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Lexus outs production-ready NX

Future proof: The production-ready NX loses some of the sharper lines of the LF-NX concept that was unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.

Production-ready Lexus NX small SUV revealed in Detroit presentation


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29 Jan 2014

LEXUS’ all-important new NX small SUV was prematurely outed in production guise in a video clip from a presentation at the Detroit motor show earlier this month.

A glimpse of the edgy crossover was revealed during a presentation by Toyota USA’s CEO Jim Lentz at the Society of Automotive Analysts’ Automotive Outlook Conference, with video footage clearly showing a model that is an evolution of the polarising LF-NX concept that was unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt show.

The presentation featured a number of future Toyota and Lexus models, with the luxury brand’s crucial new crossover featuring briefly on one of the slides.

The production-ready vehicle in the image is clearly based on the wild LF-NX concept, but the styling has been toned down in an effort to better appeal to a wider customer base when it is released.

Some of the more radical angular lines from the concept are gone, replaced with smoother panels, although it does maintain the panel indents running across the front and rear doors and the high, chunky wheel arches of the concept.

The futuristic slim-line headlights are gone in favour of units that are more reminiscent of the RC sports coupe first shown at last year’s Tokyo show and the production version naturally features traditional external mirrors instead of the narrow cameras from the LF-NX.

The massive gaping spindle grille remains, although Lexus has ditched the mesh look for a slatted grille and the air intakes under the headlights are much smaller than the concept.

While many reports have speculated a Paris motor show debut for the NX, the reveal of the near-production-ready version this early in the year suggests Lexus could officially unveil it as early as the Geneva show in March.

If it does show up earlier in the year, the NX could go on sale globally in the second half of the year, meaning a potential local arrival in quarter four. However, if Lexus pushes the reveal out to Paris in October, the NX would not reach local showrooms until sometime in early 2015.

Little is known about the underpinnings of the NX, however the company revealed at the Tokyo show that one of the powertrain options will be its new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit, the first blown petrol engine ever built by the Japanese marque.

When it arrives, the NX will be the third SUV in Lexus’ local line-up and will sit under the RX large SUV and the upper-large LandCruiser-based LX off-roader.

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