Images of the second-generation Lexus NX have leaked online, ahead of an expected official unveiling sometime in the next few months.
Posted yesterday on the Club Lexus forum, the pictures – said to be captured from a leaked video now taken offline – reveal that the premium mid-sized SUV will be brought closer into line with the newer UX crossover but won’t be subject to a radical design overhaul.
Lexus’s trademark front grille design remains but with a new mesh pattern to subtly differentiate the new NX from its predecessor, while the headlights have been lightly reshaped and now look to use LED technology. Expanded lower air intakes contribute to a more aggressive stance, while the front splitter looks to have been extended – likely for improved aerodynamics.
The current NX’s heavily creased sides appear to have been smoothed out for a cleaner look and a new light bar spans the width of the rear end, which also gains new vertical air channels, a new bumper and sharper numberplate recess.
Updates to the inside are more dramatic and look to enhance the NX’s appeal in light of newer rivals, including the Audi Q5, BMW X4, Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Most obviously, the freestanding infotainment display has been swapped for a much larger integrated touchscreen that also appears to have replaced most of the cabin’s physical controls – including those for temperature, volume and tuning. It is clear from these images that music streaming services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will feature.
The new digital display is part of a wider cabin transformation that ushers in a sweeping new dashboard design, restyled air vents, an all-digital instrument cluster and a cleaner centre console. A new gear shifter and steering wheel round off the overhaul, but we can see that a head-up display will be available and the interior materials will be revamped.
Details of the powertrain line-up are not yet clear, but the NX will join the closely related Toyota RAV4 in retaining its petrol-electric hybrid offering: a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine mated to a pair of electric motors for combined outputs of 194bhp and 152lb ft. A plug-in hybrid option is on the cards for the first time, too, with the RAV4 now offering 302bhp and 46 miles of electric-only range in PHEV guise.
An electric version of the NX is less likely, at least from launch. Lexus has already previewed its electric follow-up to the UX 300e, and while the front end design is familiar from the brand’s current combustion-engined cars, the rear looks to bear minimal resemblance to anything Lexus has launched so far.