The Lexus NX enters a new model year following nearly four years on the market - and the refreshed model is making its public debut at the 2017 Auto Shanghai. The facelift brings a visual refresh, especially at the front where the upper part of the grille and the front bumper have been redesigned to, it says, “more fluidly blend into the hood and front doors”. The model also gets optional AHS-equipped headlamps and triple projectors – a similar technology to the one used in the LC luxury coupe.
At the rear, Lexus designers have enhanced the appearance with revised taillights and a slightly reshaped lower diffuser with integrated tailpipes. The NX Hybrid receives a slotted sectional piece with an L-shaped satin chrome border. There’s also a new set of 18-inch wheels for the top trims.
Inside the cabin, the most notable improvement is the addition of a larger 10.3-inch display on the center console, which replaces the current 7-inch screen. Lexus also says the HVAC panel has been “dramatically” improved by replacing the small section of buttons with four easy-to-operate toggle switches. The manufacturer also explains that nearly all the controls and switches inside the interior, including the drive mode selector, shift knob, and door handles, now have a metallic satin finish.
For the 2018 model year the NX 200t will be replaced by the NX 300 – and the "t" designation has been removed because turbocharged engines have been adopted by other models in Lexus's lineup, the company says. The model retains its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and the NX Hybrid will continue to be powered by a hybrid system that combines the work of a 2.5-litre unit and two electric motors.
More significant improvements, Lexus says, have been made to the suspension - the springs, stabiliser bars, and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering, while new dampers "improve the quality of the NX's already smooth ride". Probably the biggest change to the chassis is the so-called Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which is now based on the system found in the LC 500. It now offers a range of up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments (up from 30) to "more precisely control overall handling stability and control".
Last but not least, the sportiest member of the NX family, the NX F Sport, gains an even more pronounced mesh radiator grille and exclusive wheels with bright machined finish with black solid paint. The interior can be distinguished by the specially textured Naguri aluminum ornamentation and the new white-black seating color combination.
Check out the press release section below for more details.
Gallery: 2018 Lexus NX
2018 Lexus NX Bows in Shanghai with a Sharper Look and Enhanced Performance
- An evolution of the NX's sporty, sophisticated styling
- Sharper handling performance with a smoother overall ride quality
- The addition of the preventive safety package, Lexus Safety System +, as standard equipment, providing an even safer driving experience
SHANGHAI, China (April 19, 2017)―The NX was destined for success when it was introduced in 2014, for it offered crossover-luxury-vehicle customers exactly what they had long been desiring―a stylish and spacious compact with exciting driving dynamics and excellent fuel efficiency―but not even Lexus could have predicted that it would become a worldwide sensation: The NX dramatically outperformed sales forecasts in every one of its markets around the world, including North America, Europe and China. For the 2018 model, Lexus intends to keep the proverbial wheel rolling with an updated model that the brand introduced today at the Shanghai Motor Show.
For the 2018 NX, Lexus designers thoroughly enhanced the design essence of the original model, which has garnered universal praise for being one of the best-looking vehicles in its segment. The entire front fascia of the new NX has been refreshed, with the upper portion of the grille and the front bumpers redesigned to more fluidly blend into the hood and front doors, resulting in a sleeker overall shape and excellent aerodynamics. The new NX's available AHS-equipped headlamps and triple projectors are similar to those equipped on the LC luxury coupe and help give the NX's face a sportier aura. Also of note, satin and smoked chrome trim elements have been applied to the grille treatment in addition to new vertical elements added to the grille's inner portion.
"Starting at the spindle grille, the way the front edges connect to the front fenders results in a much bolder expression than before, clearly highlighting the NX's style design architecture," the NX's Exterior Designer, Shin Kamiura from Lexus Design Division, said. "We've also changed the shape of the lower front bumper to better support the spindle grille, as well as relocating the fog lamps to the corner of the front bumpers, separating them from the ducts. The result is a front fascia with a stronger and more aggressive presence."
The 2018 NX rear end has received styling touches to help match the sportiness of the front. The lower rear bumper cover now involves elements of the grille's spindle motif and has been broadened to enhance the vehicle's wide stance and low-center-of-gravity look. In addition, the NX's revised taillights have been elongated, and the black garnish has been revised to better emphasize the "L"-shaped lenses. Also, the new NX features larger chrome-tipped exhaust tips that are integrated into the vehicle's revised bumper cover design and new rear underbody spoiler. For the NX Hybrid, a slotted sectional piece with an L-shaped satin chrome border blends flawlessly into the underbody spoiler.
