Take a good look at the image above. That's the US-market Lexus NX 300h, and it looks, well... distinctive. Although the entire NX crossover sports styling that could certainly be described as controversial, it's the front end of the 'ute that seems to draw most of the ire, befitted as it is with Lexus' so-called spindle grill.
One has to wonder why it took so long for Lexus to enter the hotly contested compact premium crossover market. The brand itself projects some 36,000 sales for its brand-new NX, which is set to go on sale in the US in November. Add that potential to the 100,000-plus RX crossovers it sells annually in the States and Lexus looks poised to put some hurt on German rivals like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
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
Toyota has sat quietly on the sidelines as many of its competitors have armed themselves in recent years with lower-displacement turbocharged four-cylinder engines in an effort to gain better fuel efficiency numbers and flatter power curves. It's a strategy largely shared by fellow countryman Honda, who turned away from offering forced-induction four-cylinder models in North America after its first-generation Acura RDX failed to find buyers. Toyota itself has no lack of experience with turbo fou
To the untrained eye, these photos might not look like anything more than a Lexus CT 200h undergoing testing, but what we really have here is something pretty significant. According to our spies, this is actually a mule that gives us our first glimpse at the upcoming Lexus NX crossover, a smaller vehicle that will slot below the RX in the automaker's CUV portfolio – presently only one vehicle.