JOHANNESBURG - Lexus has lifted the lid on its all-new NX premium luxury sports utility vehicle. The new NX, as well as the company’s forthcoming model line-up is said to meet the diversifying needs and lifestyles of customers the world over, at the same time helping more motorists move closer to living a carbon-neutral lifestyle.
Launched in 2014 for the global market, the NX has since found more than a million homes across the world. It’s a core global model for the company along with its larger RX sports utility offering.
The new NX is the first model to introduce the next generation of Lexus and is based on the development concept of "Vital x Tech Gear”.
The new vehicle concept combines vital dynamism (Vital) with advanced technology (Tech). The new NX features improved linear response thanks to the strengthening of the car's fundamentals, a design that attracts attention with athletic proportions, and many advanced and new technologies.
Moreover, the company says that to establish the unique driving experience to be found in future electrified vehicles, Lexus focused on thoroughly improving driving control, aerodynamics, and weight reduction.
The new NX will be available in some markets as both HEV (hybrid-electric vehicle) and PHEV (plug-in hybrid-electic vehicle) models. For now, South Africa will receive only the self-charging HEV models and the petrol-only models.
In terms of petrol models, you’ll choose between a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated model or a 2.4-litre turbo-charged engine (no electric assist here) as well as the hybrid variant (most likely the 2.5 NA in here). Exact local spec and derivatives will be announced in the coming months.
KEY FEATURES OF THE NEW LEXUS NX
All-wheel drive (AWD) is available on models equipped with PHEV and 2.4-litre turbo powertrains, while both AWD and front-wheel drive (FWD) are available on the models equipped with HEV and 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated powertrains.
Lexus engineers have focused on developing a linear driving feel that possesses a direct steering communication between driver and vehicle. An extensive vehicle evaluation was carried out at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama, thus enhancing the “Lexus Driving Signature" and ensuring the NX faithfully responds to drivers’ intentions, they say.
The NX adopts the latest preventive safety technologies, as well as advanced convenience technologies, as part of the luxury brand’s human-centred approach.
The next-generation "Lexus Safety System+" delivers cutting-edge safety technology by seamlessly partnering with and supporting the driver at all times.
The Lexus-first e-latch system electronically controls the latching and unlatching of doors. The feature is combined with a Blind Spot Monitor to provide a "safe exit assist“ function (with controlled door opening).
DEVELOPING THE NEW LEXUS NX
Lexus international chief engineer Takeaki Kato told IOL Motoring at the NX digital press conference last week: “The development of the new NX was a series of new challenges for Lexus. We implemented "digital development" to ensure quality by evaluating the well thought-out design structure under various conditions using computer models to check productivity.
“In terms of driving, professional racing drivers conducted an evaluation test drive at the Shimoyama test course to thoroughly ‘train’ the car's body structure and control the driving force to inherit and evolve the Lexus driving flavour.”
A DESIGN THAT SIGNIFIES THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEXUS
In an effort to further evolve the next-generation Lexus design language, the new NX distinguishes itself by focusing on vehicle proportions that arguably enhance an athletic image and align with the model’s driving performance, function and the clean simplicity of the new crossover’s technology.
For the exterior, changes to the platform have resulted in an expressive, dynamic shape defined by softer angles and more organic forms.
The interior is focused on creating a welcoming, hospitable space for each occupant and, for the first time, fully incorporates the Tazuna Concept. The human-centred cockpit philosophy enables a more seamless and intuitive connection between the driver and car to help enhance concentration on driving.
The familiar Lexus spindle grille architecture has been deepened with a three-dimensional design that starts from the spindle grille and extends significantly toward the rear fenders. The hood has been extended to the edge of the front end while the grille surface has been raised vertically to strengthen the front end’s mass.
The grille pattern is a longitudinal U-shaped block with a three-dimensional effect, and a slit-like opening is provided at the bottom. Toward the centre of the back door, the shape is narrowed in the motif of a spindle shape, and the rear fenders are shaped to sandwich the spindle shape.
For the rear combination lamps, an elongated light bar, across the centre of the vehicle, combines with the independently positioned L-shaped lamps on the left and right to enhance the originality of the NX. Finally, a revised brand mark placed in the centre of the rear hatch, above the licence plate symbolises the next generation of Lexus.
F SPORT MODEL COMING TOO
The exterior features include special 20-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler on the lower bumper, and front-side garnishes that deliver a sporty impression. For the interior, in addition to the newly-developed steering wheel, the front seats, aluminium pedals, and shift lever have been designed to enhance the image of driving performance. Also, the latest AVS is equipped as a standard feature to deliver a high level of handling and ride comfort.
IMPROVED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
The multimedia system’s huge high-resolution, 35cm touch display provides clear images, thanks to an anti-reflective coating applied to the windshield and the use of glare-reducing bonding technology.
The Lexus Premium Sound System consists of 10 speakers, including a large-capacity subwoofer box, using the bass reflex structure of the rear speakers and the body framework (lower back) to achieve rich and crisp low-frequency reproduction. And for the true audiophiles, the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System is available, based on the Mark Levinson PurePlay concept.
The all-new Lexus NX will be launched in South Africa early next year.