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2022 Lexus NX plug-in hybrid electric car confirmed for Australian launch! New NX450h+ PHEV is the more luxurious version of Toyota RAV4 Prime we don't get

The NX450h+ will be the new NX’s fourth powertrain option in Australia.

Lexus Australia has confirmed it will soon add a fourth powertrain option to the second-generation NX’s line-up, with the new mid-size SUV set to add a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), dubbed NX450h+, in the first quarter of next year.

As reported, the NX’s ‘self-charging’ series-parallel hybrid (HEV), the NX350h, is expected to be the most popular powertrain option in the mid-size SUV’s line-up, but that hasn’t stopped Lexus Australia from rolling the dice on the NX450h+.

For reference, the NX350h is the equivalent of Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid, with it too available in front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations, albeit with a more powerful 179kW tune (+16-19kW).

Meanwhile, the AWD-only NX450h+ is the equal to the not-for-Australia RAV4 Prime, with it producing slightly more power, at 227kW (+2kW).

Both powertrains pair a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine with one (NX350h FWD) or two (NX350h and NX450h+ AWD) electric motors, while an electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) is used either way.

Critically, the NX450h+ stands apart with a significantly larger 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery that provides an estimated 75km of WLTP-certified electric-only range. It doesn’t support DC fast-charging and instead relies on AC charging to replenish its capacity.

As a result, the NX450h+’s fuel consumption on the combined-cycle test (ADR 81/02) is superior, at 1.3/100km, with the NX350h managing 5.0L/100km.

The NX’s other powertrain options are the thirstier FWD-only 152kW/243Nm 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine (NX250) and AWD-only 205kW/430Nm 2.4-litre turbocharged unit (NX350). Both are mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.

Pricing for the NX450h+ – and the wider NX line-up – is yet to be released, so stay tuned. It will rival the BMW X3 xDrive30e ($104,900 plus on-road costs) and Mercedes-Benz GLC300e ($100,300) when it enters Australian showrooms.