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by Tim Beissmann

The forthcoming Lexus NX appears to have been prematurely revealed during a presentation by Toyota USA president Jim Lentz.

Though still presented with its ‘LF-NX’ concept name, the mid-sized SUV pictured in the low-resolution image is toned down significantly from the dramatic show car that debuted in Frankfurt last September (pictured below), suggesting it’s an accurate representation of the production car headed for global showrooms around the end of this year.

Replacing the concept’s piercing LED headlights is a set of larger headlights underpinned by L-shaped LED daytime running lights, reminiscent of those on the mid-sized Lexus IS and RC duo.

The grille retains its signature ‘spindle’ shape but features four thick horizontal slats in place of the concept’s tight mesh (a pattern likely to be reserved for racier F Sport variants).

Oval-shaped fog lights sit low on the remodelled front bumper inside more subtle front-side air intakes.

lexus-lf-nx

The bonnet is less steeply raked and does away with the concept’s deep contours and vents, and the profile is cleaner with simpler lines and toned-down side skirts and rear wheel arches.

New silver alloys sit at the corners, while the slimline wing mirrors of the LF-NX concept make way for full-size fixtures.

Lexus’ use of the image has fanned speculation that the final version of the NX could debut as early as March’s Geneva motor show, though a September unveiling in Paris is seemingly more likely.

The Lexus NX will introduce turbocharging technology to the premium Japanese manufacturer’s line-up. The range will include the NX200t – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine tipped to produce about 220kW and 350Nm – and the NX300h petrol-electric hybrid.

Sitting beneath the RX, the Lexus NX will go head to head with the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Lexus Australia is yet to finalise its plans for the NX, though it’s expected to land in local showrooms in 2015.




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