The NX, the luxury Japanese marque's first mid-size SUV "crossover" car, had better be bold if it hopes to stand out at the upcoming auto show as it will be joining a queue of other car builders all hoping to impress Chinese car buyers with their latest off-road offerings.
And, if the images are anything to go by, it might stand a chance. The car is imposing and angular and the designers have taken great care to hide any details or conflicting vertical lines that would otherwise break the flow of the car's body. Even the door handles and locks have been devised to not protrude.
Inside, the cabin will be more familiar to sportscar owners than to fans of the Land Rover. And recognising that Chinese car buyers pace a premium on rear passenger space, Lexus has done everything it can to keep cabin clutter down to a minimum.
The car is also packed with high-tech features including a wireless smartphone charger, head-up display and a panoramic view monitor, while active driver aids include blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.
As well as high-tech features, owners will have a choice of three powertrains including a petrol-electric hybrid and the car will be offered as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle, hence Lexus's use of the term "crossover" when describing the NX. This is a vehicle that brings off-road features and styling to the road and not one that will keep up with a Range Rover during a mountainous ascent.
Still, the NX won't be competing with the Range Rover; it will be competing with SUV concepts from Mercedes, Audi and Citroen and new production SUV models from BMW, Hyundai and MG that are all aiming to win the automotive hearts of China's growing young, urban population with active lifestyles who want premium products.
The 13th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition begins on April 20 with a press day before opening to the public on April 21. – AFP/Relaxnews, April 12, 2014.