21 January 2022
The Lexus NX 450h+ has been named the Plug-in Hybrid of the Year in the prestigious What Car? awards.
It is an auspicious first honour for the all-new mid-size premium SUV, Lexus’s first plug-in hybrid electric model, introduced in late 2021. What Car? has also recognised the Lexus LC 500 Convertible with the award for the Best High-end Convertible.
Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, expressed warm praise for the Lexus: “The Lexus NX is one of the most compelling reasons to go green that we’ve yet seen, with a long electric-only range which should not only slash motorists running costs, but also makes for tempting company car tax rates. The NX is good to drive, too, and has an interior that’s hard to fault in any respect. In short, Lexus has proved that driving an electrified car without accepting compromises need not be a fantasy.”
Turning to the award for the LC 500 Convertible, he added: “the LC 500’s V8 is an aural delight whether you’re revving it out on the open road or bumbling around town. Moreover, when the roof is in place and you’re cruising at speed, the LC is much better at shutting out wind noise than its rivals. Add in concept car looks and beautiful interior that feels like it’s been built to outlast the Earth and you have an unspeakably desirable package.”
The 450h+ is the halo model of the all-new NX range, a model that opens a new chapter for Lexus, introducing new directions in design, new powertrains and significant improvements in dynamic performance. Technology innovation provides a superior multimedia and connectivity package and new and enhanced Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance systems.
Lexus brought to bear its premium market leadership in hybrid electric technology to produce a new powertrain for the NX 450h+ that excels in all key areas. The full plug-in system, including electric motors and battery, produces a maximum 305bhp/227kW, enabling acceleration from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds. At the same time, CO2 emissions of between 21-25g/km and fuel economy of 256.8-313.8mpg are among the best in the model’s class.
Thanks to its powerful, rechargeable lithium-ion battery and all-round powertrain efficiency, NX 450h+ also provides a substantially higher EV range: at 43 to 47 miles in the combined WLTP cycle, rising to 55 to 61 miles in the urban cycle, this is as much as twice the range offered by competitors in its segment.
Lexus pursued the theme of “ultimate beauty” in producing the LC 500 Convertible, a car that successfully reinterprets the award-winning design of the flagship LC coupe. Thanks to sophisticated aerodynamics and the crafting of a bespoke folding soft-top mechanism, the car presents powerful, elegant lines and ensures occupants travel in complete comfort – roof up or down. Tuning of the naturally aspirated V8 engine note and the exhaust adds a special aural dimension to the driving experience.
Chris Hayes, Director of Lexus in the UK, said: “The all-new NX 450h+ is a pivotal model for our brand, setting the template for future Lexus vehicles that will raise the level of driver rewards, environmental performance and all-round quality to an even higher level. To have our first plug-in hybrid electric model honoured with this award on its debut is an achievement that is warmly appreciated by everyone at Lexus. Likewise, the award for the LC 500 Convertible reflects the breadth of design and engineering excellence at work in our company.”