Lexus will launch its new compact Crossover in October and has unveiled design of the production model SUV which is very similar to the concept showcased at the 2014 Beijing motor show where it made its world debut. The model that marks the company’s entry into the mid-size luxury SUV market makes a big visual statement with muscular curves and agile angles, representing the latest development of Lexus’s L-finesse contemporary design language. The NX will Lexus’s first premium compact crossover and will largely compete with the Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan.
The high-impact exterior presents a low, sloping roofline, a cab-forward silhouette, powerfully flared wheel arches and defining bodywork lines that flow directly from the signature Lexus spindle grille. The NX has the most distinctive “face” in the current Lexus line-up, its prominent spindle grille flanked by new LED headlamps and daytime running lights.
The exterior also achieves an ideal balance between distinctive design and aerodynamic efficiency, a major challenge for the design team given the car’s overall compact dimensions. A rear helps the smooth flow of air away from the back of the vehicle. The NX has a low coefficient of drag 0.33. Similarly, the door mirrors and handles have air-cheating design, the latter being particularly eye-catching thanks to a concealed key barrel and integrated single-LED illumination.
The driver’s cockpit reaps the full benefit of Lexus’s advances in HMI technology, combined with elements that reflect the NX’s SUV status, such as soft leather kneepads either side of the prominent centre console. The cabin provides ample space for everyone on board, with best-in-segment space in critical areas. The front-to-rear couple distance is a class-leading 962mm and the high roof design provides exceptional head clearance. The rear knee room is even greater than in some larger SUV models.
Luggage space is generous and practical. Maximum loadspace width is 1,347mm, enough for four golf bags to be stowed sideways, rather than across the diagonal. More storage space is available under the luggage board, taking total luggage capacity to 555 litres in hybrid versions and 580 litres in the turbo petrol (with a tyre repair kit carried).
NX also benefits from an array of innovative technology, including a Lexus-first wireless charging tray for easy charging of mobile phones and other devices and the first application of a new Lexus Remote Touch Interface with a touchpad control. Further features include a new Panoramic View Monitor, a comprehensive multi-information display (incorporating for the first time a G-sensor and boost meter), head-up display, blind spot monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
True to its status as a practical SUV, the NX comes with a wide variety of storage points around the cabin, including glove and console boxes, a console tray, utility box, sunglasses hold, cup holders and door pocket holders for half-litre bottles. Throughout there is a typically Lexus attention to detail, as in the high-friction material used to line the inside of the cup holder that lets the driver open a twist-cap bottle one-handed.
The new full hybrid NX 300h is available to order now with customer deliveries from October. Next year the range will grow to include the NX 200t, the first model to adopt Lexus’s new 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine.