THE NEW LEXUS NX 300h: ENGINEERED FOR AGILITY AND A REWARDING DRIVE
- Highly rigid, lightweight body, using advanced Lexus construction techniques
- Drive Mode Select lets the driver adjust vehicle performance to suit road conditions and driving style
- NX 300h F Sport available with new-generation Adaptive Variable Suspension
The new NX 300h has been designed to deliver an engaging and agile drive and a high level of ride comfort, goals that have been achieved by strategic use of advanced construction techniques and handling systems developed by Lexus.
The highly rigid chassis under the skin of the NX 300h benefits from the pioneering developments Lexus has made with other recent models, notably the new IS saloon. Using a high tensile strength sheet steel combined with aluminium, the body remains very light yet with increased rigidity – key qualities to secure exceptional agility.
The windscreen glass is fixed to the body in such a way that it increases resistance to body flexing and forms a load bearing element. Advanced production methods such as laser scew welding and special body adhesives also strengthen the crossover’s panel joints.
Agility is also increased thanks to a higher spring rate suspension set-up – made possible by the rigidity of the chassis and increased reinforcement around the suspension members and wheel housings.
Drive Mode Select
Featured for the first time in a Lexus SUV, Drive Mode Select allows you to choose between different modes to suit different driving conditions or driving styles, for example prioritising efficiency around town, or sharpening performance when negotiating the open road.
Normal Eco and Sport modes can be selected simply by turning a dial on the centre console.
Throttle response, suspension damping force and the level of steering power assistance may each be adjusted, according to the setting chosen.
As a full hybrid, the NX 300h can be driven for short distances in full electric vehicle (EV) mode with zero tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption, activated by pressing a button located next to the Drive Mode Select dial.
An additional Sport+ mode is included when Adaptive Variable Suspension is fitted as an option on the NX 300h F Sport (see below). This engages the highest settings for the F Sport’s performance dampers and throttle response for an even more rewarding drive.
Adaptive Variable Suspension
The NX 300h F Sport is available with an optional new-generation, Adaptive Variable Suspension. Working in conjunction with Drive Mode Select (which adds Sport+ mode), it automatically adjusts suspension damping in all driving conditions to achieve the highest possible straight line ride comfort and high-speed stability, with less body roll and better cornering agility.
Lexus’s technical breakthrough has been to use linear solenoid actuators in place of conventional step motors. As a result, the system’s number of control force levels has more than trebled, from nine to 30, and suspension response time has decreased four-fold, from 80 to 20 milliseconds. The unit is also smaller, so can be located on the side of the damper instead of on top. In turn, this is has made it possible to give the NX 300h a lower bonnet line and there is less intrusion in the load space.
More details of UK specifications and prices for the new NX 300h are available here.