Barely two months after the hybrid-powered Lexus LF-NX Concept made its debut in Frankfurt, the wraps came off of another more performance-oriented version of this cool one-off compact crossover at the Tokyo Auto Show. Now known as the Lexus NX-FT Turbo Concept and still loaded with plenty of real-world potential, this variation shares much in common with the original but swaps its 255/50 tires for lower-profile 255/45 Z-rated rubber wrapped around new 20-inch alloy wheels and gains new red highlighting to the instrument cluster, navi screen, switch gear and roof/door panels to tout its more aggressive character. However, the most significant change to this new Stage II exercise in probability thinking resides under its hood. In place of what was somewhat nebulously described as "a new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system tuned for SUV performance," is an equally new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine
While Lexus remains tight-lipped about output figures of its first-ever T-charged gas engine, we do know that it's fitted with the same kind of sophisticated "D-4S" direct-and-port injection found on the Scion FR-S, features VVT-iw variable valve timing and combustion technologies and is force fed intake air via a single dual-scroll turbo unit that bolts directly to an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head. That combination reportedly optimizes responsiveness and fuel efficiency over a wide rev range for outstanding overall drivability. In addition to finding a home in what is a virtually certain near-term addition to the Lexus lineup, this new motivator also is destined to make an appearance in several other members of the family at some point in the future.
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