Lexus Gets Ready to Compete in Compact Crossover Segment

September 17th, 2013 by Road Test TV

Lexus LF-NX Concept 03

Lexus was one of the first luxury brands to pioneer the premium crossover segment with the debut of the RX in 1998. Since then, the Toyota owned luxury brand has remained pretty quite when it came to its sports utility vehicles.

However, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last week, Lexus debuted a new concept called the LF-NX, which hints at a future compact utility vehicle. The model will compete with the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Measuring 4,640 mm long with a 2,700 mm wheelbase length, the Lexus LF-NX carries a very aggressive and sexy design, which is a nice shift away from its boring and safe design.

“The Lexus LF-NX concept’s bold, striking and innovative exterior reflects a further evolution of Lexus’ L-finesse design language, bringing more distinctive, angular and sculpted styling to the premium mid-sized crossover segment for the first time,” Lexus said in a statement. “The front of the new concept is dominated by an imposing interpretation of the Lexus spindle grille. Both the chrome trim and grille mesh pattern increase in size as the grille widens through the lower bumper area, to accentuate the concept’s wide front track and powerful stance.”

The interior of the Lexus LF-NX Concept features a design that the brand says is inspired by the LFA and the new Lexus IS.

“Reinforcing the Lexus LF-NX concept’s premium SUV credentials, the strength and refinement of this carved metal surfacing is complemented throughout the cabin by black and Sunrise Yellow leather upholstery with contrast stitching, and sophisticated blue instrument and switchgear lighting,” Lexus said.

Of course, the Lexus LF-NX future a hybrid powertrain. The system consists of a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine and Toyota’s Atkinson electric-motor. While Lexus didn’t give exact figures for performance or fuel-efficiency but, the automaker says that the LF-NX returns “outstanding fuel consumption and class-leading CO2 emissions.”

Lexus has not confirmed when the production version of the Lexus LF-NX will hit markets but we’re guessing it will be some time around 2015. As far as we know, don’t expect a high-performance or a gasoline-only version. Lexus has a history of playing it safe when it comes to powertrain options and tends to go with a hybrid-only selection for most its new vehicles – ie. Lexus CT-200h.

Either way, we like what we see here in terms of design and potential. Let us know what you think.

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