The second-generation Lexus NX crossover will be coming to dealerships this fall with four powertrains and the brand new Lexus Interface infotainment system to go along with its completely redesigned exterior & interior.
Headlining the show is the NX 450h+, the first plug-in hybrid in the Lexus lineup. There’s also the NX 300h hybrid, the NX 350 four-cylinder turbo, and the entry-model NX 250, giving the NX the most engine choices of any Lexus ever.
Just as important is the brand new Lexus Interface multimedia system, which does away with the Lexus Remote Touch controller in favor of a single large touchscreen.
As with any new model, there’s plenty of detail from official sources, so let’s start with the introductory press release and work through all the details.
Ushering in a new era of luxury, Lexus is embracing electrification, intuitive technology, performance, and design. The all-new 2022 Lexus NX delivers a long list of firsts, including the all-new Lexus Interface multimedia system designed with the North American market in mind.
With a lower center of gravity and stronger stance, the all-new NX embodies powerful design, intuitive innovation and boundless utility. The most notable update is the introduction of Lexus Interface, the integrated multimedia and digital support on the optional 14-inch touchscreen display. It offers available over the air updates, wireless charging and untethered smart phone connection to the user’s unique profile. This is paired with the introduction of standard Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, plus Blind Spot Monitor. Additionally, Safe Exit Assist and the innovative Digital Latch system are designed to make exiting the vehicle safely even more effortless.
“The all-new Lexus NX sets a new standard in the luxury crossover market with class-leading innovations in electrified powertrains, infotainment, driving dynamics, styling and safety,” said Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. “The 2022 NX includes the most technological vehicle changes since we launched Lexus 32 years ago. With the all-new Lexus Interface multimedia system and a variety of customizable features, NX is an exciting first step in a series of 20 all-new or updated Lexus vehicles by 2025.”
Powerful Design for the Future
From the refined spindle grille to the new full-width blade taillamps and LEXUS rear badging, the all-new 2022 Lexus NX emits a powerful message to those approaching the luxury crossover. At the front, the updated grille pattern and frame create a more integrated feel to the body of the vehicle. Made up of tall U-shaped blocks, the spindle grille is designed for a three-dimensional effect and creates a sense of depth while expressing a strong impression. Framed on top by the L-shaped daytime running lights (DRL), the optional three-projector headlamps create balance with a more subdued impression.
In the rear, the Lexus logo has been redesigned to create an advanced and modern expression. The use of the L emblem has been replaced by a new, unified LEXUS logo located at the center of the vehicle. A full-width blade rear combination lamp (similar to the Lexus UX and IS). and an L-shaped lamp on the rear fender are separated to make the expression unique to the NX. The light bar lamps are constantly illuminated at night to function as a taillight and illuminate the rear brand signature.
Guests can select from a variety of fresh NX colors to suit their taste, including Redline, Cloudburst Gray and Grecian Water. For colors exclusive to F SPORT models, the palette includes Ultra White, Obsidian and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0.
Driver-Focused Cockpit Design
The NX’s driver-centered cockpit has been meticulously designed with a focus on connecting the driver to the vehicle. The 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD), both NX firsts, are designed to convey vehicle information, alerts and updates, within the driver’s line of sight. The MID’s single meter layout is made more visible by a high -definition screen. Most driving-related functions are concentrated on the steering wheel to allow for intuitive operation while keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.
In the center stack, the standard 9.8-inch touchscreen puts an array of multimedia features within easy reach. The optional 14-inch touch screen, a first for NX, delivers an immersive multimedia experience. Dial controls remain for frequently used functions, like climate control and media volume. Comfort features, such as heated seat selection, are now more readily accessible. All enhancements combine to create a more user-friendly, digital in-vehicle experience.
