Lexus sets a US sales target of 2,200 units a month for the NX compact crossover

Article by Christian A., on April 29, 2014

Lexus NX compact crossover made its debut last week at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The NX bound for the United States will be powered by either a 235-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four paired to a six-speed automatic, or a 194-hp four-cylinder hybrid similar to that in the Lexus ES 300h.

Its all-wheel-drive version, however, will feature a rear-motor layout similar to that of the RX and will take its juice from a nickel-metal hydride battery.

A source told Automotive News that the NX would have a fuel economy figure of between 34 mpg to 36 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Lexus International Executive Vice President Mark Templin expects the turbo drivetrain to account for 80 to 85 percent of sales in the United States, where the carmaker is targeted monthly sales of 2,200 units.

Templin remarked Lexus tuned the turbo to deliver smooth acceleration instead of jerky power thrusts. He said through that way, Lexus’ compact crossover will be more refined, more linear, smoother and more luxury-like. The Lexus NX features a 104.7-inch wheelbase and a 182.3-inch overall length, making it a bit smaller than the Acura RDX.

While the NX is 5.5 inches shorter than the RX, its rear legroom that is 0.4-inch shorter than the RX and its luggage space is just 0.8 inch narrower, according to Chief Engineer Takeaki Kato. He remarked that while packaging was their biggest challenge for the NX, they were able to make the interior much roomier than anticipated.

Both the turbocharged and hybrid versions of the NX will be available in front- or all-wheel drive. The NX is based from the Lexus CT platform with some Toyota RAV4 underpinnings. Lexus will start selling the NX compact crossover this fall.

For many players in the auto industry, one of the longest held images is the idea of creating a vehicle that appears to be fashioned from one piece of metal. This is the image that the design team of NX took to heart. To make this possible, the team utilized a spindle grille as a base. The team then poured molten steel to determine how its shape would naturally form.

For this reason, it allows the 2015 Lexus NX to have the integral and angular shape. Beginning from the thrilling spindle grille, moving to the headlights with its L-theme and up to the body that looks to be formed from a single piece of metal, there is no mistaking this new model for anything else in the same class. It has the appearance that showcases the performance and functionality of a compact, premium performance vehicle.

By having those good ramp-over angles used for light trail driving, it allows for the muscular and crouching stance. This fact is highlighted further by making sure that the highest point has been pushed toward the rear of the vehicle’s roof.

The same spindle grille design is mirrored by the tailgate detailing. Meanwhile the integrated spoiler and sharply raked tailgate are interspersed with the brand’s own signature L-shaped light clusters which have seamless light emitting diode (LED) lighting. While the NX is indeed attractive and draws attention, the wind won’t have much impact on it.

This is because of the combination of an arrangement of six underbody aero panels and the spoiler that is inspired from racing technology and mounted on the roof. The result is a drag coefficient of 0.33 (NX 200t). Lexus revealed that the 2015 NX will come with the alloy 17-inch wheels and the 18-inch version as an option. The wheels come in a design that brings to mind exotic sports cars instead of SUVs.

In order to optimize the width of the internal storage, the brand made sure to widen and angle the C-pillar. As for the cargo area, it is possible to position a total of four golf club bags in a longitudinal position rather than wedging them in a diagonal manner.

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