”.

The exterior design features an enlarged version of Lexus’s now familiar family spindle grille flanked by slim headlights and strips of LED daytime running lights. The flared wheel arches house 17-inch alloys in regular models and 18-inch wheels in F Sport versions.

Other exterior design features include a heavily sculpted bonnet, a sloping roofline, sharply creased lower body sides, and the continuation of the angular theme from the front to the rear of the car.

Lexus says it has taken inspiration from sports cars for the five-seat interior, which also adopts the angular design of the outside. The premium look and feel of the cabin includes a thick-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel, a full-leather finish for F Sport models, and a large central screen out of the dashboard for the infotainment display.

Equipment includes a wireless charging function for portable devices, such as smartphones, a touch-pad controller for the infotainment options, a head-up display and a information display that includes a G-force sensor.

Engines offered worldwide include Lexus’s familiar petrol-electric hybrid system in the NX300h, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (a Lexus first) in the NX200t, and a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol in the NX200. Each will be offered with front- or all-wheel drive. UK engine options will be confirmed next month.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

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