The new Lexus NX 2021 was presented , the second generation of the medium-sized SUV of the Japanese company . The first series thus retires after seven years (it has been in production since 2014) in which it met with some commercial success: around 170,000 units were sold in Europe in this period of time. The rivals will be premium segment D SUVs such as Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60. As is now customary for the Japanese house, the new Lexus NX 2021 in Italy will be offered only with hybrid engines , one of which is a brand new plug-in type.
An evolved style, not revolutionized
Nothing cut with the past but continuity: the Lexus NX 2021 externally does not change much compared to the old generation, maintaining the salient features and the same proportions . This was partly possible thanks to the external dimensions almost unchanged compared to the previous NX:
- length: 4.66m (+2cm)
- width: 1.86m (+3cm)
- height: 1.64 m (+5 cm)
- wheelbase: 2.69 m (+3 cm)
Of course, the now iconic, for Lexus, hourglass grille remains, but now it has a decidedly more vertical trend, without the variation of the inclination of the upper half present on the old NX and a thinner frame. Then the horizontal LED blades disappear next to the hourglass grille: now the light signature is integrated into the front headlights.
The side view highlights the presence of a lot of sheet metal, moved by various ribs and reduced glass surfaces, and consequently little glazing. In fact, the waistline has a rather high base and has a trend that further reduces the useful glass surface; at the same time a thick triangular rear pillar is formed which can affect the visibility of three quarters a bit.
The rear is massive, with a sloping rear window surmounted by a spoiler in continuity with the shape of the roof that improves aerodynamics. The lights stand out, with the new L-shaped lights and the full-width horizontal strip. Just below we no longer find the Lexus logo, but the word "LEXUS", a novelty for the Japanese brand.
How it changes inside
Where the 2021 Lexus NX takes a decisive step forward is inside. The dashboard style is cleaner and more modern, with the central part more gathered around the driver , this direct application of the Tazuma concept (Japanese word describing a rider's control over his horse using the reins) for the riding position. The 2021 NX is the first Lexus in which this concept is applied. New touch controls have been introduced on the steering wheel spokes , which can be customized according to the driver's preferences. The command recalled is then projected on the head-up display, so as to reduce distractions while driving.
The digital panel behind the steering wheel, which acts as an instrument panel and is 7 ″, is protected by an eye-catching eyelid and is connected to the central panel through a surface coated in piano black. The central screen is available in two different sizes, 9.8 ″ or 14 ″ (the latter is what you see in the picture).
A new multimedia platform makes its debut that introduces services such as advanced cloud navigation (with data updated in real time) and a voice assistant that is activated by simply saying “Hey Lexus”. The compatibility with Android Auto and Apple Car Play is discounted . The new ecosystem also includes an application called Lexus Link that allows access to a wider range of services and some useful commands to be given remotely (for example: locking or unlocking the doors, activating the air conditioning system to preheat or cool the passenger compartment before a journey).
The new style of the interior of the Lexus NX 2021 , which includes in particular a much less impressive dashboard and visually divided into two distinct areas, aims to give a greater sense of spaciousness to passengers together with a high level of comfort. , quality and attention to detail . A care that is perceived in the arrangement of the controls, all positioned so as to be within reach for the driver, or by goodies such as the electronic door opening system e-latch, which replaces the classic internal door handle with a switch button located next to the armrest in the door panel.
Lexus NX 2021: a look at the engines and mechanics
Built on the Toyota Group's GA-K (Global Architecture K) platform, the Lexus NX 2021 is expected to perform better on the road than its predecessor . The adoption of the new platform allowed a lowering of the center of gravity by 20 mm, an increase in the front and rear track and a better front / rear weight balance. The suspension features a MacPherson pattern at the front and double wishbones at the rear with wishbones.
