SA-BOUND LEXUS CROSSOVER: Lexus’ NX crossover SUV will arrive in South Africa towards the end of 2015. Image: Lexus
• Lexus’ first premium compact crossover
• Sporty design, luxury interior
• Headed for SA in 2015
Lexus will launch its first compact SUV crossover, the NX, later in 2014. The automaker claims its new SUV' styling "owes more to sportscars than slab-sided 4x4s".
The NX marks the automaker's entry into the mid-size luxury SUV market makes a big visual statement with muscular curves and agile angles and the latest example of the automaker's 'L-finesse' design language.
It measures 4.6m long, 1.8m wide, 1.6m tall with a wheelbase of two metres. The radical crossover will be offered with a choice of two engines (hybrid NX 300h and turbo petrol NX 200t) as well as front or all-wheel drive versions.
HEADED FOR SA
Lexus South Africa confirms the NX will arrive early in 2015 though engine choice will be announced closer to the local launch. Wheels24 can confirm the turbo petrol and it's also very likely that, in line with the automaker’s eco-focus, the hybrid will join it in local showrooms.
The NX has the most distinctive “face” in the current Lexus line-up, its prominent spindle grille flanked by new LEDs and daytime running lights.
The NX several enhancements to achieve aerodynamic efficiency; the door mirrors and releases have been optimised for improved air flow and the curved spoiler diverts air away from the rear of the vehicle, resulting in the NX achieving a claimed 0.33 drag coefficient.
Underneath, the covers and materials were specifically designed for the NX to ensure a "clean airflow".
NEW HYBRID 300h
The NX 300h is powered by a hybrid 2.5 petrol engine combined with a electric motor for a total output is of 145kW. Lexus is targeting CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km, which corresponds to a claimed fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km.
The NX 300h will be available in front and all-wheel drive in South Africa and the first model to use Lexus’ new two-litre turbo petrol engine capable of 175kW/350Nm and mated to a six-speed auto.
Drivers will benefit from the latest in Lexus technologies via its new human machine interface as well as comfort improvements such as soft leather kneepads either side of the prominent centre console.
The NX sports innovative features such a wireless charging tray for mobile phones and other devices and the first application of the new Lexus Remote Touch Interface with a touchpad control.
The NX is equipped with a new 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.
Inside, Lexus claims the NX has 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. Rear knee-room is even greater than in some larger SUV models."
According to the automaker, maximum loadspace width is 1.3m and total luggage capacity is 555 litres in hybrid versions and 580 litres in the turbo petrol (with a tyre repair kit carried).
The SUX sports a variety of storage options, including glove and console boxes, a console tray, utility box, eyewear holders, cup holders and door pockets for half-litre bottles.
The new hybrid NX 300h is available to order in the UK with customer deliveries from October 2014. In 2015, the automaker will expand its range to include the NX 200t, the first model to adopt Lexus’s new 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine.
Click here to read more about the Lexus NX crossover