Lexus has just unveiled the LF-NX, a concept that previews a crossover that may one day become one of the brand's global best-sellers. The Lexus RX has been a luxury-segment best-seller for years, but that two-row, midsize crossover has a starting price above $40,000 including destination. The Lexus LF-NX -- and the refreshed 2014 GX -- indicate the production-spec compact crossover may be quite a bit bolder than the RX now in dealerships. The LF-NX is officially debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.
Lexus says the LF-NX has a hybrid powertrain "tuned for SUV performance." While we expected a CT-based compact crossover, it sounds like the future Lexus CUV will have more than the CT 200h' 134 hp, combined from a 1.8-liter I-4 and its electric motor. The concept's Lexus badges are tinted blue, pointing to the car's hybrid powertrain.
Before you write off the LF-NX's huge front grille as the type of design detail that only makes it to concepts, we'd suggest you take another look at the 2014 GX and 2014 IS 350 F Sport. As with the new IS, the LF-NX separates the LED light swooshes from the LED headlights. As we saw with the teaser image last month, the LED light accents are cut in half at the corners by a sheetmetal fold that rises from the bottom of the car toward the headlights. Thankfully, the concept's huge lower front fascia openings at the corner will be toned down by the time we see a production model.
The giant rear wheel well flares are angular and actually bold in a good way, and the rising side window line ("diamond shape" in Lexus-speak) is reminiscent of that on the existing RX. The back of the Lexus LF-NX appears a little busy to us, though when we see it on September 10 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, that impression could change.
Inside the Lexus LF-NX concept is black and yellow leather with contrast stitching. Look closely and you'll see a new version of the automaker's Remote Touch Interface controller, which is paired with touch-sensitive electrostatic switches.
From a design perspective, there's a lot going on with the Lexus LF-NX concept, and it will be interesting to see how much of the styling carries over to the production model. Stick with MotorTrend.com for updates on the Lexus crossover concept and other Frankfurt show debuts.