At the 2013 Frankfurt auto show back in September, Lexus showed the world what happens when an RX450h is fed a strict diet of steroids and spindles. It shrinks, gets angry, and changes its name to LF-NX. The “Urban-Centric” CUV with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder hybrid drive system was the rolling embodiment of the “L-Finesse” design language dominating Toyota’s luxury division, and now there’s another one: The Lexus LF-NX Turbo crossover concept.
On a recent trip to check out the comparatively downright subdued RC in Nagoya, Japan, designers Tetsuo Miki and Nobuyuki Tomatsu gave us a sneak peek at the turbocharged version of the concept. The LF-NX Turbo will debut at the 2013 Tokyo auto show.
At first glance, it’s identical to the Hybrid. At second glance, it still is. Step in a little closer however and you may notice the lower front diffuser has a more aggressive design to visually lower the NX’s stance and perhaps imply a bigger snout is necessary for that turbo to swallow up more air. Move your eyes up and the chrome surrounding the spindle grille has been blackened for a more menacing snarl.
Moving to the profile will only reveal sharper new multi-color wheels and a slightly lower ride height courtesy of lower profile tires. The biggest change comes around the rear where Lexus’ “no-visible-tailpipe on hybrids” rule is thrown out the window for two tall triangular exhaust tips to relieve the Turbo of its noxious burdens.
But those burdens shouldn’t weigh too heavy on the little CUV as Lexus plans to use a newly developed 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. Stats and specs are still scarce for the powertrain this early in the development of the brand’s newest Sport Utility offering, but we'll have more from Tokyo in a few weeks.