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The North American Lexus NX vs. Other World Markets: Explaining the Front End Difference

Lexus NX North America

Top Gear from the Phillippines has the answer to why the North American Lexus NX front end is different from other parts of the world — here’s Paul Williamsen, the Lexus global manager of technical education and training, with an explanation:

Paul-san (what people at Lexus call him) explained that it had to do with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations in the US–popularly known as CAFE. The CAFE is more or less the average fuel economy of a carmaker’s fleet being sold in the US market. If a manufacturer’s CAFE falls below a certain figure, the carmaker is penalized.

So Lexus will classify the NX as a light truck in the US because this category has a lower fuel economy standard than the car/sedan segment. Thus, the impact on Toyota’s overall CAFE (in CAFE terms, Toyota, Scion and Lexus count as one entity) will be minimized. How does this concern the altered NX nose? Well, there are several parameters for classifying a vehicle as a light truck. One is simply to have a certain approach angle. That’s why the US NX has a slanted nose.

To illustrate the difference, I made this short video showing the world market NX morphing into the US version:

(This also explains why the standard NX in North America does not offer the side-illuminating foglights.)

Read more about the different NX faces at Top Gear

Comments
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    aypues
  • July 23, 2014
so stupid. the North American one looks like a kid with an overbite.
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    Pedro Roldão
  • July 23, 2014
This it justify? Rest of the world version looks miles better!!!
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      codenamejanrei
    • July 24, 2014
    I know right, the US version of the Non F Sport variant looks meh.
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    andy
  • July 23, 2014
sigh... i gotta start saving money on the side. im gonna order the front f sport bumper with grille insert and swap it. i want the hybrid but not with the slanting grille.
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      Troy Howard
    • July 23, 2014
    It won't fit! Already thought of that... Well, the angle doesn't change. It's horrible.
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If I keep overlooking something, this really doesn't explain why the F Sport model maintains the original, smaller approach angle unless... - It has also been adjusted. - or, CAFE standards are affected by the quantity or proportion of units sold, so the small volume of F Sport models won't be a problem. Or... there is a loophole that gives exceptions to "modified" variants.
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      Troy Howard
    • July 23, 2014
    I was thinking the same thing! I really want the 300H F Sport, which will not be sold here. So then I next wanted is the 300H but the nose is all jacked up. So I'm going to have to get the F Sport 200t, IF the nose is like the rest of the FREAKING WORLD releases, unlike the US version. This really, really pisses me off. Krew you know how I feel. I've done nothing but complain about this since finding out the US version is inferior in style and upgrades compared to other markets.
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    Lexus Cohen
  • July 23, 2014
I hate North America!
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    DDas
  • July 23, 2014
That is so dumb. I am a huge Lexus fan and I probably would never talk anything bad about the brand but that front end looks straight up awful. The FSports are so much better.
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    RAL
  • July 23, 2014
Not the first time the US government has forced "ugly" into auto styling. I'm old enough to remember the "bandaid-looking" energy absorbing bumpers of the early 70's.
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      emptystreets130
    • July 24, 2014
    I remember the 'bench' that the Toyota Cressida had. Both front and back.
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    Robbie
  • July 24, 2014
omg it didn't make sense to me at first... and then i got it, they're doing that so it looks more like a truck. can the us safety laws get that much dumber
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    Ayo DocMkize
  • July 24, 2014
I can see the US market sales of would be concentrated on the NX F-sport versus the base model.
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      RAL
    • July 24, 2014
    there is a much larger profit margin on the F-sport, right? . . .
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    Lexus Fan
  • July 24, 2014
Now becoz the US is getting the ugly model because of CAFE, being US's neighbour, I suppose Canada will get the ugly look too? Or will Canada get what the rest of the world will get?
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      Lexus Fan
    • July 24, 2014
    Nvm... i missed the "North American" point

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