Lexus is developing a crossover to rival the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The new model is set to slot into the Lexus range below the larger RX, and our spies have snapped an early mule undergoing testing at the Nurburgring in Germany.
The shape of the new model may look familiar. That's because this test car is fitted with the body of the current CT 200h. The jazzy vinyl the car in wrapped in is largely irrelevant, too, as it's more what's lurking underneath this car's body that counts.
The new model is tipped to be called the NX. Lexus filed patents in the US for the names 'NX 200t' and 'NX 300h' implying that the car will be powered by a new, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, or a hybrid that's expected to be a development of the 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine and electric motor used in the new IS.
Although the bodywork isn't what we expect in production, you can see that the NX will feature a jacked up ride, larger wheels and crossover-spec tyres. As the car will targeted at young families, Lexus is likely to give the NX a more radical design than the larger RX, inspired by its latest LF concepts in order to tempt potential buyers away from its German rivals.
The NX is expected to arrive late in 2014, and will cost a similar amount to its German rivals - Lexus' strategy is to price its cars close to rivals, but offer more equipment of a higher-spec as standard.