Lexus has shown its edgy LF-NX concept car at two major motor shows this year: it debuted in Frankfurt with a hybrid powertrain and was then brought to Tokyo in a sportier version featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. It’s clear that Lexus wouldn’t have gone into all that trouble if it did not have serious intentions about the LF-NX.
As it turns out, the luxury car manufacturer is already working on a production version of the SUV, which will reportedly be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next spring. Conceived as a Range Rover Evoque rival, the production Lexus LF-NX is said to be heavily inspired by the concept’s design.
“What we’re finding is that these days customers want to be more expressive, so a lot of the concept’s inherent design will come out in the finished car,” Lexus’ European director Paul Van der Burgh told AutoExpress.
“We’ve seen the finished design, we know what it will look like and it will definitely stand apart. Why would you want something that looked like everything else in the segment? Our customers have always wanted a combination of design and technology, but design has definitely become more important,” Van der Burgh added.
The production crossover is expected to be available with both powertrains that were showcased on the concept car – the 220hp hybrid powertrain sourced from the IS 300h and GS 300h models, as well as the all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine. The latter will replace the 2.5-liter V6 engine in future Toyota and Lexus models as well.
It remains to be seen how much of the LF-NX’s radical design will make the transition on the production model – I guess that depends on how much courage Lexus execs have.
By Dan Mihalascu