Driving Performance – All-New NX 350 2.4 Turbo Engine
The new lower center of gravity and enhancements in vehicle rigidity allow for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine on the NX 350. The new 8-speed transmission provides the gas-powered NX the feel of a performance vehicle with the higher perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam, both Lexus firsts. The twin hood lock, also a brand first, adds front lateral flexural rigidity and improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
The exciting turbo gas-powered engine boasts an estimated 275 horsepower and 317 lb. ft. of torque. Combined, these result in a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds, a half-second quicker than the previous model.
Additionally, the NX 250 provides a naturally aspirated gas engine to round out the options for guests interested in a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with start/stop functionality. With an eight-speed transmission, this model is available in both FWD and AWD options. Delivering an estimated 203 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque., combined results in 0-60 times of 8.2 seconds (FWD) and 8.6 seconds (AWD) respectively.
Performance and Range with the NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid
In a first for Lexus, the new plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) system brings Lexus Electrified to life through performance and the signature quietness of a PHEV model. The NX 450h+ has a manufacturer-estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed, high-capacity lithium ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0-60 time.
A high-output, high-efficiency system designed to reduce power loss when converting from AC power to DC power, results in shorter charging times. Using the maximum charging current of 240V, the Lexus NX plug-in hybrid can be fully charged in approximately two-and a-half hours when equipped with the optional 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger. With the standard 3.3 kW on board charger, charge time goes up slightly to four-and-a-half hours.
The NX450h+ employs an electronically controlled, full-time AWD system for a confident, sporty driving experience. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended. In turns, the NX AWD provides exhilarating yet elegant control for normal to aggressive driving styles.
Predictive Efficient Drive couples with the navigation system, learns driving habits, predicts the expected roadway ahead and analyzes real-time traffic reports to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. The more miles the NX is driven, the more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. The system also uses accumulated knowledge about a driver’s behavior to predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. For example, when the NX approaches a location where the driver has slowed or stopped in the past, and the driver releases the accelerator pedal, Predictive Efficient Drive increases regenerative braking, allowing more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery.
Hybrid Combines Performance and Fuel Economy
With the all-new Lexus NX 350h, guests can have both great performance and fuel economy. With a combined 239 horsepower (a 20 percent increase over the current model) and impressive manufacturer estimated 36 MPG (an increase of 6 MPG over the current model), the NX hybrid brings a powerful performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Guests will also notice the quicker 0-60 time with 1.5 seconds shaved off the time from prior generations at 7.2 seconds.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when it detects it is needed to help maintain optimal traction.
Lexus Interface: An All-New Elegant, Intuitive and Desired Connected Multimedia System
The all-new, North American-developed Lexus Interface multimedia system allows the NX to seamlessly integrate and navigate life’s twists and turns. The eye-catching standard 9.8-inch touchscreen provides intuitive technology at the occupants’ fingertips. The screen’s new Human Machine Interface (HMI) enhances user interaction through sight, touch and voice, while balancing accessibility needs. An optional 14-inch touchscreen maximizes the experience with integrated automatic climate control functions.
Lexus Interface also incorporates a new Virtual Assistant developed with a human-centered approach. The Virtual Assistant is intended to be the primary way guests interact with the new multimedia system. Designed with dual microphones, enhanced noise-cancellation, seat detection and speaker location capabilities, the system enables a voice-first approach allowing front seat occupants an expanded and interactive experience to access navigation, media, phone and certain vehicle settings such as climate control and window opening/closing.
With the ubiquitous use of smart phones, an intuitive and simple guest experience is now possible with Lexus Interface. With the Lexus Interface User Profile feature, the driver’s personalized settings and experience can be retained in the cloud and accessible on the go in other Lexus Interface equipped vehicles. Once a profile is created in the Lexus App, guests can use a Bluetooth handheld device, smart key or manual login to access it.
An extension of the User Profile feature, Digital Key allows guests the ability to lock/unlock and start/stop their vehicle through their smartphone when within Bluetooth proximity. The Digital Key can be shared with up to seven additional guests, creating a seamless experience for users registered on the Lexus App.
