Lexus NX 2021: The beginning of a new era


The mid-size SUV debuts a second-generation more technological and advanced, also being the first Lexus plug-in hybrid.

A new way of feeling is the essential quality that defines the second generation of the Lexus NX, the luxurious compact-size SUV that is born with a focus at all times on the human being. We are talking about a vehicle that in its new installment experiences great advances in performance, driving dynamics, and efficiency, with 95% completely new parts and is the flag of the new era for the Japanese brand.

This is mainly because this car introduces new directions in Lexus interior and exterior design, as well as new engines, including the company's first plug-in hybrid powertrain. All this without forgetting state-of-the-art multimedia equipment and connectivity, as well as advanced technologies designed to obtain the highest levels of safety and comfort.

Recognizable aesthetics

Lexus designers have wanted to maintain the attractive and edgy image of the original NX, but have given the second generation a more sophisticated, dynamic, and mature appearance. While remaining true to the brand's core L-finesse philosophy, the compact SUV features a front end led by a generous grille that is now positioned more upright for improved powertrain cooling, a long and sleek hood, as well as a few optical groups of new invoice with led technology. On the side, the wider wheel arches stand out, which can accommodate wheels up to 20 inches while in the rear, the L-shaped taillights stand out, with the lighting spread across the width of the vehicle, and a tailgate that includes the “Lexus” name.

The new NX debuts the concept Tazuna of Lexus for the design of the interior, which focuses on providing the driver direct and intuitive control of the vehicle, based on the principle of "hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. For this reason, the brand has created a unified area that groups the instrument panel, the infotainment system (with a screen of up to 14 inches), the centralized indicators, and the head-up display, with the aim that its content can be read with a simple movement of the eyes and head. The use of high-quality materials, a multifunction steering wheel, compact gear stick, and an ambient lighting system with 64 available colors also define the cabin. In addition, this vehicle introduces the electronic locking system called E-Latch, which replaces the traditional door handle with a button switch located next to the armrest.

The Lexus Link application allows the passenger compartment to be preheated or cooled, as well as to lock and unlock the doors via mobile.

Two engines

Under the hood, there are two powertrains available, which we will know as the NX 350h and NX 450h, that is, a conventional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. If we start with the first of them we have that the brand's engineers have managed to obtain 22% more power than the current model system, so that it now develops 242 CV, with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h improved in 15% –7.7 seconds and CO2 emssions reduced by 10%. This version will be available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Likewise, Lexus has increased to 1,500 kilos the towing capacity of the FWD model.

The most important of the range is the plug-in hybrid, which combines a 2.5-liter thermal block with two electric motors, one on each axle, jointly developing a total of 306 hp. Thanks to all-wheel drive, the NX 450h manages to reach 100 km / h in just over six seconds and its autonomy in electric mode is 63 kilometers, with emissions of less than 40 g / km and fuel consumption of less than 3 l / 100 km. Its 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery enables fully electric driving at speeds of up to 135 km / h.

Gain in size

The architecture responsible for supporting the second generation of the NX is the GA-K platform, which has allowed the Japanese SUV to increase its dimensions, at the same time that the front and rear tracks have also been widened. Specifically, this vehicle is 20mm longer than before, 20mm wider, and 5mm taller, with a wheelbase that grows by 30mm. As for the suspension, it has a McPherson scheme at the front and double forks at the rear.

Last but not least, it is worth noting the presence of the third generation of the Lexus Safety System +, which arrives with a series of assistants and improved driving aids. In this sense, the Japanese brand has updated the adaptive cruise control so that it recognizes the traffic that precedes the NX more quickly, the lane-keeping assistant and traffic signals, as well as the pre-collision system, which now identifies the risks of crash when turning at an intersection. Lexus has also added the emergency steering assistant. The new NX will be launched in Europe in the last quarter of 2021.

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