February 06, 2015 @ 09:50 AM

Lexus becomes un-boring

The highlight should not only be on the sheet metal, the new turbo engine deserves some stage time too, says Chris Ng


The highlight should not only be on the sheet metal, the new turbo engine deserves some stage time too, says Chris Ng

It’s remarkable that Lexus has managed to rack up around 600 orders by just how the NX looks, but that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. What is certain is that the Lexus’ new baby crossover looks every bit gorgeous, more so in the metal than in the pictures. And if you opt for the F Sport, the spindle grille becomes even more imposing.

The sharp lines you see on the SUV was inspired by pouring molten steel on the die of the spindle grille to see how the resulting shape would naturally form. Weird creatures, designers. The NX’s final form boasts of a Cd of 0.33 which is achieved with an array of underbody aero panels and roof-mounted spoiler.

Lexus seem to have stepped up the game with the very well-appointed interior. While the interior is decked out with appropriate amounts of leather accentuated with bits of metallic-coloured parts, it is how the dashboard and centre stack is penned to squeeze out a sense of class when you get in. The standard bright dials and gauges greet you when you come in is all good, but more bling can be had with the F Sport leather wrapping for the steering and gear knob, aluminium pedals and scuff plate on the sills with the F Sport name emblazoned on it.

It’s got good techy bits too. The NX boasts to have a power reclining and folding for the rear seats, something which Lexus says is a world’s first. Another first, this time for Lexus, is the inclusion of the Qi wireless charging tray that charges Qi-compatible mobile devices without the need for tangly cords. Another first for Lexus – the Remote Touch Interface replaces the fiddly mouse-y joystick-type remote touch interface.

That said, the most significant first-for-Lexus is the new 2.0-litre turbo engine that integrates its cylinder head with a 4-into-2 exhaust manifold and twin scroll. Lexus claims that with the throttle wide open with a maximum boost of 17psi, the engine produces 235bhp between 4800 and 5600rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1650 to 4000rpm. Fuel economy is said to be good due in part to the Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence Wide (VVT-iW) that starts the car in the Otto cycle and switches over to the Atkinson cycle when up to speed. A new six-speed sequential is paired with the powermill, which sends horses to all four-wheels.  

Another powertrain offered with the NX is the hybrid. So, for the 300h, you’ll find a 2.5-litre petrol under the hood plugged with an electric motor to provide a system output of 197bhp. The torque of 210Nm between 4200 and 4400rpm comes from the engine itself. An E-CVT provides the channel that sends power to the wheels.

The Lexus NX starts from RM299,873.80 on-the-road with insurance for the NX 200t and goes all the way up to RM385,063.50 for the NX 300h. In total, there are five variants to choose from but if you have a good mind, you should go for the NX 200t F Sport. Why? Because it looks mental.

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Topics:  Local Agenda

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