2013 Lexus LF-NX Concept

If Lexus wanted to make a splash at Frankfurt with its LF-NX Concept, it sure did pick a good design to get it done.

Redefining — yet again — what we’ve come to expect from its new and drastically improved design language, the Japanese automaker has once again thrown us all for a loop with its latest concept vehicle.

Suffice to say, the LF-NX Concept looks like its going to be one of the most popular cars that will be at Frankfurt next week. It looks absolutely stunning, combining its mean visage with a low-lying profile that makes you wonder if this is an actual crossover or an oversized coupe.

Obviously, it’s the former, but the mere fact that there are hints of sportiness and aggression on the LF-NX Concept that are normally attributed to coupes goes to show the lengths Lexus is taking these days to completely change the way we think about the brand moving forward.

Updated 1/29/14: At the 2014 NAIAS, Lexus revealed an image of the LF-NX that looks nearly nothing like the concept that we saw earlier. This leads us to believe that this is a preview of the production model. Unfortunately, this preview version is toned down to look like a traditional Lexus, as opposed to the hot concept that we all fell in love with. You can see the preview image after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus LF-NX Concept

Production Preview Image at NAIAS

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Exterior

Lexus LF-NX Concept

A dramatically aggressive design is the first takeaway you have with the Brushed Metal Silver-finished LF-NX Concept. The sharp edges, the low stance and the contoured lines all blend together to create a crossover that has an undeniably strong presence about it.

The front end of the LF-NX Concept still retains some similarities to other recent Lexus concepts. The slit-like headlamps are downright evil-looking while the daytime running lights being positioned independently from the headlamps creates an added visual emphasis to the crossover’s profile. The sharp vertical cut line positioned on the front corners of the crossover works more than just separating the bumper from the front wings; it also enhances that aforementioned aggressive look that belies its crossover make-up.

The muscular wheel arches also creates an athletic profile and greatly complemented by the classic Lexus side glazing, which then extends to the tailgate and together with the steep rake, creates that couple-like stance that the LF-NX Concept is unabashedly trying to project.

Interior

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Here’s where things really get interesting for the LF-NX Concept. Lexus used a yellow and black treatment on the upholstery with contrast stitching. The smart choice of color plays well into the Decepticon-like look of the exterior but doesn’t really mesh in well with the blue instrument lighting that you can see throughout the cabin. We think it’s a clash of colors that cancels out the cool ambiance of the blue lighting.

The cockpit appears to be ergonomic, though, none more emphasized by the use of the “Human Oriented” element of the company’s L-finesse design. The dashboard, in particular, creates a nice separation of the upper display zone and the lower operation zone of the center console.

Speaking of the center console, we admit to being completely confused at its configuration and functionality. To be honest, we don’t know how it works and the design leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how sophisticated and, presumably, complicated the touch-sensitive electrostatic switches and a new Remote Touch Interface design are going to be.

Drivetrain

Lexus LF-NX Concept

As a crossover concept, it’s not hard to imagine that the LF-NX Concept could be a future production model of the current RX crossover. On that note, the concept could come with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces an 270 horsepower, which is good enough to hit 60 mph in just under 8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 112 mph.

Pricing

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Don’t expect a definite price tag anytime soon for the LF-NX Concept given its concept designation.

Competition

2014 Acura MDX

Acura MDX

Should Lexus decide to give the LF-NX Concept the production green light, it should make for a pretty interesting competitor to another uniquely-designed crossover, the Acura MDX.

The MDX checks in with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and hooks up to a six-speed automatic transmission, Sure, it may not be quite as cool of a design as the LF-NX Concept, but the MDX and RX lines have been fighting each other for many years, and we don’t see the fight stopping any time soon.

Conclusion

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Lexus has really done a great job giving us concepts that are just aching to get some production love. The LF-NX Concept is the latest feather in the cap of the Japanese brand in its attempt to change the way people look at it. With the LF-A and the LF-Lc having turned some heads, it’s now the LF-NX Concept’s turn to follow in that tradition.

So far, so good.

LOVE IT
  • It looks ridiculously awesome
  • Fancy technologies abound
  • Looks big for a crossover
LEAVE IT
  • Fancy technology may be too fancy for people’s taste
  • How powerful is it?
  • When will the production model arrive?

Press Release

Lexus LF-NX Concept

A new Lexus mid-size crossover concept, the LF-NX, will make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, a study that explores the potential for this kind of vehicle in the Lexus model range.

The LF-NX reinforces Lexus’s leadership in hybrid power in the premium market, being powered by a new variation of the Lexus Hybrid Drive full hybrid system, tuned for SUV performance.

The powerfully sculpted styling reflects a further evolution of the L-finesse design language that influences the look of all today’s Lexus models.

The car’s frontal appearance is dominated by a strong interpretation of Lexus’s spindle grille and a signature arrangement of the front lights. The daytime running lights are given added visual emphasis by being positioned independent from the headlamps, in a similar fashion to the new Lexus IS. The LF-NX also displays a distinctive treatment of the front corners, which separate the bumper from the front wings with a sharp vertical cut line.

In profile, the LF-NX concept presents muscular wheel arches, edged with a black protective finish that expresses its urban crossover character. Above the pronounced diamond shape of the belt line, the side glazing is arranged in the classic Lexus profile, which works with the steep rake of the tailgate to create an athletic coupe-like silhouette.

At the rear the highly articulated lamp clusters project down the full depth of the bumper, creating a sharp, aerodynamic trailing edge to the vehicle that mirrors the detailing of the front wing design.

The concept is being presented in a new Brushed Metal Silver exterior finish that creates a striking impression of the car having been carved from a single piece of solid metal.

The interior mirrors the highly sculpted approach to the exterior with powerful forms and a highly ergonomic driver’s cockpit.

The cabin follows the “Human Oriented” element of Lexus’s L-finesse design, presenting a dashboard divided between an upper display zone and lower operation zone – a format perfected in successive generations of Lexus models. This enables intuitive interaction with the concept vehicle’s next generation technology, including touch-sensitive electrostatic switches and a new touchpad Remote Touch Interface design.

The concept’s status as a premium crossover is reinforced by carved metal surfacing around the interior, sophisticated blue instrument lighting and yellow and black leather upholstery with contrast stitching.


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