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Lexus gets sexy new look, shape

Lexus’ NX compact SUV has been updated, botoxed, re-specced and renamed for 2018, adopting the German convention of naming the model, not according to actual engine capacity but to the capacity of a naturally aspirated engine that would produce about the same power.

Thus the NX200t becomes the NX300, since both the turbocharged two-litre variants (175kW and 350Nm from 1650-4000rpm) and the 2.5-litre petrol/electric hybrid version (150kW total) are comparable with a conventional three-litre petrol four.

There’s also a new front treatment with new headlight clusters, a chromed frame for the signature spindle grille, and a completely new front apron with revised air intakes and bumper.

On the F Sport the spindle frame is finished in black chrome to match the dark F-mesh grille, with dark grey vent trim and a full-width brushed aluminium-effect lower apron.

At the rear, all models get new LED tail-light clusters and revised bumpers.

More fundamentally, the base model NX200 E is now front-wheel drive only (via a six-speed automatic transmission) in search of reduced weight and lower fuel-consumption, while the EX and F Sport stay with all-wheel drive, also with six-speed self-shifters.

The rear anti-roll bar has been stiffened by 19 percent on turbo variants, and 22 percent on the hybrids, to reduce body roll and improve turn-in,

while the adaptive suspension on the F Sport has been updated to include a Custom mode that lets you personalise powertrain, steering, suspension and air conditioning settings

The flight deck has been updated with a 26cm centre screen (up from 18cm) on EX and F Sport models fitted with satellite navigation, and revised switchgear layout with metal trim on the switches.

The analogue clock gets a new, more legible face and, on models with GPS, now automatically adjusts itself when crossing time zones.

Entry-level E models have been upgraded with the addition of rain-sensing wipers, self-levelling halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights) and a reversing camera.

Mid-grade EX variants now come with roof rails whilst the range-topping F Sport gets LED headlights with dynamic levelling, a panoramic view monitor, aluminium instrument cluster detailing and chrome trim on the steering-wheel controls.

The upgraded NX300 range will be on Lexus showroom floors from January 2018.

Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo

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