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Lexus reveals NX, first turbo engine

The Japanese prestige brand has previously shied away from turbo engines, instead persisting with hybrid setups to deliver the same sort of power and efficiency as its all-turbo competition.

The new 2.0-litre turbo engine is a first for Lexus and will power the NX200t initially, before being applied to the IS sedan and RC Coupe. While the four-pot’s power output is being kept quiet for now, around 200kW is expected in its highest state of tune.

Set to be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, the new NX will join the quickly growing luxury crossover SUV segment, competing with the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3. The NX has a muscular profile with Lexus’ now familiar spindle grille dominating the car’s design. Piercing LED headlights flank that enormous gob and detached hook-shaped daytime running lights sit below. Physically the NX isn’t a big car (it’s based on the Toyota Rav 4), but wide wheel arches and heavily sculptured door panels add visual weight and chunkiness to the design.

At the rear the NX incorporates a pair of taillights which are similar in design to the pointy units found on the RC Coupe. Two wheel options are available, 17-inches on the standard car and 18-inches on F-Sport models. Overall the exterior design is sporting but perhaps a little fussy and over styled in places.

The NX SUV’s interior design is far less dramatic than its exterior with a slim vertical central stack housing all of the buttons. A screen controlled through Lexus’ touch pad sits atop the dash displaying navigation, phone and media information. The screen can also show a boost meter or G-sensor read out – precisely the things you need in a small family SUV. The new model also comes equipped with more useful technologies like a head-up display, blind spot monitoring system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The Japanese prestige brand is also debuting a clever wireless charging tray for portable devices in the NX.

Initially the NX will be available with three different engines in the NX200, NX200t and NX300h. The 200 is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder, while the 200t uses the same motor but with a turbocharger. Power figures are being kept quiet until the model’s Beijing debut, however the 300h is expected to use the same hybrid system as the IS300h sedan which musters 133kW and 221Nm of torque. The NX will be offered in front or all-wheel drive form. The new Lexus luxury SUV will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show on April 20.