The Lexus NX 300h hybrid version features a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine with a new automatic transmission and E-Four proactive all-weather drive system and a kickdown feature (to place the transmission into a lower gear) for improved mileage. Marking the sixth – count ’em SIX – hybrid in the Lexus lineup, the NX 300h uses an electric motor to drive the rear axle while the front axle is propelled by either gasoline, electric or a mixture of both for optimum power and performance.
The E-Four saves energy and fuel by only using the all-wheel drive when needed. By sensing when there is a loss of traction of the front wheels, the system reduces the electric power to the traction motor in the transaxle and increases the supply to the motor in the rear axle. In addition, the rear motor acts as a generator when the NX is in regenerative braking mode, increasing the amount of kinetic energy recovered.