Lexus has officially unveiled the newest car in its lineup and yes, it’s a crossover. The 2022 Lexus NX sports a familiar face, which bears a big resemblance to the outgoing model. This tracks, because the outgoing model sold in droves.
The similarities between this and the old model are checked at the door, however, because this NX has an all-new interface inside which finally updates the tired, old one and brings the cabin up to speed. It’s about damn time, Lexus!
More on the fancy, new user interface will come shortly. Spoiler alert: It’s good!
Lexus will offer a whole lot of different NX models, too, sporting everything from forced induction, to naturally aspirated and partially-electrified drivetrains. Indeed, with this new NX release, Lexus is channeling its inner Van Morrison because there’s something here for everyone.
The default or de facto model of the new crossover is the NX 350, which sports a turbocharged mill and has a respectable set of performance specs, per Lexus:
The new lower center of gravity and enhancements in vehicle rigidity allow for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine on the NX 350. The new 8-speed transmission provides the gas-powered NX the feel of a performance vehicle with the higher perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam, both Lexus firsts.
The exciting turbo gas-powered engine boasts an estimated 275 horsepower and 317 lb. ft. of torque. Combined, these result in a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds, a half-second quicker than the previous model.
The Japanese carmaker is also talking up two hybrid models. One of these is a PHEV called the NX 450h+. This model will be plenty quick and will have decent all-electric range, as Lexus describes:
The NX 450h+ has a manufacturer-estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed, high-capacity lithium ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0-60 time.
The NX450h+ employs an electronically controlled, full-time AWD system for a confident, sporty driving experience. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended. In turns, the NX AWD provides exhilarating yet elegant control for normal to aggressive driving styles.
What is sorely missing from that quote is how nice the blue finish looks:
The other partially electrified model is the NX 350h, which is not a plug-in hybrid model but will still be a good alternative for those who want good MPGs:
With the all-new Lexus NX 350h, guests can have both great performance and fuel economy. With a combined 239 horsepower (a 20 percent increase over the current model) and impressive manufacturer estimated 36 MPG (an increase of 6 MPG over the current model), the NX hybrid brings a powerful performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Guests will also notice the quicker 0-60 time with 1.5 seconds shaved off the time from prior generations at 7.2 seconds.
In case you were wondering, the new NX will come as an F Sport model — or two — which will sport a cooler exterior and a sportier suspension, for starters:
Me, I’d much rather a nice sedan, and whatever this NX costs, it will likely be competitive with some of Lexus’ own four-door cars, but the buyers have voted.
These things are probably going to fly off the lots! Pricing for the new NX models is still unknown. Lexus says the pricing will be revealed as we get closer to the NX’s sale date, which is a ways off. Production, not sale, of this new NX is set for late 2021.