The fourth generation model of Lexus’ largest selling nameplate ever has made its international debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The Lexus RX has sold over 2.1 million units and accounts for three out of every 10 vehicles the company has sold. In its latest generation version, the model gets a muscular body, completely redesigned interior and a longer wheelbase. Here’s what you need to know
The front end has been designed from the scratch with a stronger spindle grille design with a chrome-finished border and triple L-shaped LED headlamps. The front wings have been made more muscular to make vehicle look sportier.
In profile, the blacked out c-pillars create a floating roof effect. Strong character lines add a sense of dynamism. The slowing roof line creates aids the sporty stance while also reducing rear lift making the vehicle more stable with reduced wind noise. New 20-inch aluminium wheels can be customised with different coloured inserts
At the rear, new L-shaped taillights wrap around the sides of the vehicle. When illuminated, these create a brilliant glow that extends laterally from the body to the tailgate – a Lexus first.
On the inside, new trim elements create a high-class feel. Fancy stuff includes optional laser cut wood ornamentation. There is a large head-up display on offer, while the information zone features a 12.3-inch monitor. The position of the instrument panel has been changed to enhance space.
Wheelbase has been extended for more leg and knee-room for rear seat passengers. The rear seats themselves can be equipped with power recline adjustment and heaters. A panoramic sunroof adds to the sense of spaciousness in the cabin.
The new RX will be available with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 300bhp combined output for the hybrid powertrain, matched to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The car gets an AWD system too.
The entire chassis has been strengthened form a claimed better stability and control through bends. Reduction in engine and road noise levels in the cabin has also allegedly been achieved. Most RX versions will be available with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which electronically monitors and adapts suspension damping and steering.
Safety features include a stronger body structure, and the introduction of the Lexus Safety System+, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions at a wide range of vehicle speeds.
Lexus Safety System+ includes the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which detects and warns the driver of potential collision risks with vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles on the road ahead; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which triggers a warning sound if the vehicle moves out of its lane without signalling; and Automatic High Beam (AHB), which helps maintain the best forward visibility when driving at night.
The system’s multi-faceted approach to active safety makes use of a millimetre-wave radar that works with a camera to help keep the RX in its intended driving lane, via the Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) feature. These elements also support the performance of the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
Optional features include an Adaptive High Beam System, Panoramic View Monitor and Blind Spot Monitor.
RX F Sport
The F Sport version of the new RX will also be made available. It will be available with both powertrains and will benefit from a number of special visual and performance features that will set it apart from other versions in the range.
Over the standard version, the F version will get a lot of enhancements. F-motif mesh on the bumpers, new alloy wheel designs, and a sports steering wheel along with exclusive colour options will be a part of the package.
The Drive Mode Select system adds a Sport S+ mode with Adaptive Variable Suspension in addition to the Eco, Normal and Sports S settings.
Does this Lexus appear any better than the tried and tested German monsters? Do let us know your thoughts