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Lexus NX Turbo crossover armed to battle Evoque


With bold aggressive styling, the new Lexus NX crossover is in training to go head to head with the likes of Range Rover's stylish Evoque and others in the luxury crossover field – including BMW X3 and Audi Q3 (with Benz yet to offer an entry here in this growing segment).

Still in concept form, the NX Turbo is a city car that targets the growing appetite for smaller, more urban-centric premium, compact crossover vehicles around the world. Smaller and more compact than the current RX wagon, it will mark the debut of Lexus's first turbocharged petrol engine, in the guise of a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo with all the mod cons including fuel saving stop-start.

THE TURBO ENGINES

Lexus showed this car earlier this year at Frankfurt with a hybrid powertrain and unveiled another version this week at the Tokyo motor show with a turbocharged petrol engine. At this stage it is not saying which engine the new crossover will carry when it comes to market, but it is expected to offer a choice of both engines in line with its current philosophy.

Lexus has not revealed many details of the turbo which is still in development but has confirmed it will support a variety of sizes topping out at 2.0 litres. It's expected to make its debut in the NX later next year. The turbocharged power plant follows the current trend to smaller, force fed engines that deliver the same kind of power as larger naturally aspirated units but offer better economy and less engine emissions.

It will match the current 3.5-litre V6 for power and torque and is expected to eventually replace the V6, with the addition of balancer shafts to provide the same smoothness.

THE DETAILS

The 2.0 litre, four-cylinder unit combines Lexus' advanced high tumble port, fan spray fuel injection, D-4S and VVT-iw combustion technologies with a cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold and a twin scroll turbocharger with an active wastegate valve.

Through optimisation of the exhaust gas temperature, the cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold combines a high level of performance with fuel efficiency, clean exhaust emission reliability, while the twin scroll turbocharger operates effectively across the widest possible rev range.
It targets fast throttle response and spirited performance while demonstrating outstanding fuel efficiency.

THE CAR

The striking exterior reflects a further evolution of the L-finesse design language, dominated by a huge version of the Lexus spindle grille, with smoked chrome trim and mesh insets. Signature front lighting features three diamond-shaped LEDs and independent daytine running lights underscored by a full-length LED turn signal strip.

High gloss black toughens the looks of the wheel arches and lower rocker panels, while the rear features taillights extending the full depth of the bumper, with a full-width, air diffuser and highly sculpted chrome exhausts.

WHAT'S INSIDE?

The interior mirrors the NX Turbo's highly sculpted exterior. The centre console extends the full length of the cabin to create two separate rear seat cockpits. A brushed metal finish accents the instrument panel, steering wheel, seat structure and the overhead console, complemented by yellow and black leather with contrasting stitching.

The dash features new generation touch-sensitive, electrostatic switches and the new Lexus remote touch interface, which combines a modified touch tracer display with a new touch pad design for smooth and intuitive use.

VERDICT

The NX is a striking vehicle and it needs to be. The last thing Lexus wants is to deliver a car that goes unnoticed. We're guessing the final version won't be radically different and Lexus Australia can't wait to get its hands on the car.

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