The LF-NX concept is designed to gauge reaction to an avant-garde SUV to take on the baby Range Rover

Lexus has revealed its answer to the Range Rover Evoque at the Frankfurt motor show in the shape of an athletic, avant-garde compact SUV concept called the Lexus LF-NX.

This five-door premium soft-roader is part of an exercise intended to gauge the reaction of European show-goers to a bolder and more aggressive design than they’re used to - in a class where the Evoque is an exception rather than the rule, and where the dominant powers are such conservative cars as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. “We want this to be a very influential car — one to make its rivals look boring,” says design project manager Nobuyuki Tomatsu.

The design of the production car is still to be decided. “This isn’t one of those show cars that is 95 per cent representative of something finished,” Tomatsu says. “We have taken a risk, and we hope the reaction will be positive. If it is, there is no reason why our production car couldn’t look like this.”

Power comes from an adaptation of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system from the American market’s Lexus ES300h saloon. That means the front wheels will be driven by a combination of a 156bhp 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, serving up 200bhp in total. “We haven’t ruled out four-wheel drive for the finished car,” says Tomatsu. “The powertrain is just a starting point for us.”

The LF-NX’s exterior styling is a sounding board for several individual developments of features of the Lexus L-Finesse design language. Its spindle grille is larger than it is on Lexus’s current production crop, and features a diamond-shaped mesh conveying a more vivid sense of density and strength.

At the rear, that spindle shape is echoed in the sheet metal around the lights. And both of the character lines along the car’s flanks — the boomerang shoulderline and kinked lower feature line — have been exaggerated to create added dynamism.

The cabin of the LF-NX is designed to make an equally strong impact. It contrasts dark grey with ‘sunrise yellow’ leather. An axe-themed centre console, topped by satin chrome, creates a feeling of strength for both front and back-row occupants, while switchgear has been kept to a minimum.

At the head of that console, Lexus’s familiar, mouse-like Remote Touch Interface controller has been replaced by a simpler Audi-style fingertip touchpad.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

Our Verdict

Range Rover Evoque
The Range Rover Evoque is available as a three-door, pictured here, or a five-door

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

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4 September 2013

Two pages of negative comments says it all. Lexus has seriously lost the plot!

4 September 2013

Don't know what all the beef is about?! This looks cool as funk!

4 September 2013

What a great looking car! We must have this! It's bold, it emanates power, it's individual, it's.... beautiful! Yes, it really is! This little Lexus is the most beautiful car in the world after Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis and Infiniti FX! And they're right: Merc, Audi and BMW are very boring indeed.

Lexus please: give us this wonderful vehicle!

4 September 2013

Why have the Lexus design team adopted such aggressivity with the LF-NX's styling?

In some ways it's reminiscent of Lamborghini's recent approach to the Egoista concept car.

There seems to be a general trend towards deliberate uglification in contemporary car design.

4 September 2013

It looks like Photoshop crashed half way through rendering. I cannot even begin to describe how wrong this looks. Still plenty of inspiration for Ssangyong.

4 September 2013

Nasty car, reminds me of meeting a friend two days after he has been on a coke binge, not a pretty experience.

4 September 2013

It looks like it's been in an accident already. Please make it go away, it's hideous.

4 September 2013

Easily the ugliest car in the world. I think I'd rather watch my parents shaggïng than have to look at that again.

4 September 2013

To my eyes this looks to have been aborted half way through then mistakenly passed of as fit to display it's diabolical.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

4 September 2013

This is so horrid... please make it Lexus, just for a laugh... Go on, dare you.
You can see the designer thought, cool sporty type car then realised once he'd sketched the top half, bolx, still got another 4ft until I get my pen down to ground level.... How much can I stretch out these air intakes... :-o


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