The new Lexus NX compact SUV has been confirmed for Australia – but the brand won’t be offering a budget-focused base model.
The Lexus NX range will consist of the high-tech 2.5-litre petrol-electric NX300h hybrid model, which will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the NX200t with its all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder is due here in the first half of 2015.
But the NX200 model, which is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and was set to offer the brand a wallet-friendly base model price, has been ruled out for the Australian market.
A Lexus spokesman told CarAdvice that model – which is expected to produce significantly less power than the total peak output of 145kW for the hybrid and the 175kW/350Nm of the four-cylinder turbo – was designed for markets that have stricter CO2 emissions regulations, where buyers are drawn to more economy-focused engines.
Both the NX200t and NX300h will be available with a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive. The NX200t is available with a newly developed six-speed automatic and features the brand’s first stop-start system for a non-hybrid model, while the NX300h is equipped with a CVT automatic and, if optioned, an electronic four-wheel-drive system.
Full specifications have not yet been confirmed for either model, but Lexus has stated that both 17- and 18-inch wheels will be available (the latter likely on F-Sport variants), as well as LED headlights and adaptive suspension linked to the drive mode selector for some models.
A range of safety systems will be available, such as ‘panoramic view monitor’ which uses the brand’s highest resolution camera yet, and ‘all-speed dynamic radar cruise control’, which enables the SUV to follow the car ahead and slow the car to a halt without driver intervention. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a head-up display will also be offered.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the new Lexus NX range.