Japanese manufacturer releases teaser images of a refreshed 2018 Lexus NX as well as a possible future four-wheel-drive vehicle in concept form it's calling the FT-4X.

New York International Auto Show Banner

Shanghai and New York Auto Shows

April is shaping up to be a busy month for Toyota, as it prepares to introduce a pair of vehicles at two auto shows, taking place on opposite sides of the planet.

Toyota FT-4X Concept teaser image

2017 New York International Auto Show

It all begins at 9:10 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Wednesday, April 12, during press preview days at the New York Auto Show. It's here that Toyota will unveil the FT-4X Concept. The "FT" in the name stands for "Future Toyota" and, although the teaser image only reveals a wheel and tire, it's obvious from the image – which depicts an aggressively-treaded 225/55R18 off-road tire wrapped around a chunky alloy wheel - that both belong to some type of off-road vehicle.

The "4X" in the name also suggests that it could very well be some type of 4x4 off-road vehicle. With Jeep preparing a new Wrangler and Ford about to launch a new Bronco, the FT-4X – in addition to gauging interest – might also represent either a new 4x4 offering from Toyota, or possibly a new design direction for the aging 4Runner, whose basic design has remained virtually unchanged since it was introduced in the fall of 2009.

2018 Lexus NX teaser image

Auto Shanghai 2017

Unlike the 4Runner, it's been just two and a half years since Lexus introduced the all-new NX compact crossover. A big hit for the brand, at its launch Lexus predicted sales of 36,000 for its first full year of sales. The actual number exceeded 43,000 in 2015, with 54,884 deliveries in 2016.

But in the red-hot luxury compact crossover segment, time waits for no one. So after three model years, a mid-cycle refresh was in order. From the teaser image, it appears that the 2018 NX will receive a new front fascia, revised headlights and daytime running lights, a reworked grille, and possibly a new hood.

To confirm these speculations, we'll have to wait for the Lexus press conference during Auto Shanghai 2017, which will take place on April 19th in Hall 6.1 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China.