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Lexus reveals new NX plug-in hybrid with 40-mile electric range

Published 15 June 2021

Lexus has revealed an all new version of its popular NX SUV – with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model available for the first time. It's set to arrive in the UK later this year, with prices expected to start from around £36,500.

The NX 450h+ uses the same petrol-electric set-up as the closely related Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Across. It pairs a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a rechargeable 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery. An additional rear electric motor enables all-wheel drive.

Lexus says the new NX will offer an electric range of 40 miles and enable zero-emissions driving at speeds up to 84mph. When the battery is depleted, the system operates like a conventional ‘self-charging’ hybrid — which is said to make it 20 per cent more efficient than rival PHEV SUVs.

The plug-in system produces 306PS and is expected to give 0-62mph acceleration in a little more than six seconds. Estimated CO2 emissions (WLTP combined cycle) of less than 40g/km and fuel economy better than 94mpg are set to be class-leading.

Lexus NX 450h

The second available new NX variant in the UK will be an evolved version of the NX 350h hybrid, which is said to be 22 per cent more powerful, emit 10 per cent less CO2 and be 15 per cent quicker than the current model. The electrified 2.5-litre four-cylinder has an output of 242PS and a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds. The model will be available with front and all-wheel drive, both with a 1.5-tonne towing capacity.

Overall length has increased by 20mm, the wheelbase by 30mm, the width by 20mm and the height by 5mm — which the carmaker says offers “notably with more space for rear-seat passengers.”

The NX is the first model to feature Lexus’s Tazuna cockpit design, which curves round from the driver’s door to the centre console. There’s also a new infotainment system, Lexus Link Connect, which uses a 9.8-inch central touchscreen. Higher-grade models will feature a 14-inch display.

Lexus NX Plug -in Hybrid Rear

It runs an all-new operating system that introduces smart services, including live journey and traffic information, as well as a new ‘Hey Lexus’ voice control function.

The new NX is Lexus’s first model to feature the third generation of Lexus Safety System+, which include further expansion of the Pre-Collision System’s capabilities and the addition of Emergency Steering Assist. Wheel size goes up to 20-inches and, at the rear, the new NX will feature the first use of the ‘LEXUS’ name in place of the ‘L’ emblem.

Specifications and prices will be announced closer to launch, which will be in the last quarter of the year. Prices are expected to be slightly higher than the outgoing model, which currently starts at £36,075.

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