What am I looking at?
The sporty form of the new Lexus NX luxury crossover.
So what's new?
Everything. The NX is a brand new introduction, designed to sit below the RX 450h in the maker's range. Like the recently-introduced IS saloon, it's also one of the boldest expressions of Lexus' new design language - though less polarising than the LF-NX concept that preceded its introduction.
It's available to order now in five different equipment grades - the standard Lexus SE, Luxury, F Sport and Premier lines, as well as an entry-level S grade on the hybrid. That hybrid model will be the first to go on sale, when the NX makes its debut in October.
Tell me about the engines
So yes, there's the NX 300h hybrid, using a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor-generator setup, like every other Toyota and Lexus hybrid model that's come before it. There's 195 horsepower at your disposal and as ever, the ability to cruise around on electric power alone at lower speeds, for a mile or two. Claimed economy is in the 54-plus mpg range, as Lexus is targeting CO2 emissions below 120 g/km.
The other NX, expected in March 2015, is the NX 200t. This one's a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 235 horses and a six-speed automatic transmission. It'll be the sporty choice, though it's fair to expect economy below that of the hybrid - Lexus hasn't yet announced full figures.
All models will feature plenty of kit, from Lexuss Pre-Crash Safety system and Adaptive Cruise Control, through a wireless charging tray for mobile phones and other devices, and a new take on the company's Remote Touch Interface with a touchpad control. NX 200t models further enforce their sporty billing with a g-sensor and boost meter (no, really), while a head-up display is also available.
The entry-level hybrid will be front-wheel drive only - while all-wheel drive versions get an extra electric motor to power the rear axle.
Prices start at 29,495 - for that, you get the front-drive NX 300h in S trim. SE adds all-wheel drive, 18 alloys (the S gets 17 rims), heated seats and rain-sensing wipers for 31,495.
Luxury models begin at 34,495, F Sport at 36,995 and Premier at 42,995 - all for the hybrid model (200t pricing hasn't yet been revealed) and all adding useful equipment as they do so. F Sport models also get various sporty touches and uprated suspension, too.
Plenty. While Audi Q3s, BMW X1s and Mercedes-Benz GLAs all spring to mind, we'd say Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque more closely parallel's the NX's range - from its distinctive styling to a range-topping turbocharged petrol model, and a more frugal offering - albeit diesel, in the Rangie.
Like the entry-level Lexus, an Evoque eD4 Pure with front-drive alone comes in at under thirty grand, though you'll be stirring your own gears in the Range Rover. Economy of 56.5 mpg puts it in a similar range to the Lexus, though. It's worth noting that both the Range Rover and the Lexus start at a higher price than their German rivals.
In a line:
Quirky looks and plenty of kit, but pricing is robust.