The frame has also been redesigned: it is now more rigid thanks to the use of lighter and more resistant materials . The structure foresees the first worldwide use of 1180 MPa steel for the reinforcement of the sills and 1470 MPa steel for the reinforcement of the roof. The front bumpers and hood are made of aluminum (for less weight) and a new laser shot peening technology has been developed, in addition to laser screw welding and the use of adhesives to join the structure. A double-locking hood design has been adopted, with a transverse reinforcement between the two locks, which adds the rigidity of the hood to that of the body and manages to suppress vibrations caused by air turbulence.
Hybrid only for Italy
Lexus NX 2021 in Italy will be available with the classic hybrid version NX 350h and with a new plug-in hybrid version, the NX 450h . In some markets, versions powered only by petrol will also be offered, in particular in the markets of Eastern Europe and Russia two variants with two four-cylinder engines will arrive:
- NX 350 with 279 hp, 2.4-liter turbo engine with eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive with Dynamic Torque Control
- NX 250 with 199 hp, 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine with eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive, which will be the basic version of the NX range in those regions
Let's focus on the hybrid variants. The NX 350h can have front or all-wheel drive and its powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine and an electric motor , with the declared combined power of 242 hp (the increase in power compared to the model previous is 22%). It also improves acceleration (7.7 seconds for 0-100 km / h) while at the same time CO 2 emissions should decrease by around 10%.
The new engine as mentioned is the plug-in hybrid. The Lexus NX 450h + 2021 is also equipped with a 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine (2.5 liter displacement) and has a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 18 kWh. Compared to the 350h there is an electric motor on the rear axle that allows for a permanent all-wheel drive system. The total power produced by the plug-in hybrid system is 306 hp and the 0-100 km / h sprint occurs in just over 6 seconds. Lexus promises record efficiency, with CO2 emissions below 40 g / km and an average fuel consumption of 3 liters / 100 km (WLTP cycle).
In electric mode, you can reach a maximum speed of 135 km / h and travel a maximum of 63 km without having to use the internal combustion engine. Lexus is keen to underline that, compared to what happens for other competitors, when the battery is flat the NX 450h + does not use only the thermal engine (with a consequent increase in consumption) but switches to full hybrid mode, with a declared efficiency of 20 % higher than plug-in cars from other manufacturers.
Lexus NX 2021 is full of safety features
The third generation of Lexus Safety System + debuts on the 2021 Lexus NX , a package featuring various active safety and driver assistance functions that will be standard on all NXs sold in the European market. The operation of the devices present in this package has been improved. The anti-collision system, for example, is able to recognize a greater number of objects on the path, such as trees, walls and light poles, and is faster in detecting a vehicle or a pedestrian, thus increasing its ability to prevent an impact. . This increases the system's ability to prevent an impact by 36%. Adaptive cruise control and lane keeping system have also been improved in operation.
Among the devices available on the richer set-ups is the automatic lane change assistant , which when it detects that the driver wants to change lanes overtaking a slower vehicle or following it, anticipates the acceleration or deceleration of the vehicle. There is also an additional system that monitors the road on the sides of the vehicle, especially useful at intersections where you proceed at low speed. This system is combined with the Blind Spot Monitor , which, when the vehicle doors are opened, emits an acoustic signal when other vehicles or bicycles are approaching, blocking the opening if necessary.
When will the new Lexus NX 2021 arrive
The new Lexus NX 2021 can be booked online from June 16, 2021 (here the link to the dedicated page ) until September 9. In order to make the pre-order it is necessary to pay an advance of 300 euros. The purchase must be confirmed in September, while the finalization of the purchase contract is scheduled for December. There are substantial discounts for customers who choose to buy the car in this way . For example, the Launch Pack and Recharge Pack will be offered at 500 euros (against a normal price of 3400 and 2500 euros respectively). The prices or the fittings of the new Lexus NX 2021 have not yet been declared, but we can hypothesize a starting price above the 53,000 euros of the model currently on the market for the NX 350h, and a starting price of around 60,000 for the NX 450h + (aka the plug-in version).