The Lexus LF-NX concept has been revealed – an Audi Q3-rivalling compact SUV that’s set to be the star of the brand’s Frankfurt Motor Show stand next week. But before this all-new car takes a bow under the spotlights in Germany, Auto Express headed out to a studio in Belgium to get a close look.
In the metal, it’s a truly striking car. The Range Rover Evoque has already proven bold design is the way forward in this class, and the good news is that previous concepts from Lexus – like the bold LF-CC, which became the IS – have made it to production relatively intact.
Lexus says the NX (which stands for ‘nimble crossover’) is designed to slot below the RX (‘radiant crossover’) in its line-up, and there’s a clear focus on sporty styling. Nobuyuki Tomatsu, the design manager for the NX, described it as inspired by bodybuilding, featuring “no useless excess fat”.
Lexus’ aim is for the LF-NX to stand out as the car in this class that other manufacturers admire, and the huge spindle grille, sharp creases, L-shaped LED running lights and large air intakes should help it do just that.
That spindle grille shape is mirrored at the rear, while the angular tail-lights are inspired by those found on the LF-CC.
The cabin is a glimpse at the future of Lexus interiors, including what Tomatsu describes as the “backbone of the car” – the raised centre console. It features far fewer buttons than any Lexus currently on sale and gets a touchpad control system.
Under the bonnet is the same 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor as in the IS 300h hybrid. The concept has been engineered as front-wheel drive only, but Lexus says the final production car could get a four-wheel-drive option.
Lexus freely admits there is a production LF-NX on the way, and has even trademarked the names NX 300h and NX 200t in the US. That means a petrol turbo could be offered, alongside the hybrid. Expect the NX to go on sale late next year, from around £25,000.