Currently reading: Production-ready Lexus NX revealed
Lexus aims to take on Audi and BMW in the compact SUV market with its boldly designed NX, which made world debut in Beijing

The new Lexus NX, the manufacturer's entry into the booming compact SUV market, has made its debut at the Beijing motor show.

Lexus's new model is the firm’s answer to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. It's set to reach the UK by the end of the year after order books open in May.

The NX production car is a follow-up to the controversial and dramatically styled LF-NX concept from the Frankfurt motor show last week. While the look has been toned down somewhat from the concept, the production car is still a bold, angular design in a class where conservatism typically rules.

Indeed, at the concept’s unveiling, Lexus design project manager Nobuyuki Tomatsu said the firm wanted the NX “to be a very influential car — one to make its rivals look boring”.

Lexus is hoping the new model will bring new customers to the brand, the NX standing as a “hero model”, one that will “set new standards for future Lexus models”.

The exterior design features an enlarged version of Lexus’s now familiar family spindle grille flanked by slim headlights and strips of LED daytime running lights. The flared wheel arches house 17-inch alloys in regular models and 18-inch alloys in F Sport versions.

Other exterior design features include a heavily sculpted bonnet, a sloping roofline, sharply creased lower body sides, and the continuation of the angular theme from the front to the rear of the car.

Lexus says it has taken inspiration from sports cars for the NX's interior, which also adopts the angular design of the outside. The premium look and feel of the cabin includes a thick-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel, a full-leather finish for F Sport models, and a large central screen in the dashboard for the infotainment display.

Equipment includes a wireless charging function for portable devices, such as smartphones, a touch-pad controller for the infotainment options, a head-up display and a information display that includes a G-force sensor.

Engines offered worldwide include Lexus’s familiar petrol-electric hybrid system in the NX300h, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (a Lexus first) in the NX200t, and a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol in the NX200.

Each will be offered with front- or all-wheel drive. UK engine options will be confirmed in May.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Dark Isle 20 April 2014

Not Sure About This

Yes, it's interesting to look at, but it's still fussy to my eyes, although much improved over the hideous concept. Is it really going to make much of an impact without a diesel engine, though? I admire Lexus's engineering integrity, but not their designs. They leave me cold.

It's like Lexus are determined to be also-rans in Europe, which is fine if they make enough money, but the argument that they're a serious competitor in Europe because they sell more cars than Jaguar is null and void. Lexus's biggest seller by far is the mass-market, compact hatchback CT-Series. Jaguar don't compete in that segment, nor do they have any plans to.

brian245 12 April 2014

After nearly 25 years of selling cars in the UK

This is a good example of why 25 years of trying to break into the market has failed
soldi 12 April 2014

Muppet quote

brian245 wrote:

This is a good example of why 25 years of trying to break into the market has failed

4th largest premium brand in world; selling more cars in Europe than Jag worldwide, Clarksons favourite ever car - 'in the world'

You have a warped view of what failure is

winniethewoo 11 April 2014

all those different surfaces

glad to see lexus had the courage to stick largely to the concept. all those different surfaces mean this will look awesome with a matt vinyl wrap. matt grey wrap with 22 inch black gloss wheels, lowered 150mm, lightly smoked rear windows and back glass. yes!