It's quite common for automakers to buy examples of competitors' vehicles for benchmarking when they're developing new cars. Only a foolish company would ignore when others are onto a good thing—such as the luxury compact crossover market, populated by BMWs, Audis and Mercedes-Benzes.

Lexus has done just that, but whatever unidentified model they've tested, they're not impressed. That gives us high hopes for the 2015 Lexus NX, which—if Lexus is to be believed—should be the best-driving of the bunch. In a new development story video, project manager Kei-ichi Nishiyama describes his surprise at the limited driving dynamics of his chosen competitor—and vowed to create a much better crossover SUV.

The production and engineering teams were given one brief: Ignore mass production reality--just focus on making the world's best crossover. Lexus concentrated on the body's rigidity (key for handling), evaluating several reinforcement components to test which would work best for the design. The company also started from scratch with the car's shock absorbers too, refining them to the nth degree. Nishiyama suggests the team has hit its goal—yet kept the sort of ride quality that Lexus buyers demand. Recent Lexus models have been pretty good in this regard, so we have high hopes—but we'll have to wait and see when we get behind the wheel ourselves.

Sales of the 2015 Lexus NX start this fall.


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