2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

Al Futtaim Motors introduces the first ever turbo-charged Lexus in the UAE

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

The all-new 2015 Lexus NX 200t has finally been introduced in the Middle East and I attended a launch of the car last week in Dubai’s arty Al Serkal Avenue.

This is what I call a ‘new-Lexus’ car, emphasising ‘L-finesse’ style (to a polarising extent potentially) and character, whilst retaining traditional Lexus strengths of quality, refinement and durability.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

And whilst some bits are from the RAV4 this is not a dressed up Toyota, very clearly standing apart as the latest offering from the Japanese premium car maker. This car is competing with the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes GLK.

It is said to offer numerous firsts for a Lexus including door handles with no keyholes, power reclining and folding 60:40 split rear seats, wireless charging tray for compatible phones and devices, a pre-load differential and of couse a Turbo-charged 2.0-litre engine.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

Power and Performance

The engine puts out a decent 235bhp at 4800-5600rpm and 258lb ft from 1650-4000rpm. That’s good for 0-100kph acceleration in 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 200kph. A six-speed auto transmits the torque to all four wheels.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

There’s a newly developed shock absorber with new adaptive variable suspension (AVS). The AWD varies torque between the front and rear wheels with sensors for speed and angle. A pre-loaded front differential with yaw rate feedback cotnrol aids grips at lower speeds, returning to an open diff at higher speeds.

Inside it gets a new remote touch-pad, a 4.2-inch information display, Mark Levinson 14-speaker system and a colour heads-up display. There’s all-round camera view, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and cross traffic alerts as well as eight airbags.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

Prices and Trim

An F-Sport variant gets the sporty honey-comb mesh type grille, plus black side mirrors to match it. It gets its own 10-spoke 18-inch wheels, sports seats, F-Sport steerind wheel, brushed metallic gear shift, unique instrumentation (with g-force sensor) and drilled pedal. There’s also improved engine noise.

There are 10 exterior and interior colours available with 6 trim combinations. It’s offered in Premier (AED160,000) and Platinum (AED195,000) trims as standard. The F-Sport is also available in two guises starting at AED180,000 and rising to AED205,000.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

What’s it like to drive?

We grabbed the F-Sport variant for a quick 20 minute drive around Dubai. The box-fresh car felt a little tight, but the smoothness, silence and sweet ride confirmed that Lexus still does what it knows how to best.

But what the NX really brings to the party, like few cars from the same manufacturer before it, is a sense of style and flair that is sure to stand this car apart from the crowd. You may love it or hate it, but you won’t be able to ignore it.

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

I like it, but moreso in F-Sport guise, as that grille really works well with the sharp and chiselled looks. From behind the wheel too the jutting out dashboard and an angled switch console works really well, and the architecture is less intrusive in reality than it might appear in these pictures.

Rear space is good enough for someone my height (over six foot), and luggage space appears to be more than adequate. Best of all though (in addition to that wireless charger I didn’t get a chance to try) is a portable vanity mirror in the centre console – how do I like honey?

Full test of the new Lexus NX 200t coming soon on MotoringME.com!

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

What did the boss say?

Executive Vice President of Lexus International, Mark Templin:

On style: ‘Since 2012, at Lexus, we have been working very hard to make our brand more emotional and appealing, while setting the standard for progressive luxury. Now with the NX we have added a new chapter to the Lexus story. The NX offers inspiration, power, and charisma. It makes your heart beat faster.’

On emotion: ‘Now we’re having fun, I give Akio Toyoda the credit for what’s happening right now at Lexus, he was the first person to recognise that we had too many people involved in the design process. In any creative endeavour, one person does something and everyone else waters it down. What we want to bring to market now, is not just a good looking car, but what make people say: ‘I gotta have that car!’

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

On fun: ‘We want the fun side of Lexus to come out now, instead of just the rational side of Lexus.’

On new design: ‘Every car in our line-up is benefitting from what we’ve learnt about design and performance. Right from the LFA, I think you will notice substantial change from current generation to next generation.’

On identity: ‘In American two-thirds of average consumers have no idea that Lexus is a Toyota brand.’

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

On the future: ‘I’ve been with Lexus for 25 years, and I’ve never been more please with our product plans going forward.’

On turbos: ‘There’s no one power train option that’s going to work across the globe. So we’re going to have variations. We have 10 hybrids in our model range – not even Toyota has that! 90% of our sales in Europe are hybrid. What’s drive future powertrain choice is going to be government legislation.’

2015 Lexus NX launched in Dubai

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