2016 NX 200t Compact Luxury Utility Gets A Boost From Turbocharged Gas Engine

by Heather Platt | Posted on Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Lexus developed its first turbocharged gas engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, in house.  By pairing this new turbocharged engine with an all-new compact luxury utility vehicle, the NX 200t, Lexus injected more fun into the luxury utility vehicle lineup for 2016 model year. Now, the NX is quickly becoming a favorite Lexus model with its smooth handling, bold styling, and surprising attention to detail.

2016 NX 200t

Giving consumers more choices, the NX is also available as a hybrid model, NX 300h. The NX 200t is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with F SPORT available for both.

The F SPORT badge on a Lexus tells you to expect a special driving experience. That’s certainly the modus operandi of the NX F SPORT, which looks a bit sinister with its more aggressive grille and front lower bumper. Special wheels, black exterior mirrors and exclusive interior trim and front sport seats round out the package.

The NX 200t carries over into 2016 model year with exterior color changes and additional connectivity. New exterior colors include Autumn Shimmer and Blue Vortex Metallic, and for F SPORT Ultra White.  Drivers can also now opt in for additional peace of mind with Lexus Enform products.

Lexus Enform Service Connect (complimentary one-year trial subscription included) allows customers to remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via the MyLexusandBeyond mobile application for iOS smartphone users or LexusDrivers.com. Information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report. Lexus Enform Remote is also available for all NX vehicles.

NX 200t: Dynamic Torque Control AWD

The NX 200t with all-weather drive introduces Dynamic Torque Control AWD to help provide maximum traction and cornering control. The system continuously controls torque transfer between the front and rear wheels, using sensors for vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, throttle angle and yaw rate.

To conserve fuel, the system uses front-wheel drive during normal cruising. When required, it automatically engages AWD through an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential housing, directing up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels. When the driver makes too wide of a turn, the Dynamic Torque Control AWD helps bring the vehicle back to the intended drive line.

A pre-loaded front differential (and yaw rate feedback control on AWD versions) helps ensure optimized grip, control and agility. The differential uses a plate spring between the side gear and side gear washer to add pre-load, which limits torque split between the front wheels. Under light loads, and when there is a low speed difference between the left and right wheels during cornering, the pre-loaded differential helps ensure straight-line stability and acceleration performance. At higher speeds, it operates as an open differential.

NX 200t: Turbocharged Engine

For its first-ever turbocharged gasoline engine, Lexus created the engine architecture. The 2.0-liter turbocharged port and direct-injection engine uses an advanced valve control system to switch between Atkinson cycle and Otto cycle operation to optimize performance and fuel efficiency.

To minimize turbo lag, the four-into-two exhaust manifold system pairs cylinders according to their expansion or compression stroke to reduce pumping losses and eliminate exhaust gas interference. This results in improved acceleration response and wide torque band. The turbo engine produces 235 hp at 4800-5,600 rpm with 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,650-4,000 rpm and up to 17psi of boost at wide open throttle. A balance shaft enhances smoothness.

The combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors, as used on some other Lexus models, ensures ample power and crisp responsiveness at all engine speeds.  Combining the cylinder head, exhaust manifold and intercooler with variable wastegate control enhances low speed torque fuel economy. Active wastegate control minimizes pumping losses by reducing backpressure during low engine load. The water-cooled intercooler, mounted directly to the engine, provides strong advantages in acceleration. A dual exhaust system reduces backpressure and noise.

The D-4S fuel injection system provides the optimum mixture to realize the highly efficient rapid combustion.

To keep the engine oil clean, the intake system creates a syphon which draws carbon vapors away from the crankcase allowing for 10,000 miles between oil changes similar to aspirated engines.

Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-iW) optimizes torque throughout the engine speed range and allows the engine to start in the Otto cycle and then run in the more fuel efficient Atkinson cycle. The late intake valve closing of the Atkinson cycle reduces pumping losses and boosts fuel economy.

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