This 2022, as both the global and local automotive industry gradually pick up from the pandemic, new models are expected to be rolled out across various car segments. For its part, the luxury segment is bringing to the Philippine market new and upgraded models that are set to bring defining on-the-road experiences that highly set this category apart from the rest.
Lexus Philippines kicked off this year with the launch of the all-new second-generation Lexus NX. Focused on bringing “functional beauty,” the premium compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) is seen to present “a more sophisticated, dynamic, and mature character for the premium Japanese brand,” as CarGuide.ph puts it.
Such character is highlighted by the brand’s hallmark front spindle grille, which is now rendered more upright and with a subtler frame that accentuates the long hood. The rear, meanwhile, complements this design with L-shaped rear combination lights and signature Lexus blade lighting, along with the “LEXUS” name at the tailgate.
The interior of the new NX embodies Lexus’s “Tazuna” concept, which comes from the Japanese word describing “how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider.” Out of this concept, the Lexus NX has steering controller-mounted switches and head-up display that have been coordinated to a high degree. Simply put, this allows the driver to really keep his or her eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel.
The model also has a meticulously redesigned cabin, consisting of a 7-inch multi-instrument display and a 10-inch heads-up display (NX 350h Premier and NX 350 F Sport), along with a standard 9.8-inch touchscreen (14 inches on the NX 350h Premier and NX 350 F Sport), plus a 17-speaker Mark Levison Surround Sound System (exclusive to the NX 350h Premier).
Lexus’s new model comes in three variants. The NX 350 F Sport has a T24A-FTS 2.4-liter inline-four turbocharged engine, a newly developed high-torque Direct Shift-8AT, and a newly developed electronically controlled full-time AWD. Both hybrid variants, Lexus NX 350h Premier and NX 350h, carry the A25A-FXS 2.5-liter inline-four engine with a high-output electric motor, along with a Lexus-exclusive control logic that aims to balance acceleration performance and reduced fuel consumption.
BMW 520i Luxury
The 520i Luxury is BMW’s newest entry in the Philippines for this year through SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation, the brand’s exclusive Philippine distributor.
An upgrade of the BMW 5 Series, 520i Luxury has a modified twin-kidney grille with extra width and height and positioned further into the front bumper; headlights with slimmer contouring, as well as a High-beam Assistant and an adaptive cornering function for added safety at night.
The model also features BMW’s Comfort Access system that allows for keyless entry, a Kick Function for an effortless opening of the trunk, and a Soft Close function for quietly pulling the doors.
The cabin contains a 12.3-inch Digital Instrument Cluster Display together with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional with gesture controls, finely paired with a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon surround system. Further enhancing driver and passenger experience are Dakota Leather seats, standard ambient lighting, and a four-zone climate control.
BMW 520i Luxury is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder featuring the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, paired with 8-speed automatic transmission, a peak horsepower of 184 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm, and peak torque of 290 Nm at a broad 1,350 to 4,250 rpm range.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic
Mercedes-AMG, meanwhile, is rolling out its A 35 4Matic model in the Philippines. It sports a sportier exterior, with a wind tunnel to improve handling at high speeds, a signature AMG radiator grille, front apron with larger front splitter, and 19-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels.
The model’s interior sports an innovatively-designed dashboard, coupled with a performance steering wheel covered in nappa leather and embedded with wheel buttons and dual 10.25-inch displays on the dashboard integrated with MBUX system, which lets drivers communicate with the vehicle just by saying “Hey Mercedes.”
The Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 306 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. This is coupled with the brand’s own suspension system with 4Matic all-wheel drive and AMG Speedshift 7-speed DCT.
From Audi comes the seven-seat 2022 Audi Q7 SUV, which carries a mild hybrid system that reduces fuel consumption and ensures cleaner emissions, made possible by the Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) that powers the full-size SUV’s 48-volt main electrical system. The hybrid model also has a 3.0-liter TDI V6 turbocharged diesel engine able to carry 286 horsepower and 600 Nm of output, coupled with eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
Its restyled outside look is highlighted by the brand’s large Singleframe grille with six upright slats, as well as the rear’s chrome strip and flat taillights, and 20-inch cast aluminum wheels.
Inside, two large touchscreens that provide both haptic and acoustic feedback for their touch controls, made possible by a new digital operating system, stand out. Aptly complementing this are a leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, ambient LED lighting package, four-zone climate control, and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. — Adrian Paul B. Conoza