The new Lexus NX is the brand’s first model to feature a plug-in-hybrid. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Lexus NX is the brand’s first model to feature a plug-in-hybrid. Picture: SUPPLIED

The second generation Lexus NX has made its global debut. It slots below the RX in the brand’s SUV range and offers a loftier entry into Lexus SUV ownership than the UX city romper.

As usual with the Japanese luxury brand the engines are biased towards petrol hybrids, with the company announcing that this new model heralds the first Lexus Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

Customers can choose between two types of electrification options: the classic hybrid that self-charges on the move or a model with the option of being plugged into a charging station, or wall socket, to juice up the batteries.

Lexus says the NX will be offered in a variety of four-cylinder engines, including a naturally aspirated 2.5l and a 2.4l turbo charged engine. SA will get a full range at launch excluding the PHEV variant for now, according to Lexus SA.

All-wheel drive (AWD) is available on models equipped with PHEV and 2.4l turbo power trains, while both AWD and front-wheel drive (FWD) are available on the models equipped with PHEV and 2.5l naturally aspirated power trains.

Lexus focused on developing a linear driving feel, more direct steering and equipping the NX with plenty of safety systems.

It’ll have an e-latch system which electronically controls the latching and unlatching of doors in conjunction with a blind spot monitor to provide a safe exit assist function. The doors can be remotely locked or unlocked using a smartphone app. The Lexus Link app also provides for cabin preheating and cooling.

The cockpit adopts new luxuries and high grade materials. Picture: SUPPLIED
The cockpit adopts new luxuries and high grade materials. Picture: SUPPLIED

The new NX has the Tazuna interior concept that debuted with the Lexus LF-Z. It’s a more driver-centric cabin design aimed at a better synergy between driver and car through a high-resolution, 35cm touch multimedia system and ergonomics optimised for a “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” focus with minimal eye, head and hand movement needed for operation.

The new NX is 20mm longer, 20mm wider and 5mm higher than the previous generation. The wheelbase has increased by 30mm for a cabin crafted with a pursuit of high sensory appeal and fine quality materials, with newly designed seats.

Aluminium pedals and a sleek-looking shift lever impart sporting optics while the latest AVS (Adaptive Variable Suspension) is equipped as standard to vary the texture of the dampers for planted handling or a cushy ride.

The all-new Lexus NX will be launched in SA early next year with exact specifications, pricing and model grades announced closer to market launch.

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