There’s been so much going on this summer with every major automaker that we constantly find ourselves unable to cover some of the smaller, but still very important pieces of Japanese car news. So, today we’re going to catch up with Lexus to see what’s been happening with Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus. More specifically, we’re going to look at the launch of their new Lexus NX crossover, and what it could mean for the brand’s future.
Lexus NX Debuts w/ First Turbo Engine
You’ve probably already heard about the new Lexus NX compact premium crossover, which slots below the Lexus RX in the luxury marque’s lineup. But, you might not fully appreciate what this new premium offering means for the world’s largest Japanese automaker. Not only will the NX serve as Toyota’s long-awaited entry into the premium crossover segment, it’s also their first car, premium or otherwise, to make use of a turbocharged engine. The baseline NX 200t trim in the US uses a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine capable of 235hp.
Of course, if turbocharging isn’t your thing, there’ll be a less-powerful-but-more-efficient Lexus NX 300h available which comes with a 2.5L petrol engine. The engine is configured for four-wheel drive and paired with a high-performance electric motor in the rear of the vehicle. This is the same hybrid powertrain as seen in the Lexus IS 300h, just FYI.
Even though the Lexus NX crossover hasn’t hit dealership floors yet (it’s expected to launch around October), it’s already received rave reviews from lucky first-drivers all over the blogosphere. With Lexus’ European sales already on the up and up, this new Euro-targeted luxury offering is sure to be a longtime success.
Possible Lexus Sub-Compact to Slot Below NX
Believe it or not, Lexus is so excited about their new NX crossover that they’re already considering a similarly styled sub-compact to slot below it in their lineup. At least, that’s what rumors would have us believe.
The story comes from European car magazine, AutoCar.co.uk, who apparently spoke with Lexus’ European VP, Alain Uyttenhoven, about the new vehicle. He’s quoted as saying that the launch of a new, smaller luxury sub-compact was “not impossible,” and that a vehicle like that “made sense” for the luxury marque. At least, it makes sense in Europe where Uyttenhoven says that tastes continue to push the development of smaller and smaller models.
“The premium market starts with a car as small as the Audi A1 (pictured above),” Uyttenhoven said. So, keep your eyes open at the end-of-year auto shows for a new Lexus sub-compact.