By Otsile Kadiege
It has been over a year since Lexus officially revealed the next-generation NX. Now Lexus South Africa recently announced the local range of the all-new NX hybrid which is powered by a hybridised, naturally-aspirated petrol powertrain. It’s available with a raft of new technologies, it boasts a modish Lexus’ signature design and available in three grades.
Powerplants and model derivatives
Local customers will have the option to choose between two powertrains – a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine or a 2.4-litre turbopetrol engine which comes standard with the F Sport package. The naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine has a total system output of 179kW and maximum engine torque of 239Nm. Lexus claims it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds and has a combined fuel-consumption of 5.0l/100km. Top speed is limited to 200km/h.
All models are fitted as standard with a motor-driven AWD E-Four system which has been incorporated on the rear transaxle which is said to improve torque delivery to the rear wheels, thus providing excellent performance off the line and improved overall drivability as well as fuel economy.
The new Lexus NX hybrid range comprises of three derivatives, namely NX 350h EX (standard grade), NX 350h SE (luxury spec) and NX 350h F Sport.
Interior design and technology
Lexus says the new NX was re-designed from the inside out. Inside, the new NX features a newly-developed steering wheel and front seats, aluminum pedals, and a shift lever. New to the NX is a 14-inch touch display running on Lexus’ Interface multimedia system with the “Hello Lexus” voice command and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The hybrid SE grade and F-Sport come standard with a panoramic view monitor, wireless smartphone charging as well as a sliding panoramic roof.
The Lexus Premium Sound System consisting of 10 speakers is available as standard. For higher models, a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System based on the Mark Levinson PurePlay concept is on offer. Other standard features include dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable and heated front seats (front and rear for SE grade), heads-up display for the SE grade and the human-centric Tazuna cockpit concept across the range.
The NX comes with four trim upholstery colours – Black, Hazel, Rich Cream and Dark Rose –available for the NX 350h EX grade. The SE hybrid trim colours are the same, however include a wood element in the cabin. The hybrid F-Sport boasts three interior trim options in unique F-Sport upholstery. These are available in Black, Flare Red and White only.
Upfront, the new Lexus NX adopts new looks that closely resemble those of the UX. The Lexus spindle architecture has been deepened with a three-dimensional design that starts from the signature patterned spindle grille with longitudinal U-shaped block and a three-dimensional effect. It’s flanked by standard LED headlamps with automatic high-beam. The bonnet has been extended to the edge of the front end.
The new NX EX is offered with an 18-inch wheel featuring sharp machined spokes and dark grey coating. On the SE Grade, the NX hybrid comes standard with a 20-inch wheel, featuring sharp machined spokes with contrasting dark and chrome accents.
For the rear combination lamps, an elongated light bar, located across the centre of the vehicle combines with the independently positioned L-shaped lamps on the left and right giving the new NX a modern look. The revised brand mark placed in the centre of the rear hatch, above the license plate symbolises the next-generation of Lexus.
Nine colours are available in the hybrid range– White Quartz, Sonic Titanium, Sonic Chrome, Graphite Black, Terrane Khaki, Celestial Blue, Blazing Carnelian, Black and Madder Red – while the F Sport grade further exclusively offers White Nova and Poseidon Blue.
Safety and driver assistance systems
Standard across the new NX range is the Pre-crash system enhanced with Front Cross Traffic Alert. Other safety technologies include a Parking Support Brake (PKSB) with obstacle and vehicle detection, Blind-Spot Monitor (BSM), Dynamic Radar Active Cruise Control (DRCC) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA).
The Lexus NX 350h EX is equipped with Lexus-first technologies including new e-latch electrically-activated door handles. The SE grade and F-Sport mechanism goes a step further and incorporates safe exit assist (SEA)- which can detect cyclists or vehicles passing close to the vehicle and can keep the door closed to avoid a collision.
Pricing and warranty
The NX 350h EX retails for R888,500, the 350h SE grade is R1,040,700, while the flagship F-Sport hybrid grade carries a price-tag of R 1,065,500. Every Lexus NX is delivered with the Lexus Warranty Experience featuring the brand’s 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan.
Lexus has adopted a phased-out strategy for the NX product offering due to the current stock demands and availability. Customers can contact their nearest dealership for more information and ordering.
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