TORONTO, ON – From the time it was introduced in 2014, the Lexus NX was destined for success. Offering crossover-luxury-vehicle seekers exactly what they had long been desiring—a stylish and spacious compact with exciting driving dynamics and excellent fuel efficiency, it was well-received instantly, but not even Lexus could have predicted that it would become a worldwide sensation: The NX dramatically outperformed sales forecasts in every one of its markets around the world, and for 2018, Lexus intends to keep the proverbial wheel rolling with an updated model that the brand revealed at the recent Shanghai Motor Show.
For the 2018 NX, Lexus designers thoroughly enhanced the design essence of the original model, which has garnered universal praise for being one of the best-looking vehicles in its segment. The entire front fascia has undergone a complete refresh, with the upper portion of the grille and the front bumpers redesigned to more fluidly blend into the hood and front doors, resulting in a sleeker overall shape and excellent aerodynamics. The interior of the new NX has also been slightly reworked to enhance sportiness and luxury with the benefit of enhanced control interfaces. Amongst other noticeable improved interior elements, the center dashboard display has gone from 7” – 10.3” with an 8” audio display monitor.
Nearly all the controls and switches inside the new NX, including the drive mode selector, shift knob and door handles, now have a metallic satin finish, enhancing the premium look and feel of the cabin. Even the audio knob and window switches feature a metallic coating.
For models equipped with the Heads Up Display (HUD), the unit is now integrated into the upper instrument panel, resulting in a smooth dash surface that looks identical to those of non-HUD-equipped models.
Powering the NX 300, formerly called the NX 200t, will be Lexus’ powerful and fuel-efficient turbo-charged 2.0-liter inline-4, while the NX 300h’s hybrid drivetrain will continue with a 2.5-liter inline-4 combined with a pair of electric motors, offering guests class-leading power and fuel economy. Both drivetrains offer customers a richer, sportier engine sound and exhaust note that is reproduced through the speakers by Lexus’ Active Sound Control (ASC). The “t” designation has been removed from the name as turbo-charged engines have been adopted by other models in Lexus’s lineup. (Lexus will be initiating this name change to its other turbocharged models in the coming months.).
While the NX’s straight-line performance will essentially remain the same, significant improvements have been made to the vehicle’s suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. Also, new shock absorbers improve the quality of the NX’s already smooth ride. But the biggest new change to the NX’s chassis is the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), now based on the advanced system found in the LC 500, which offers a range of up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments (up from 30) to more precisely control overall handling stability and control.
The most athletic NX trim level, the performance-minded F Sport, will continue to be distinguished by its pronounced mesh grille with jet-black plating and exclusive wheels that feature a bright machined finish with black solid paint. Inside, it will receive specially textured Naguri aluminum ornamentation, yet another example of TAKUMI craftsmanship, which provides a high sense of elegance and sporty flair.