This is the Lexus NX, an all-new compact crossover from the Japanese brand, which is set to make its public debut at next week’s Beijing Motor Show.
Set to reach the UK showrooms by the end of the year, the NX will do battle in the premium compact SUV market against the popular BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
Showcasing angular lines and Lexus’ striking ‘spindle’ grille, the NX is certainly likely to offer some visual interest to premium crossover buyers, next to its conservatively styled German rivals.
The design is derived from the brand’s LF-NX concept car, which was first shown at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. While the styling has been toned down somewhat for this production model, the NX remains a bold design, and one that is likely to render other offerings in the segment very boring looking indeed.
Lexus' hybrid drivetrain develops 220bhp in the IS saloon
Aside from the dominant grille, the NX features slim-line light clusters front and rear, heavily sculpted bonnet and side flanks, and flared wheel arches housing 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch on F-Sport models).
The interior design is similarly un-German, with angular surface treatments for the dashboard. Leather adorns most surfaces, while a large infotainment screen sprouts out of the centre console, controlled by a touch-pad in place of Lexus’ current mouse-like interface.
With Lexus currently championing hybrid technology, the top-of-the-range engine option will be the 2.5-litre four-cylinder/electric motor combo already offered in the IS300h saloon. A range of 2.0-litre petrol engines will also be offered, though it is yet to be confirmed exactly which will make it over to the UK.
Order books for the new Lexus NX open in May. Can’t wait that long? You can search for a second-hand example of the NX’s bigger brother, the Lexus RX SUV, here.
April 11, 2014