Lexus is undergoing a transformation from that of a sedate, safe, inoffensive generic luxury brand to one that is deliberately provocative, performance-oriented, and yes, even a little bit controversial. Yet paradoxically, Toyota's upscale brand is casting an ever-wider net to appeal to a broader base of customers. Case-in-point is the 2015 Lexus NX crossover. The C-segment crossover market is one of the fastest-growing worldwide, including the United States. Although toned down from the sci-fi angular concept, the production NX is still plenty edgy, with the brand's now-signature love-it-or-hate-it hourglass mesh grille, front LED accent strips, and an interior that puts a strong emphasis on hands-on driving.
So far, Lexus has revealed little in terms of actual technical details on its new concept crossover, other than it will be offered with a variety of different powertrains in different markets, and the U.S. market will get the NX200t and the NX300h, the former representing the brand's first turbocharged offering in the U.S.
For those more interested in economy than performance, the NX300h is expected to have a version of the 2.5-liter I-4 Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain as used in the Lexus ES300h and Toyota Avalon hybrid models, producing approximately 200 net system horsepower. The NX200t will likely produce more than 200 hp, but how much more, we don't yet know. The standard and mandatory transmission on the NX200t is likely to be a six or eight-speed automatic transmission. The NX will come standard with front-wheel-drive for both powertrains, with all-wheel drive optional.
As soon as the NX gets its official reveal at the Beijing Auto Show on April 20, we'll give you the full gamut of tech specs, but in the meantime, enjoy the photos of Lexus' new, mean-looking cute ute.