Two new high-grade aluminum 18-in. wheels have been added to the mix, including a bronze-colored machine-finished piece. The others are equally striking, combining a bright machined-finish with dark metallic paint to express a three-dimensional design with an increased sense of depth.
The interior of the new NX has also been slightly reworked to exude a sportier nature, a more luxurious feel, and with enhanced control interfaces. The first thing you're bound to notice is the larger display on the center dashboard, which has grown from 7 in. to 10.3 in. (Note: Lexus Display Audio monitor is 8 in.) Also, the design of the HVAC control panel has been dramatically simplified by replacing the small section of buttons with four easy-to-operate toggle switches adorned with tiny "Ls" on their surface. And, rear-seat passengers will now be able to set the temperature in their own compartment via a switch on the rear console. The analogue clock features a cleaner, simpler design than before with an outer ring that's more pronounced. It has also been slightly enlarged for better readability and now includes satellite control, which automatically sets the time in different time zones.
Nearly all the controls and switches inside the new NX, including the drive mode selector, shift knob and door handles, now have a metallic satin finish, enhancing the premium look and feel of the cabin. Even the audio knob and window switches feature a metallic coating.
On the center console, the remote touch interface pad has been enlarged and redesigned for easier operation, and the palm rest has been reshaped for maximum wrist comfort. The wireless charger tray has also grown in size to accommodate larger smart phones. In addition, the USB ports have been more optimally positioned in the center console, and their amperage has been increased for faster charging. For models equipped with the Heads Up Display (HUD), the unit is now integrated into the upper instrument panel, resulting in a smooth dash surface that looks identical to those of non-HUD-equipped models.
The 2018 NX adds the convenience of a foot-operated rear hatch that can be used when the user's hands or arms are full, such as when carrying goods. Placing or kicking up one of your feet toward a sensor beneath the rear-bumper cover opens or closes the electrically-actuated rear hatch.
Lexus has become known for its high level of artful craftsmanship through its TAKUMI masters. For all 2018 NXs, their skill and attention to detail is showcased in the revised needlework on the vehicle's leather surfaces, which are stitched perfectly straight, and not at a slight angle as you would find in other products. This intricate pattern can only be executed with the help of hand-operated machinery equipped with special needles that are resistant to overheating and thread breakage.
"Even if it can't be immediately seen, an acute attention to details, such as the way the stitching of materials create a subtle pattern, can be felt spiritually to make a difference to the customer. That is the essence of the TAKUMI way that elevates the entire construction of a Lexus," said Takeaki Kato, the Chief Engineer of the NX.
Powering the NX 300, formerly called the NX 200t, will be Lexus' powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, while the NX 300h's hybrid drivetrain will continue with a 2.5-liter inline-4 combined with a pair of electric motors, offering customers class-leading power and fuel economy. Both drivetrains offer customers a richer, sportier engine sound and exhaust note that is reproduced through the speakers by Lexus' Active Sound Control (ASC). You may be wondering, why the name change to the entry-level model? The "t" designation has been removed because turbocharged engines have been adopted by other models in Lexus's lineup. (Lexus will be initiating this name change to its other turbocharged models in the coming months.).
While the NX's straight-line performance will essentially remain the same, significant improvements have been made to the vehicle's suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. Also, new shock absorbers improve the quality of the NX's already smooth ride. But the biggest new change to the NX's chassis is the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), now based on the advanced system found in the LC 500, which offers a range of up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments (up from 30) to more precisely control overall handling stability and control.
The 2018 NX features reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), thanks to a combination of suspension tuning and the addition of strategically placed sound deadening within the vehicle's body.
Already one of the safest vehicles in its class, the new NX will include the brand's innovative Lexus Safety System +, which integrates active safety technologies, such as the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Automatic High Beam (AHB). It will also be equipped with Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS).
The most athletic NX trim level, the performance-minded F Sport, will continue to be distinguished by its pronounced mesh grille with jet-black plating and exclusive wheels that feature a bright machined finish with black solid paint. Inside, it will receive specially textured Naguri aluminum ornamentation, yet another example of TAKUMI craftsmanship, which provides a high sense of elegance and sporty flair. The special white/black seating surface treatment is one of a few new interior color combinations that are exclusive to the F Sport, as are the separate readouts for turbo boost and G forces for the HUD display.
"For the new NX, we made bold refinements to the design, elevated its performance and added new features to enhance its comfort and convenience. The new NX still possesses the same elements that have made it popular in the past―a sharp design, everyday convenience and driving pleasure that will satisfy all enthusiasts―but the vehicle as a whole has evolved dramatically, as you're bound to see and feel when you first experience it," Kato said.