Lexus might be late to the plug-in hybrid party, but its first one, the NX 450h+, will go on sale in Australia early next year. The range-topping model will arrive Down Under as part of the new NX range, alongside the usual petrol-powered NX 250 and NX 350 and the regular hybrid NX 350h.

As the most powerful variant, the NX 450h+ will utilise the same powertrain as the Toyota RAV4 Prime/Plug-in Hybrid on which it’s based. Under the bonnet lies an A25A-FXS Atkinson-cycle version of the 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated Dynamic Force engine found in the NX 250, producing 185 PS at 6,000 rpm and 227 Nm of torque between 3,200 and 3,700 rpm.

The mill is joined by two motors – the one in the front churns out 134 kW (182 PS) and 270 Nm, while the rear unit adds another 40 kW (54 PS) and 121 Nm, plus all-wheel drive. Total system output is 309 PS (slightly higher than it is in the RAV4), enabling the NX 450h+ to get from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 km/h.

An 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery provides a WLTP-rated all-electric range of between 69 and 76 km, and the car can be driven at speeds of up to 135 km/h in this mode. Fuel consumption is rated at just 0.9 to 1.1 litres per 100 km, also on the WLTP cycle. Charging the battery takes around 2.5 hours using 6.6 kW of AC power.

Lexus Australia also confirmed that the NX 450h+ will arrive with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with a firmer Sport S+ damping mode. The car will complement the NX 350h hybrid, which is anticipated to be the top-selling model in the continent, as well as the fully-electric UX 300e in the Lexus’ Australian lineup. Closer to home, the NX 450h+ will make its Thai debut at the country’s Motor Expo in early December.

The new NX marks a sea change for Lexus’ best-selling model, sporting a sleeker, more organic design inside and out. Notably, the car dispenses with the brand’s much-maligned Remote Touch infotainment system in favour of a full-touchscreen interface as part of the new Tazuna interior concept. The giant 14-inch touchscreen houses a “Hey Lexus” voice control system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.