- The first Lexus NX prototypes are spotted testing in Germany.
- Toyota has trademarked both the NX 200t and NX 300h names.
- The new model will join the Lexus lineup in 2014.
NURBURG, Germany — Prototypes caught testing near the Nürburgring reveal the first evidence of the upcoming Lexus NX 200t and NX 300h compact crossovers. The two models will slot below the current Lexus RX in terms of price and size.
These prototypes don't reveal much in terms of styling, as it appears as though they are using bodywork from the current CT 200h hatchback for testing purposes.
Look past the camouflage and fake body shell, however, and it's obvious that this test mule has a taller ride height compared to the CT 200h. It's that kind of command seating position that makes crossovers like the current Lexus RX so popular.
Power will come from one of two engine setups. Toyota has trademarked the names NX 200t and NX 300h for the new crossover, so a new turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder will likely serve as the base engine, with a hybrid setup offered as an option.
The number of 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the luxury segment has increased dramatically over the past few years. Automakers such as Audi, BMW and Cadillac have used the efficient but powerful engines to replace larger, less efficient V6s.
Lexus will likely introduce the new 2.0-liter engine in the NX 200t and then slowly incorporate it into other models like the IS 250, which uses a larger 2.5-liter, non-turbocharged V6.
According to Automotive News, a concept version of the Lexus NX will make its world debut at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show in November. A full production version will follow in the spring at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, with sales beginning later that year.
Edmunds says: Given the success of the midsize RX, it was only a matter of time before Lexus entered the compact crossover category.