The Lexus Interface native navigation system was designed with ease of use and functional beauty in mind. Featuring 100 percent cloud capability and integrated Google POI data, the system allows faster and more accurate directions and mapping. Over-the-air (OTA) updates offer real-time updates for mapping, and enriched media experiences. The native navigation is also available to occupants with or without a network connection. Offline mode detects when the vehicle is near or entering an area with low connectivity and downloads applicable maps and services in advance.
For 2022, the Lexus NX also features standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Guests can charge and stream wirelessly with the new optional wireless charger which can be stowed away to maximize storage.
Enhanced Safety with All Passengers in Mind: Lexus Safety System+ 3.0
The all-new NX will come equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. for additional peace of mind in certain scenarios including:
- Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – helps support collision avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.
- Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if the driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
- Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if a driver turns left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
- Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System – designed to alert the driver, and, potentially activate automatic emergency braking to help avoid a frontal collision.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – maintains a cruising speed in alignment with the flow of traffic while managing speed on curves.
The following will be added to the current Lexus Safety System features for NX:
- Road Sign Assist – displays select road sign information in the instrument panel.
- Pre-collision System – provides the potential to detect a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist in low-light situations.
- Lane Assistance – designed to provide an audible alert if an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
Intelligent High Beam– provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
- Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide road sign information in the instrument panel or even on the available Head-Up Display. The system can also alert the driver of certain detected signs that otherwise might have been missed.
The all-new Digital Latch system enables doors to open smoothly at the touch of a button when entering or exiting the vehicle. And by scanning the environment, Safe Exit Assist alerts the driver and passengers to avoid the risk of accidental contact with vehicles and cyclists, helping ensure safe openings and closings. The new, optional Digital Mirror provides a clear view of obstacles behind the vehicle.
Illuminating the Way: Inside and Out
The 2022 NX delivers on the brand’s well-known interior cabin noise reduction with additional updates made to reduce road noise and exterior distractions. Inside, drivers can create an oasis with nature-inspired Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that bathes the NX interior in a choice of 14 themes and 64 colors. Each has been carefully selected to express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings, with themes including Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset.
Newly designed standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats add comfort throughout the cabin. Guests will also notice increased head and legroom with the adoption of the Lexus GA-K platform. Additional storage space has been added in the rear cargo area.
Interior seat and console colors include Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe. All ornamentation has been redesigned. The Stippled Black on the entry model exudes a carefully arranged dot pattern with varying density to create a sense of front-rear movement. Black Open Pore wood adds an opulent touch to the Luxury model. Newly developed Black Prism, an advanced-looking Piano Black texture, features a three-dimensional fractal that is gradually carved more densely toward the rear so that it changes its expression with transitions of sunlight, creating a high-tech feel.
In a first for the NX, the panoramic moonroof gives both the front and rear passengers the ability to see the sky with just the push of a button. Its smooth gliding opening and closing motion provides easy stargazing or additional airflow on a sunny day.
F SPORT Handling: Performance and Style
Available with both the turbo and PHEV powertrains, the F SPORT Handing model turns up the driving dynamics with a sporty feel that is amplified by the Active Variable Suspension (AVS), and front and rear performance dampers. Exclusive to the F SPORT family, Dark Graphite Aluminum ornamentation, a unique meter, sport seats, a newly developed steering wheel, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates all set it apart. With perforated interior trim in Black and Circuit Red NuLuxe, the sport-inspired materials are integrated on the seats, steering wheel and center console. The F SPORT Handling model can add the Luxury package, which brings the 14-inch touchscreen, unique headlamps and 64-color interior illumination.
A dedicated F SPORT grille and front/rear bumpers make a bold first impression. The 20-inch gloss black aluminum wheels are framed by color-key overfenders increase curb appeal and add to the sporty appearance. Topped with black roof rails and daylight opening garnishes (DLO), exclusive F SPORT colors include Ultra White, Obsidian and Ultrasonic Blue 2.0.
The all-new 2022 NX will start production in the third quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.