Singapore - Lexus launches the second-generation NX, with a starting price of $306,800 for the NX 350h, which is the initial offering. This is a 2.5 litre hybrid, delivering a combined output of 240hp and 239Nm.
Of late, there seems to be a grille war, and Lexus is not backing down. The new NX receives their next-generation 3D ‘spindle’ grille that is not only larger, but Lexus claim that this redesign is also functionable, as it improves airflow. This is flanked by blacked headlamps, which are highlighted by the brand’s L-shaped DRLs. At the rear, the NX is characterised by an elongated lightbar and L-shaped rear lamps. Other design tweaks, like a longer hood and shorter rear overhangs, adds a tinge of sportiness to the SUV.
Two other Lexus NX variants will join the NX 350h in the first quarter of 2022. First is the NX 350 F SPORT, which has a 2.4 litre turbocharged engine, mated to a Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission which drives all wheels. The transmission has also been optimised for the turbocharged engine, to help generate more torque from low rpms.
The other car to arrive is the Lexus NX 450h+ F SPORT, which is the brand’s first-ever PHEV. This is powered by a 2.5 litre engine, paired with a more powerful battery than the hybrid variant, and gets two motors, each driving the front and rear wheels. The 450h+ F SPORT delivers a combined output of 304hp and 227Nm, and reaches 100km/h from a standstill in 6.3 seconds. Lexus also claims that the PHEV is capable of an EV range of between 69 to 76km, and can be driven in pure EV mode to speeds of up to 135km/h.
Another first for Lexus, is an interior which fully incorporates what Lexus terms the Tazuna Concept. This was first introduced in the LF-30 Electrified concept car back in 2019. The word Tazuna is derived from the "reins" used to control horses. This is interpreted in the NX with a human-centered cockpit philosophy, and includes a Touch Tracing Operation, which is newly adopted in the NX. This combines the HUD, with touch sensor switches on the steering wheel, ensuring that the operation guide is displayed on the HUD, so that eyes are not taken off the road. Lexus has also finally gone with a touch display for its infotainment. The 14-inch screen is anti-reflective, and also now features voice-recognition, which responds to the activation word ‘Hey Lexus’. Both Apple and Android devices are supported, and Apple users also benefit from wireless connectivity.
Other cool features, like the Digital E-Latch System that replaces traditional mechanical units are a first for the luxury brand, and we can be sure that this will be seen on more of their vehicles. The Digital E-Latch System is similar to what can be found on higher-end Audi cars. There is also a Digital Rear-View Mirror which can be switched on for a wider field of view, or when the rear is obstructed by passengers. A similar system is also seen in Land Rover vehicles, though the back-up camera in this instance is used in the Lexus.
The Lexus Safety System+ features a suite of driver assistance systems, like dynamic radar cruise control, advanced park assist for greater convenience, and it also includes active safety tech like pre-collision assist, and lane departure warning.
The new Lexus NX will go up against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace, all of which have been recently facelifted.