Lexus unveiled its all-new RX SUV at the New York International Auto Show today.
The fourth generation RX features a redesigned, luxurious interior wrapped in a bold and chiselled body with Lexus-first styling cues.
It combines the dynamic new look with exceptional on-road performance and new safety technologies, including the new Lexus Safety System+.
RX chief engineer Takayuki Katsuda said the latest RX built on the foundations of the previous three generations of the segment-redefining SUV.
“Our ambition has been to make a bold and completely new statement in this segment while building on and staying true to the pioneering values of previous RX generations,” Mr Katsuda said.
Bold and exciting new look
RX front styling features a new fascia highlighted by an emboldened spindle grille with a chrome-plated border, triple L-shaped LED headlamps and redesigned fog lamps.
This gives the RX an elegant yet futuristic aura, while muscular front fender flares add to the vehicle’s sporty stance.
The side profile is characterised by a sharp character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear end which, together with a flowing roofline, gives the RX a dynamic profile that minimises drag and reduces front and rear lift while also enhancing high speed stability and reducing wind noise.
Lexus-first blacked-out C-pillars provide a dramatic floating-roof effect.
New RX also features newly designed 20-inch alloy wheels, which can be customised with variable colour inserts to emphasise driver individuality.
Sharpened rear styling exudes a sense of stability, highlighted by new L-shaped taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle to create a wider, more authoritative presence when illuminated.
The new cabin features high levels of comfort and luxury, with repositioned trim pieces to provide an additional feeling of class.
Laser-cut ornamentation is available to further add to the cabin’s opulence.
A large head-up display (HUD)* takes centre stage, while the information display area, featuring a 12.3-inch monitor, has been separated from the main operations area.
The gear lever has also been repositioned from the front of the instrument panel to optimise operability and create more space for the driver.
Rear-seat occupants are treated to more leg and knee space, and the newly-developed seats offer heating and power reclining features that both enhance convenience and provide a sophisticated, luxurious feel.
A retractable power panorama roof enhances the RX cabin’s spaciousness and provides occupants with an open-air experience.
RX chief designer Gen Ikeda said the fourth generation RX featured enhancements to deliver driving pleasure and occupant comfort.
“We designed the RX to have a high amount of excitement and strength,” he said. “The lengthened wheelbase and larger tyre size results in sporty, powerful proportions.
“Even while ensuring a high level of luxury and space within the cabin, the RX’s silhouette remains sleek and dynamic, while the interior has been designed for easy operation with luxurious execution.”
Smooth, powerful and efficient engines
RX features an upgraded and more powerful 3.5-litre V6 that comes mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The hybrid model’s Atkinson-cycle 3.5-litre V6 is based on the improved V6 powertrain.
All RX engines have been tuned to achieve high fuel economy and low carbon emissions.
Enhanced handling and stability
The RX chassis has been fortified to provide better stability and control through turns for sharp, car-like handling.
The vehicle’s body structure has been strengthened with added stiffness, helping to drastically improve its handling response while keeping engine and road noise from entering the cabin.
RX also features Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)* and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)*.
Each system is designed to recognise potentially dangerous situations and make automatic and often transparent adjustments to ensure the vehicle remains in control when entering and exiting corners.
All-wheel drive improves RX handling performance and stability on both dry and slick surfaces.
The RX’s fully independent suspension system, which comprises MacPherson struts on the front and a double wishbone setup at the rear, has been tuned and reinforced to improve handling while keeping a smooth ride quality.
Available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) electronically monitors and adapts the suspension damping and steering to ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions.
AVS automatically makes adjustments to the shock absorber settings, ensuring the smoothest ride quality possible.
The system is also designed to produce less body roll through corners, providing a sporty driving experience.
Safety a priority with Lexus Safety System+
New RX features enhanced safety features, including an upgraded body structure that heightens the overall passive safety of the RX, and Lexus Safety System+*, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds.
Lexus Safety System+, introduced globally, integrates several of Lexus’ existing active safety technologies.
• Pre-Collision System (PCS)*, which detects sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front and warns drivers of potential contact with obstacles ahead
• Lane Departure Warning (LDW)*, which issues an audible signal if the vehicle strays from its intended lane, and
• Automatic High Beam (AHB)*, which helps ensure optimal forward visibility during night driving.
The Lexus Safety System+ package utilises a millimetre-wave radar that works together with a camera to keep the RX in its intended driving lane via the Lane Keeping Assist feature (LKA)* and enhances the target detection for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Adaptive High-beam System (AHS)*, Panoramic View Monitor (PVM)* and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)* with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)* are available to provide even higher levels of safety.
RX F Sport
RX F Sport, which is tailored for those who desire even more excitement and performance in their luxury SUV, will be available with all model engine offerings.
Lexus vehicles designated with the F Sport badge are equipped with unique visual and performance features.
On RX the spindle grille and lower centrepiece of the rear bumper possess an “F” mesh design, instantly giving the vehicle dynamic flair.
New alloy wheels, exclusive to F Sport, also help give the RX a commanding road presence.
The cabin features a custom F Sport instrument cluster as well as a sport steering wheel featuring perforated leather and an F Sport emblem, complete with paddle shifters.
Exclusive colours and trim pieces are also integral to the F Sport package.
RX F Sport’s performance has been enhanced by an active stabiliser system whose cutting-edge technology keeps the vehicle’s body flat through corners. AVS, which also helps keep the vehicle planted to driving surfaces through turns, is standard on RX F Sport.
The driver can select the AVS-enhanced Sport S+ mode, in addition to Eco, Normal and Sports S settings, on the Drive Mode Select control located on the centre console.
RX raises the bar for luxury SUVs
Chief engineer Takayuki Katsuda said the new RX, with luxurious comfort, bold styling and exciting driving dynamics, would excite both new and existing customers.
“The pioneering spirit of Lexus drives us to create new technology and gives rise to new ideas,” he said.
“It allows us to introduce new vehicles with leading-edge features. And indeed, we are committed to bringing ‘progressive luxury’ to the world.
“I believe this new RX will not only surprise new customers, but will also delight and satisfy our loyal customers, whose high expectations will be met by many new innovations,” Mr Katsuda said.
The fourth generation RX is set to arrive in Australia in 2016.
Local specification and model line-up will be announced closer to the time of launch.
2016 Lexus RX preliminary specifications
Overall length: 4890mm
Overall width: 1895mm
Overall height: 1690mm
Track (front): 1640mm
Track (rear): 1630mm