Seven years after unveiling the first-ever NX and selling approximately one million units globally, Lexus has finally introduced the second-gen NX. The 2022 Lexus NX packs a host of improvements inside and out, but the Lexus NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid variant is the most important addition.
Video Source: YouTube/Lexus
Here are six things you need to know about the 2022 NX PHEV, the first plug-in hybrid electric Lexus model worldwide:
Features Toyota’s Dynamic Force Engine
The powertrain of the 2022 Lexus NX plug-in hybrid clubs the A25A-FXS 2.5-liter engine with two electric motors. One motor powers the front wheels, and the other unit powers the rear wheels. The engine is the same ‘Dynamic Force Engine’ naturally aspirated that Toyota employs in the RAV4 Prime (RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid/RAV4 PHEV).
If you didn’t know it yet, the second-gen Lexus NX sits on the same platform as the fifth-gen Toyota RAV4 – GA-K – and both models belong to the same segment. Both models’ plug-in hybrid powertrain delivers the same maximum power – 225 kW (306 PS/302 hp).
Offers four drive modes
The 2022 Lexus NX 450h+ allows the driver to choose from four drive modes: EV mode, AUTO EV/HEV mode, HEV mode, and Self-charge mode.
In the EV mode, the vehicle runs on the electricity stored in its traction battery, thus emitting no CO2 from the tailpipe. In the AUTO EV/HV mode, the vehicle automatically selects the drive mode, either pure electric or hybrid, depending on the amount of charge remaining in the traction battery, route, traction information, and other data. In the HV mode, the powertrain uses both gasoline and electricity to allow maximum performance. In the Self-charge mode, the traction battery charges itself up using the power of the engine.
Drivable close to 40 miles in EV mode
Similar to the RAV4 PHEV, the Lexus NX PHEV has an 18.1 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. In the EV mode, it provides a driving range of 63 km (39 miles) according to Europe’s WLTP. In the U.S., Lexus is targeting a 36-mile (58-km) range certification from the EPA.
Another commonality between these plug-in hybrid SUVs is the capacity of the onboard chargers. Like Toyota’s RAV4 PHEV, Lexus’ NX 450h+ comes with a 3.3 kW onboard charger as standard. Similarly, there is an option to upgrade to a 6.6 kW onboard charger.
Charging the Lexus plug-in hybrid SUV’s battery pack takes 4.5 hours with the 3.3 kW charger or approximately 2.5 hours with the 6.6 kW charger. Topping up the Toyota plug-in hybrid SUV’s battery pack takes 4.5 hours with the 3.3 kW charger or exactly 2.5 hours with the 6.6 kW charger.
As fast as the Toyota RAV4 PHEV (EV mode)
The 2022 Lexus NX plug-in hybrid allows driving at up to 135 km/h solely on electric power. That’s the same EV mode top speed as that of the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, one of the world’s best plug-in hybrid models in the mass market segment. However, while the Toyota can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in six seconds flat, the Lexus takes a little over six seconds. In the U.S., Lexus is estimating a 0-60 mph acceleration time of six seconds flat for its model. The Toyota RAV4 Prime takes 5.7 seconds to accomplish the same.
As practical as 2022 Lexus NX 350h (2022 Lexus NX hybrid)
The plug-in hybrid variant’s significantly bigger battery doesn’t compromise its practicality, at least not in the Euro-spec units, for Lexus says that the boot capacity (TBA) and the fuel tank capacity (55 liters/14.5 gallons) are the same as those of the hybrid variant.
Even in the Toyota RAV4, the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants offer the same fuel tank capacity of 55 liters/14.5 gallons. However, the boot capacity (applies to Euro-spec units) is 580 liters in the hybrid variant and 520 liters in the plug-in hybrid variant.
On the Production & Release
Production of the 2022 Lexus NX will begin this quarter (July-September 2021). Lexus will launch the 2022 NX in the U.S. in the fall of 2021. In Japan, it plans to launch the all-new model around the same time (fall 2021), while for Europe, it has set Q4 2021 (October-December 2021) as the launch timeline. However, Lexus has not revealed whether it plans to begin deliveries of the plug-in hybrid variant simultaneously. Region-wise, Europe may get a priority for 2022 NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid shipments.
According to a report from creative311.com, Lexus will announce the prices of the 2022 NX in Japan on July 26, 2021. The report adds that it will start taking orders on August 19 and then begin deliveries on October 7 in the Japanese market. The precise U.S. launch date and pricing should emerge in the coming months.
The U.S. debut of the 2022 NX took place at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show that ran through July 15-19, 2021. Lexus showcased a Cadmium Orange unit of the 2022 NX in the F Sport trim, which has a unique design for its grille, bumpers, and 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels. Black roof rails and black daylight opening garnishes are also part of the distinctive styling of the F Sport trim. The Cadmium Orange color is available in other trims as well, but there are exclusive paint options for the F Sport trim, namely Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultrasonic Blue 2.0.
2022 Lexus NX FAQs
What is the next-gen Lexus NX release date?
The sales launch of the new NX in the U.S. will likely take place around October. Production is to begin in Q3 2021 (July-September 2021).
Which models are considered the 2022 Lexus NX rivals?
Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT4 & Mercedes GLC are credible Lexus NX competitors.
What will be the 2022 Lexus NX price?
The base 2022 NX price should be a shade under $40,000.
Featured Image Source: Lexus