LEXUS NX CONFIRMED
The NX’s coming has been expected for some time now, with company insiders confirming years ago that an entrant in the popular small SUV segment has long been a priority.
Speaking with TMR in 2012, former Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb (now with Toyota) acknowledged the segment’s huge appeal.
“I'd have to say the one part of the market that is growing dramatically and is where we really do need an entrant is probably small SUVs,” Mr. Cramb said.
“That's an area that seems to be in demand from the luxury customer. It'd definitely be a volume vehicle for us, there's no doubt about that.”
At the time, however, Cramb anticipated it could still be some years before a compact SUV entered the growing Lexus line-up.
“If we got the greenlight today, then it's potentially a five-year delay,” he said.
But, this week, Lexus has confirmed it will unveil the production NX in Beijing on April 20.
And, while a launch date has not been confirmed, we can likely expect to see the new model in showrooms by early 2015 - if not sooner.
The company also released a shadowy teaser image of the NX today (top of article), but a Toyota presentation at January’s Detroit Auto Show also offered a clear look at the new model.
Displayed on screen behind Toyota US CEO Jim Lentz, the new NX was revealed, confirming expectations that the LF-NX’s controversial lines would be softened out before production.
The ‘LF-NX’ shown during Lentz’s presentation had lost much of the heavy creasing of the concept, with larger headlights flanking a more conventional version of the company’s new ‘spindle’ grille.
The bumper is also new, with regular elliptical fog-lights at each corner. The package is rounded out by regular alloy wheels and larger door-mirrors.
Compared to today’s teaser image, it is clear the two images are the same car.
Details for the new model are unclear, although Lexus has confirmed it will soon offer a new 2.0 litre turbocharged engine - the same unit that powered the LF-NX during its stay at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Lexus is also known to have trademarked the model names NX 200t and NX 300h, suggesting the small crossover will hang onto its NX badge when it takes the turbo and hybrid engines into showrooms.
Watch for more details to surface in the coming weeks.