Time has lost his status. Today ‘incredible experiences’ are the new luxury. Affluent consumers really appreciate ‘feeling more’… Feeling that special connection to our emotions rather than just luxury products themselves. Lexus, knows as no other how to craft perfect moments for each guest through sensorial experiences where the vehicles are merely a cog in the wheel. To prove that the Japanese car brand took us on a 24 hour tour in and around Antwerp to discover the all-new NX.
By Anja Van Der Borght
After our arrival at Midi Station (Brussels) we are driven to B&B Sterckxhof in Meise, a unique pearl a stone’s throw from Brussels (20-25 min drive from Brussels Airport/Midi Station). This 17th century ‘closed manor farm’ played a central role in the history of the small village of Oppem. The building defines the view of the charming village built on a hill dominated by a picturesque white church. Sterckxhof takes its name from the Sterckx family who converted the court in the 19th century into a dignified residence for their son, Cardinal Sterckx. The character of the building and the courtyard garden have been well preserved. With its high ceilings, beautiful light and warm materials, it exudes the tranquility so many people are looking for nowadays.
Today the courtyard of Sterckxhof is filled with dozens of models of the all-new Lexus NX. This second generation NX replaces a model that has been very succesful contributing to about one third of Lexus sales in Europe. More than 180,000 NX have been sold since it came into production in 2014 the vast majority to first time Lexus buyers. Also global the NX is a success with more than 1.1 million sales since the launch. “To beat this success the Lexus engineers knew they had to do more”, says Tanguy Lejeune from Lexus Europe. “So we looked at every aspect of the car and asked ourselves how can we do better. The result is that a staggering 95 percent of the vehicles parts of the NX are new. So it truly is a new generation product with a new exterior and interior design, a new cabin architecture with many new features, a new multimedia system, a new platform, a series of new powertrains with big advances in performance, handling and efficiency and even new safety and driver assist features. Even going beyond content and technologies we also aim to achieve a new level of joy and engagement. Rewarding driving experience and superior stance of control which we call the Lexus driving signature.”
Thanks to the 4th generation of self-charging hybrid system the NX 350h offers according to Lexus 20 percent less CO2 emissions ans 24 percent more power. Needless to say that we are curious to discover this new crossover.
NX stands for ‘Nimble Crossover’ or ‘Nimble 4×4′. Nimble’ meaning agile and refers to the compact silhouette and agile handling of the car. So we definitely have to take the car to a city environment later on. After lunch we choose from the available models – the NX 450h+ (PHEV) and the NX 350h (HEV) – and take a NX 350h (HEV) to set off to Boom. Here we visit the Schorre the world famous ground that hosts Tomorrowland each year. The year around it is a great place for a day, a picnic or a walk in the park.
Over here, on the holy grounds of De Schorre, we also discover One World, a permanent public installation by world famous Belgian artist Arne Quinze. The installation is a 537-metre-long bridge, symbolizing the connection between people and bridging their differences.
When driving the all-new Lexus NX we even feel more in control than with its predecessor. I guess that Lexus’ first application ever of the Tazuna concept for the driver’s cockpit design has to do with that. Taken from a Japanese word describing ‘a rider’s control of its horse using the reins’, it focuses on giving the driver direct, intuitive control of the vehicle, following the principle of ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’. Apart from that we feel as if we are sitting in a luxurious lounge. The cabin finish is rich in examples of Lexus Takumi craftsmanship, using high-quality materials that look and feel good.
To us the new e-latch electronic entry and exist system is an invention as big as ABS that can save many lives.
The new Lexus NX includes the third generation of Lexus Safety System +. This introduces new features and upgrades with systems tuned to operate in a way that feels more natural to the driver. Improvements include further expansion of the Pre-Collision System’s capability and changes to Adaptive Cruise Control so that it recognises traffic cutting in front of the NX more quickly. One of the smartest new safety features and our favourite is the Safe Exit Assist. In essence this new and innovative system will warn the driver and cancel the door opening from the inside when a vehicle or bicycle is coming from the rear. This is made possible thanks to the E-latch new electronic door opening system from Lexus. With this safety feature Lexus defintely sets a new benchmark for other car brands. To us it is an invention as big as ABS that can save many lives.
Price for Belgium from 51.750 Euros onwards (for the Lexus NX 350h, FWD).
Read more in part 2 that takes us from Boom to Antwerp.
B&B Sterckxhof, Kardinaal Sterckxlaan 17, 1860 Meise https://sterckxhof.be
De Schorre, Schommelei 1 bus 1, 2850 Boom, www.deschorre.be