The LF-NX concept is designed to gauge reaction to an avant-garde SUV to take on the baby Range Rover
Matt Saunders Autocar
10 September 2013

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At the head of that console, Lexus’s familiar, mouse-like Remote Touch Interface controller has been replaced by a simpler Audi-style fingertip touchpad.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 draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

Join the debate


4 September 2013

For me this just looks like Mansory did a bad bodykit to fit the Lamborghini Urus concept.

Is it designed to give the nice old dears that are current Lexus owners heart attacks when they walk through the showroom doors?

4 September 2013

What Lexus have to understand is if they aspire to be a 'premium' brand, they need designs which have elegance and longevity. This is a very bad case of grasping at straws, and if it goes in to production looking anything like this, will have a shelf life of 2 nanoseconds

4 September 2013

Wow... What a cacophony of incoherent wedges and creases! This car surely has been battered with the ugly stick.

I can understand the desire to match, and even beat, the Evoque stylistically, but this is seems a little over the top. Although I guess it is a concept, so maybe a way toned-down version could be a credible alternative....

4 September 2013
Rods wrote:

Wow... What a cacophony of incoherent wedges and creases! This car surely has been battered with the ugly stick.

No, this car has been battered with the Bleedin' Hideous Stick.


I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

4 September 2013

This actually looks like it's been rolled! Utterly, utterly hideous. Words almost fail me. Nothing is right here. Nothing. It's like a Pontiac Aztec separated at birth twin who, rather than growing up in a trailer park with the rest of the Pontiac clan, was brought up by a family of computer billionaires.

Truly shocking on every level. My eyes are hurting. Must get back to work. I just through up a bit in my mouth again...

4 September 2013

Having effectively pioneered the SUV segment, with the RAV4, I think this latest incarnation of the Lexus RX300, is quite Bladerunner. Although the Suzuki Vitara was first.


4 September 2013

Well, I've been around defending that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a subjective matter in terms of cars, but then comes this one and... argghhhh, I can't but agree that this is ugly... call it dramatic or whatever, but... man! I can't make sense out of this one. It has so many lines and crests all over the place, even battling each other (note the rear quarter panel along the rear doors)...

To me, it seems like they took the drawing of some kid and thought 'hey, this looks cool, just needs a bit more of this lines here and more pointy crests there...'.

Oh well... Baby Range, you don't need to worry with this one. lol

4 September 2013

...but it is definetly not good looking either! Lexus really are trying too hard to be different but they cant seem to fix there design language..

4 September 2013

This contraption looks like Batman's car after a shunt. But then, Toyota whose design has never been elegatn, took a steady turn to the worse of late: look at the front grille in the shape of an hour-glass they seem to make a fixation on. There isn't a simple, clean line anywhere. They should grab the designer of the Volvo coupé prototype. He knows how to draw clean lines!

4 September 2013

Looks like the Lexus designer wanted to design the latest Lambo, but instead had an RX as a base. It looks odd on a Lambo, but this just looks awful.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Mustang
    First Drive
    24 March 2018
    Sixth-generation Mustang gets a leaner face, revised suspension, improved safety equipment and a more power V8. We see how it fares on southern French roads
  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim