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Lexus NX 300h To Be New Small Hybrid Crossover?

 
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2012 Lexus RX 450h

2012 Lexus RX 450h

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Lexus can claim credit for kicking off the luxury crossover market in the U.S, with the original RX.

Since then, the RX models have always sold strongly--and account for 40 percent of the marque's sales.

Now, it appears that a smaller model could be on the way, as Kaizen Factor reveals (via MotorAuthority) that Lexus has trademarked two new names: NX 200t and NX 300h.

In Lexus nomenclature, 'X' stands for crossovers and SUVs, and 'h' for hybrid. The NX 300h could well be the name of an upcoming hybrid compact luxury crossover--and the car we thought would be called the CX 300h when a smaller crossover was hinted at last year.

If you can mentally separate 'NX' from the 1990s Nissan coupe of the same name, the NX 300h should compete with the Infiniti EX and Acura RDX crossovers.

The 300h designation means the car will get the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and electric drivetrain found in the 2013 Lexus ES 300h.

Rumors suggest the NX 300h could be based on a Toyota RAV4 platform, also hinting that a hybrid RAV4 could eventually be possible--though naturally, the Lexus would offer a more luxurious feel.

The NX 200t will likely use a 2.0-liter, turbocharged powertrain, set for introduction in the 2014 model year. NX models are expected to hit the motor show stands some time early in 2013.

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