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All-new Lexus NX – a compact crossover for the well-heeled buyer

Lexus NX gambitLexus Malaysia unveiled the Lexus NX today at a media launch in Kuala Lumpur. The NX is an all-new model line directed at competing in the the compact premium crossover market.

The model range starts at the base NX 200t — available also in Premium, Luxury, and F Sport specifications — and tops out with the hybrid NX 300h bringing the total number of variants to five.

The F Sport variant is not just an aesthetic package however, to go with that eye-catching honeycomb-patterned spindle grille are performance rods and adaptive variable suspension.

Besides this all 200t variants are mechanically identical, the base 200t simply does without some creature comforts available in the more expensive variants such as a navigation system, power rear door, blind spot monitor, and rear cross traffic alert.

All variants are powered by an all-new twin-scroll turbo 2.0-litre available for the moment exclusively in the NX except for the NX 300h, which runs a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle mill at its heart.

The latter can also be found in the Lexus ES 300h, however as the NX is a an all-wheel-drive vehicle it packs an extra motor to power the real wheels. This is identical to the setup in the RX 450h, bringing the total number of motors to three as opposed to the the two employed in the ES.

On the topic of whether this new crossover might cannibalise sales from the Lexus RX, president of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. Datuk Ismet Suki responded by saying that the target buyer demographic for the NX is younger than that of the RX, wherein buyers of the latter prefer a larger  and more conventional SUV shape.

When questioned as to whether buyers can expect an NX F at some point down the line, NX chief engineer Takeaki Kato had this to say. “Personally I hope so, but I cannot reveal future plans.”

Read into that what you will, if as expected a BMW X4M hits the market in 2017 heres hoping it will have some company in the segment in the form of a fire-breathing NX F.

L-R: Hao Quoc Tien, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific; Datuk Ismet Suki, president of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd.; YB Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd.; Takeaki Kato, Lexus NX cheif engineer; and Paul Carroll, vice president of Lexus Asia Pacific Division

L-R: Hao Quoc Tien, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific; Datuk Ismet Suki, president of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd.; YB Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd.; Takeaki Kato, Lexus NX cheif engineer; and Paul Carroll, vice president of Lexus Asia Pacific Division

Order books for the NX opened in October 2014, to date upwards of 600 orders have been placed with the F Sport variant being the most popular. Lexus Malaysia expects to sell around 2,000 units by the end of the year.

Deliveries are said to commence from the 5th of February, 2015.

Peninsula Malaysia Pricing for the Lexus NX range (OTR including insurance):

NX 200t RM 299,873.80

NX 200t Premium RM 331,679.80

NX 200t Luxury RM 352,199.80

NX 200t F Sport RM 378,875.80

NX 300h RM 385,063.50

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