Lexus has begun production of its NX SUV and crowed about the green credentials of its NX 300h model – deliveries begin in October.

THE ARRIVAL OF the Lexus NX SUV got a little bit closer with production kicking off yesterday at Lexus’s Miata plant. Lexus is banking on the NX to be a volume seller for the brand, and early indications are that they might just be right with the brand announcing it has already taken 6500 orders for NX in Japan, with many more globally. Deliveries are expected to begin in October this year.

Lexus Australia recently announced it expected the all-new NX 300h to top the Australian Government Green Vehicle Guide (GVG). Indeed, Lexus claims the NX 300h hybrid drinks just 5.6L/100km on the combined cycle (5.7L/100km for AWD models), while emitting just 131g of CO2 per kilometre (133g for AWD variants) – beating, the brand says, all of its category rivals.

The figures have been achieved by teaming an efficient 2.5-litre four cylinder Atkinson cycle (this type of engine is used in a number of hybrid models from other makers and is designed to offer fuel efficiency at the expense of, well, oomph – which is why the Atkinson style engine is always teamed with an electric motor) petrol engine with electric motors to produce 145kW in total power. All-wheel drive models will employ an additional electric motor at the rear to form part of Lexus’ innovative E-Four AWD system.

All hybrid drivetrains will be teamed to an efficient CVT transmission, featuring a six-step sequential shift with new kick-down transmission logic for greater driving enjoyment. Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said that the all-new NX has the efficiency and driving dynamics to back up its edgy design.

“The all-new NX is more than efficient: it’s enjoyable to drive, practical, powerful and most of all, fantastic to look at.

“Almost 10 years ago Lexus pioneered the hybrid SUV and that experience has been distilled into our second hybrid SUV, the all-new NX 300h.

While it’s unlikely Lexus buyers would consider a Mitsubishi, the NX 300h’s natural rival is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV, can be driven for a maximum of 52 kilometres when in pure electric mode and returns an unbelievably low 1.9L/100km on the official fuel cycle. While we don’t know the final price of the Lexus NX 300h, the Outlander PHEV is likely to undercut with its starting price of $47,490+ORC.


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