Toyota’s Lexus goes into SUV market

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WINDHOEK – Toyota’s luxurious wing, Lexus, has entered the competitive Sport Utility Vehicle segment of the market, its first foray into the segment with the Lexus NX brand.

The Lexus NX is offered in four model variants, with the most economical being the NX 200t. It also has a sports model for motoring enthusiasts, the NS 200 F-Sport, as well as a hybrid, NX 300h EX for those with environment conservation priorities. There is also NX 200t EX model with better performance, better handling version for those without motor racing tendencies but appreciate the combination of ultra luxury with good engines performance.
The vehicle would be available in the market from the last week of February. “The brand’s focus is on providing design-driven, driver-rewarding vehicles underpinned by Lexus’ advanced engineering and dynamic, efficient powertrains,” says Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
Styling, of course, was key – the aim was to make a bold first impression and ensure the NX gets noticed. “Stylistically, the production package does not differ markedly from the extrovertly and aggressively crafted LF-NX concept that we showed back in 2013. What the NX designers have given us is an intelligent expression of the Lexus L-Finesse design language, retaining the sharp lines, wide, powerful stance and sporting feel of the original show car which gives it phenomenal on-road presence,” says Hamman.
The front of the vehicle triumphantly displays the bold spindle grille between a new LED headlamp design and daytime running lamps (DRLs), the latter featuring the signature Lexus L-shape. The F-Sport model features a trio of angular LED lamps housed within its expressive headlights that are even more defined thanks to a new two-colour (black and clear) moulding method for the headlamp outer lens. The DRLs on the sportier model are further distinguished by a new linear illumination style, which also double up as LED turn signal lamps.
The ample dimensions of the spindle grille contrast sharply with the thin headlamps that have been ‘scalpelled’ into the face of the NX.
The upper and lower parts of the front bumper intersect at the corners to create a sporty, haunched stance.
But the newcomer is not just about the show – it’s got the go to match. The NX 200t is the first Lexus model to use the company’s new 175 kW, 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine. Nine years in development and debuting with technical innovations such as the Lexus-designed cylinder head with integrated four-into-two exhaust manifold (a world first) and twin-scroll turbocharger, the 1 998cc unit is matched to a newly developed six-speed automatic transmission with a Drive Mode Select system.
The new Euro 6-compliant turbocharged engine delivers 175kW of power from 4 800-5 600rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1650-4000rpm. This translates into a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h.
A combined cycle fuel economy of 7.9 litres/100km with Dynamic Torque Control AWD is achievable while CO2 emission levels are pegged at 184g/km.
The Lexus NX 300h hybrid powertrain was designed to achieve excellent fuel economy coupled with enjoyable acceleration and agile driving. The Lexus series-parallel hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle engine and a multi-mode six-step electronically controlled all-gear continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) with sequential-shiftmatic change and a unique kick-down feature.
Lexus NX 300h has total system output of 145kW, from the combination of the petrol and electric motors. The all-alloy 2AR-FXE petrol engine has a proven track record, thanks to its application in the ES 300h.
Another technological tour-de-force featuring on the NX 200t is the Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel drive system, which maximises traction and cornering stability, while securing the best possible fuel efficiency. According to driving conditions, up to 50 per cent of available torque can be directed to the rear wheels.
The NX 200t is available at launch in three model grades – E, EX and dramatic F-Sport apparel. It’s offered alongside the highly efficient NX 300h hybrid which sports EX livery.
“I am confident that with all these combined elements we have created a new generation vehicle that looks, drives, feels and is more efficient than anything else on the market,” says Hamman.
The price starts at N$539 900 for NX 200t E, while the NX 200t EX is priced at N$579 900. The NX 200t F-Sport costs a cool N$659 900, while the hybrid model, NX 300h EX is priced from N$633 000.
All Lexus NX models are covered by a four-year/100 000 km warranty and service plan (Lexus Distance Plan for the E grade model, Lexus Distance Plan Plus for the EX grade models and Lexus Distance Plan Complete for the F-Sport).

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