Currently reading: New 2021 Lexus NX: SUV previewed ahead of debut
Japanese luxury brand's second-generation model will be officially revealed on the 12th of June

A new preview image of the new second-generation Lexus Lexus NX has been released, ahead of the car's debut at 3AM (UK time) on 12 June. 

Images of the second-generation car had already leaked online on the Club Lexus forum, said to be captured from a leaked video now taken offline. It revealed that the premium mid-sized SUV would be brought closer into line with the newer, smaller UX crossover but wouldn’t be subject to a radical design overhaul.

Lexus's trademark front grille design remains but with a new mesh pattern to subtly differentiate the new NX from its predecessor, while the headlights have been lightly reshaped and now look to use LED technology. Expanded lower air intakes contribute to a more aggressive stance, while the front splitter looks to have been extended - likely for improved aerodynamics.

The current NX's heavily creased sides appear to have been smoothed out for a cleaner look and a new light bar spans the width of the rear end, which also gains new vertical air channels, a new bumper and sharper numberplate recess.

Updates to the inside are more dramatic and look to enhance the NX's appeal in light of newer rivals, including the Audi Q5, BMW X4 and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Most obviously, the freestanding infotainment display has been swapped for a much larger integrated touchscreen that also appears to have replaced most of the cabin's physical controls - including those for temperature, volume and tuning. It is clear from these images that music streaming services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will feature.

The new digital display is part of a wider cabin transformation that ushers in a sweeping new dashboard design, restyled air vents, an all-digital instrument cluster and a cleaner centre console. A new gear shifter and steering wheel round off the overhaul, but we can see that a head-up display will be available and the interior materials will be revamped. 

Details of the powertrain line-up are not yet clear, but the NX will join the closely related Toyota RAV4 in retaining its petrol-electric hybrid offering: a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine mated to a pair of electric motors for combined outputs of 194bhp and 152lb ft. A plug-in hybrid option is on the cards for the first time, too, with the RAV4 now offering 302bhp and 46 miles of electric-only range in PHEV guise.

An electric version of the NX is less likely, at least from launch. Lexus has already previewed its electric follow-up to the UX 300e, and while the front end design is familiar from the brand's current combustion-engined cars, the rear looks to bear minimal resemblance to anything Lexus has launched so far.


Read our review

Car review

The hybrid-only mid-sized Lexus NX is challenging the likes of the new Volvo XC60, Range Rover Velar and Audi Q5 among others, but is it up to the task?

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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lambo58 3 June 2021

Superb cars with amazing distinctive styling with class leading reliabilty and build. The only SUV worth buying with your own money and keeping long term


Peter Cavellini 24 February 2021

An improvement?, I think so, not my taste, each to there own.

FastRenaultFan 24 February 2021
I can't believe this is almost 7 years old already. It does not seem like it's out that long. Lovely classy SUV but expensive but then Lexus seem to hold there value really well so about as good as an investment in a car that you can make. Not much out there that holds there value as good as a Lexus.
New one looks a bit more boring at the front but still classy inside and out.