Lexus Unveils its First PHEV

Lexus has finally tuned into the consumer demand for plug-in hybrid solutions with the launch of its first PHEV powertrain model.

It has unveiled details of its new NX premium crossover which replaces a model that has been very successful for Lexus, with more than 170,000 European sales since its introduction in 2014. In the UK, it has been Lexus’s best-selling model for the past six years, amassing more than 27,000 cumulative sales. Most sales have been to customers new to Lexus, making it a key contributor to the brand’s growth in Europe.

The new car, due to be launched in Europe in the last quarter of 2021, sees no less than 95% of its parts being new. Headlining the powertrain option is the automaker’s first PHEV the new NX 450h+ which features a four-cylinder 2.5-liter hybrid engine and a rechargeable 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery – the highest capacity in its class. An additional rear electric motor enables all-wheel drive.

The system produces 302bhp and is expected to give 0-62mph acceleration in a little more than six seconds. Estimated CO2 emissions, on the WLTP combined cycle, of less than 40g/km and fuel economy better than 94mpg are set to be class-leading. It also claims a best-in-sector EV range of 40 miles and all-electric driving at speeds up to 84mph.

Lexus claims the system maintains high efficiency even when the battery is depleted. While several competitor systems default to an internal combustion engine, in the NX 450h+ the switch is to a self-charging hybrid system. The automaker says this makes the system as much as 20% more efficient.

Back with the Lexus’s traditional hybrid system, there’s the NX 350h boasting power up by 22% compared to the current model, taking output to 239bhp and improving 0-62 acceleration by 15% to 7.7 seconds. At the same time, CO2 emissions are expected to fall by around 10%. The model will be available with front and all-wheel drive, both with a 1.5 metric ton towing capacity.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


One comment

  1. Avatar Art Didlock 16th June 2021 @ 5:50 pm

    As of now, the published research and quality of build are not large problems for this company, deserved or not, they enjoy a reputation of satisfied reliability among their current buyers. However, they do have a large issue with the cost of service and repair. If this is not addressed soon, just what combination of powertrains their vehicles adopt will not concern the non-buyer.

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