The second-generation Lexus NX is set to make its Thailand-market debut at the end of November ahead of the 2021 Thailand International Motor Expo that commences December 1, five months after its global premiere.
Lexus’ rival to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 was launched in its latest guise with internal combustion and hybrid powertrains, and the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid version is set to be in the Thai market line-up, according to Headlight Magazine. The global line-up also includes the non-plug-in NX 350h, the 2.4 litre turbocharged petrol NX 350 and the 2.5 litre naturally aspirated NX 250.
The plug-in hybrid NX 450h+ that has been said to be confirmed for Thailand packs an A25A-FXS 2.5 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, mated with front and rear axle electric motors which are fed by an 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. This is the powertrain used in the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which is rated with a total system output of 302 hp, with 176 hp and 228 Nm coming from the internal combustion engine.
A total of four driving modes are offered on the NX 450h+, which are EV, Auto EV/HEV, HEV and Self-charge modes. Auto is for the vehicle to determine when to fire up the engine, while HEV is to combine both the ICE and the electric motors for maximum performance. Cars in certain markets will link the Auto EV/HEV mode to the navigation system, enabling the car to switch modes based on road conditions.
The non-PHEV NX 350h hybrid version employs the same A25A-FXS Atkinson-cycle petrol engine with 176 hp and 228 Nm of torque, either driving only the front wheels or with AWD from an E-Four setup that employs an electric motor for the rear wheels. This offers up to 239 hp in combined output, yielding a 0-96 km/h time of 7.2 seconds.
On the purely internal combustion side, the NX 350 represents the top of the model’s ICE range with a 2.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 275 hp and 430 Nm of torque. These outputs are sent through a “high-torque” version of the Direct Shift eight-speed automatic transmission, going to all four wheels via an electronically controlled AWD setup, where front-to-rear torque split ranges from 75:25 to 50:50.
Rounding up the NX engine line-up is the 2.5 litre Dynamic Force engine in the NX 250. This produces 204 hp and 247 Nm of torque, sent through a Direct Shift eight-speed automatic to the front wheels, with optional AWD. The FWD version does 0-96 km/h in 8.2 seconds, while the AWD does it in 8.6 seconds.
Suspension setup in the second-generation NX continues to be MacPherson struts in front and a trailing-arm double wishbone design at the rear, and versions with the F Sport pack get Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) as standard.
On the safety front, the Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Crash Safety (PCS), Radar Cruise Control (with All-Speed Follow function), Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist and Proactive Driving Assist. PCS (Lexus’ term for AEB) has been expanded for assistance at intersections to avoid collisions in a wider array of situations, as well as to detect motorcycles.
Inside, dashboard features a 14.0-inch touchscreen takes centrestage while a 9.8-inch screen is also available, superseding the Remote Touch Controller way of controlling infotainment function in past Lexus models. The driver gets a seven-inch digital display panel. For mobile devices, there is support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the former getting wireless connection, as well as a Qi wireless charging bay.
A number of Lexus-firsts feature on the second-generation NX. One is the E-Latch system that takes the place of a conventional door mechanism, which brings smooth door operation and an effortless feeling, says Lexus. Another is the Advanced Park system which the driver can operate from one’s smartphone. In the meantime – which version of the 2022 Lexus NX would you like to see in the Malaysian market?
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