At the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, Lexus rolled out a concept crossover called the LF-NX. It then brought it back, with a new paint job and a turbocharged engine, at the Tokyo Motor Show a few months later. We got another glimpse a couple of months after that during a presentation from Jim Lentz. But now Toyota has confirmed that the finalized production version is just around the corner.
Before kicking off the Detroit Auto Show, the Society of Automotive Analysts had Toyota CEO Jim Lentz come on stage to say some words about the future of the auto industry, as well as what's coming for Toyota. While this type of information would normally stay off our radar, a video of his speech likely gives us our first look – albeit low-res – at the production version of the Lexus NX compact crossover.
Just five months ago, our spy photographers caught what appeared to be a mule for the forthcoming Lexus NX crossover with the body of a CT 200h for disguise. Then the LF-NX Concept CUV debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show (it showed up at the Tokyo Motor Show as well) with a massive spindle grille and an extreme version of Lexus' sharp-edged new styling language on full display. Now Auto Express reports that a production version of the LF-NX concept will grace the Geneva Motor Show next March and
Concept cars typically have a short lifespan. They debut at a major international auto show, then make the rounds of the lesser local shows, and that's pretty much it. They might be loaned out for test drives or put on display in a museum, but by and large they've had their fifteen minutes of fame by that point. That said, Japan's automakers have found a way to keep these show cars going and keep them in the news. They're modifying them and giving them a fresh lease on life.
Lexus is drawing crowds with its sharply styled LF-NX Concept, a car that previews a competitor for the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLK (also debuting at Frankfurt) and Audi Q3. We previewed the LF-NX last week, but we've since gotten a bit of in-person time with the compact crossover on the Frankfurt show floor.
Compact luxury crossovers are becoming big business for upscale automakers. Mercedes is slotting the new GLA beneath the GLK, BMW has the X1 below the X3, Audi has downsized from the Q5 to the Q3, and Lexus is keen to get in on the game. And to that end, Toyota's luxury division is coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show this year with the concept crossover you see here.