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Lexus NX 450h+ 2022: Australian release confirmed for brand’s first plug-in hybrid SUV


It’s official: the Lexus NX 450h+ has been confirmed for release in Australia, with the plug-in hybrid to crown the new NX SUV range

Following months of speculation, the 2022 Lexus NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid has been confirmed for release in Australia next year.

A midsize SUV, the NX 450h+ is the first Lexus plug-in hybrid in existence, and will compete with the Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge as its chief rival in the local market.

The plug-in 450h+ will crown the second-generation Lexus NX range that launches in Australia in late January 2022. As well as the aforementioned XC60, the NX is a rival to the BMW X3, Genesis GV70, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Lexus NX 450h F Sport 2022 rear end
Offering about 75km of electric driving range, the NX 450h+ builds on the electrified Lexus portfolio

Expected to be priced between $80,000 and $90,000, the NX 450h+ utilises a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine and three powerful electric motors, plus an 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery.

Lexus engineers say that the 18.1kWh battery will provide about 75km of electric driving range on the WLTP cycle, though final ratings of the vehicle are yet to occur.

WLTP is a fairly realistic cycle for Australian driving conditions, so real-world all-electric range should be in the vicinity of 65-75km.

Lexus NX 450h 2022 interior
An NX 450h+ F Sport was revealed to Australian media in Melbourne this week

The combination of battery, motors and the petrol engine allow the NX 450h+ to produce 227kW of power, putting it above the second-most powerful NX engine – the non-hybrid 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder NX 350 that makes 205kW/430Nm.

A flexible torque system will debut on the NX 450h+ allowing the onboard computer to make more precise adjustments to which of the axles the powerful electric motor diverts twist to.

“The new plug-in hybrid is an absolute performance weapon,” Scott Thompson, Lexus Australia managing director, told Chasing Cars. “It will race from 0-100km/h in a little over six seconds, and is at the same time a fuel-sipper with incredibly low emissions.”

Lexus NX 450h F Sport 2022 front end
The NX 450h+ will sit atop the second-generation NX range in Australia

“It offers E-Four electric AWD, all-electric driving up to 130km/h, fast charging times, a substantial EV driving range, and once the initial battery range is used, the NX 450h+ adopts efficient self-charging hybrid system.”

An Australian-specification NX 450h+ in F Sport guise was presented to Australian media at the launch of the UX 300e electric SUV in Melbourne this week.

Specific release dates and ordering will be confirmed soon.

Lexus NX 450h F Sport 2022 front end
The NX 450h+ will be released in Australia next year