23rd June 2021
The all-new NX marks the introduction of Lexus’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the latest achievement in the brand’s distinguished history of electrified vehicle innovation.
The company has been able to call on its unmatched expertise and experience to give its new NX 450h+ luxury mid-size SUV class-leading performance and efficiency from the new rechargeable, plug-in system. Due for launch later in 2021, it will take its place alongside the new UX 300e battery electric SUV to add momentum to the Lexus Electrified programme.
Its bloodline can be traced back to 2005 and the introduction of the RX 400h, the world’s first premium hybrid model. Since that time, Lexus has constantly developed hybrid as the core technology for its electrified vehicles and made it available across almost its entire model range. With increased choice and improved performance, it has achieved more than two million hybrid vehicle sales worldwide. Such has been the level of environmental efficiency of the technology, Lexus calculates its hybrid electric cars have so far saved around 19 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The new NX 450h+ demonstrates Lexus’s continued progress towards its goal of carbon neutrality throughout the lifecycle of its vehicles by 2050. It is among 20 new or improved models Lexus will bring to market by 2025, including more than 10 electrified (plug-in hybrid, self-charging hybrid or battery electric) vehicles.
The new Lexus plug-in hybrid electric system
The plug-in electric system in the NX 450h+ features a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder hybrid engine, an 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors – one on the rear axle to provide full-time all-wheel drive. The full system produces a maximum 302bhp, which should enable acceleration from rest to 62mph in just more than six seconds.
The class-leading capacity of the battery and Lexus’s established power management technology are key to the vehicle having an all-electric (EV) driving range of 40 miles* – again, a class-leading capability. In EV driving, the NX 450h+ will, according to driving conditions, be able to reach speeds of up to 84mph on electric power.
Ahead of formal homologation, Lexus estimates CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km will be achieved (WLTP combined cycle).
What further differentiates the NX 450h+ from its competitors is the fact that when the battery is depleted, the car defaults to a highly efficient self-charging hybrid system. On other models, the default is to an internal combustion engine alone, with significantly higher fuel consumption and emissions. In this scenario, the Lexus is expected to be up to 20 per cent more efficient.
* Figure subject to final homologation
NX 350h self-charging hybrid
While the NX 450h+ will be the flagship model, the new NX range will also include a self-charging hybrid electric model, the NX 350h. This, too, demonstrates the substantial progress Lexus has made with its fourth generation hybrid system: compared to the current NX 300h, it delivers 22 per cent more power (239bhp) and 15 per cent faster acceleration from 0-62mph (7.7 seconds). This level of performance notwithstanding, Lexus expects CO2 emissions to fall by around 10 per cent.