Lexus NX takes aim at BMW X3

This is Lexus’s NX, the Japanese firm’s pointy riposte to the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

A compact SUV expected to reach the UK by the end of 2014, the NX was previewed by the, ahem, boldly styled LF-NX concept. Thankfully the production car isn’t quite so eye-assaulting, but it’s still a sharp-edged thing by the standards of the class.

Lexus says the NX was designed to look ‘as though it has been cast from a single piece of metal’, to which Top Gear would like to add ‘and also as though it wishes to devour pedestrians whole’. The NX will come with 17- or 18-inch wheels, and features a pretty unmissable version of Lexus’s now-signature ‘spindle grille’.

It’ll launch with three powertrains including, inevitably, a hybrid. We’ll see the petrol-electric NX300h, petrol-only NX200 and, in a first for Lexus, the NX200t, which uses a turbocharged petrol engine.

Lexus hasn’t released power or performance figures yet, but it’s safe to assume the hybrid will make the same 220bhp as the IS300h. Porsche Macan-baiting performance not to be expected, then.

There’s lashings of tech on board, however, including – most welcomely – a wireless charging tray for your smartphones and tablets. The NX will be the first Lexus to be fitted with a G-sensor (to sense where the G is, we assume), and will also feature a head-up display and blind spot monitoring.

The NX will sit below the RX in Lexus's SUV line-up. It's based on Toyota's RAV4 underpinnings, which should give you some idea of size: that car measures 457cm from nose to tail, while a BMW X3 is 464cm long.

And that’s all we know for now. Prices, performance and other vital statistics will appear when the NX makes its official debut at the Beijing show later this month. Waddya think of that styling?