As some of you with an eye for details may have already noticed, the all-new Lexus NX crossover has a slightly different face on US shores compared to other markets, and we just recently found out why.
According to Top Gear Philippines, who had the chance to talk with a Lexus official about the matter during the media launch for the NX, the reasoning behind the two different muzzles (notice how the front bumper of the US car caves in at the bottom) for the luxury crossover simply comes down to its classification as a light truck in the United States.
In short, it is all about the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in the land of the free, which have a lower fuel economy standard for light trucks than for regular passenger cars. What does this have to do with the US-only Lexus NX face, you ask?
Easy, part of the criteria for classifying a vehicle as a light truck is for it to have a better approach angle, which the US-variant of the NX clearly has. Long story short, Lexus escapes some certain CAFE penalties because their new compact crossover has a more relaxed taxation on its fuel economy!
We can only wonder if the cost of R&D and production of a new front end for just a single market is that much lower than what the US Government would have penalized Toyota for the increased fuel consumption of its fleet.
By Alex Oagana