First official pictures: sub 120g/km Lexus NX crossover
23 May 2014
Lexus is looking to take on Audi's Q5 and the BMW X3 with its new NX small off-roader this October.
The NX will set a new premium class benchmark of sub-120g/km for emissions and a 54.3mpg figure thanks to its hybrid powertrain, giving a "considerable cost of ownership advantage for retail and fleet customers", according to the company.
The Toyota-owned premium brand is expecting the majority of NX customers to be new to the brand.
"Our expectation is 80% conquest and that includes some upgrades from Toyota; at the moment, we lose quite a lot from there to premium brands," said Matt Harrison, Lexus GB president.
"It's important we get to new customers and don't see too much conquest from our range." He admitted, though, that the corporate share of NX sales would be less than the core fleet models such as the upper medium IS or executive GS.
The NX will, in a full year, match the IS and the lower medium CT for volumes, with each hitting 3500-4000 registrations in the UK, and the buying criteria of emissions, packaging, what the brand calls "SUV-ness", and design are the key.
"When you put this car next to what is out there in the segment it's outstanding and that has been verified in [customer] clinics," declared Lexus's European boss Alain Uyttenhoven.
"Lexus customers are traditionally in their high-50s or 60s at the moment so this is a great chance to lower the average age and conquest."
The NX will be available in two guises: the most popular 195hp NX300h hybrid and, following next February, the 235hp NX200t, Lexus's first turbocharged petrol engine.
Prices for the entry-level front-wheel drive car will start from £29,495, through to £42,995 for the range-topping NX300h Premier AWD. The NX300h is due on sale in the UK in October 2014.