The new Lexus RX has been officially shown off at the 2015 New York Auto Show and this luxury SUV is on a mission to reclaim market share.
The Lexus RX is the best-selling model in the company's portfolio, with 2.1 million units sold around the world. To put that into perspective, three out of every 10 Lexus models is an RX. Not bad going as the RX is priced considerably higher than the smaller sedans.
Lexus RX DetailsThe 2016 Lexus RX features a completely new, luxurious interior to go with its fresh, new, chiseled body style. You can clearly see the similarities between the RX and the smaller NX as both feature very angled lines. The new Lexus RX is not just about looks though, as safety plays a key part.
"With the new Lexus Safety System+, we offer drivers an added level of occupant safety in a conveniently bundled package that leverages some of the latest accident prevention technology. We certainly expect the proliferation of these features to continue throughout the luxury vehicle market and our Lexus lineup as the industry remains steadfast in the pursuit of enhanced vehicle safety," said Jeff Bracken, Group Vice President and General Manager Lexus Division.
There's no denying the new Lexus RX looks a lot more aggressive thanks to its grille, LED headlights and daytime running lights. The car also rides on 20-inch aluminium wheels which can be customised with body colour-matching inserts. An integrated dual exhaust system has been added to give the rear a bit more of an aggressive appearance too.
It is however the cabin that has received the most attention and its not only about luxury features. There's plenty technology too, with a color heads-up display (HUD) which projects vehicle info to the driver's windshield, while the information display area, featuring an available 12.3-in. monitor with full-screen map, is situated atop the center stack. The shift lever, complete with leather boot, has been positioned away from the front of the instrument panel to optimize operability and create more space for the driver.
Cabin space in the rear has been increased, meaning more leg and knee room. The seats are heated and the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split. If you're entertainment minded, you can also fit 11.6-inch dual screens which slot into the back of the front headrests.
Powering the Lexus RX 350 is a new version of the 3.5-liter V6 that pushes out 225 kW, coupled with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid RX 450h features the same engine, but it runs on the Atkinson cycle and works with an electric motor generator. Both cars have been tuned in anticipation of high fuel economy ratings and low carbon emissions.
In terms of safety and dynamics, the new Lexus RX offers impressive ability. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is standard, while Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is available on select models. Each system is designed to help recognize the loss of vehicle control, and help manage potentially dangerous situations with automatic adjustments to help the vehicle maintain optimal traction. The RX also is offered in All-Weather Drive to help the RX's handling performance and control on dry and slick surfaces alike.
Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) makes its debut in the Lexus RX for the first time. AVS electronically monitors and adapts the shock absorber damping and steering to help ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions. The system is also designed to produce less body lean through corners, providing an engaging driving experience.
Lexus Safety System+ helps avoid collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds under certain conditions. Introduced internationally, Lexus Safety System+ integrates several of the brand's existing active safety technologies. These include the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that is designed to detect sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front and can engage automatic braking in certain circumstances; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility at night.
The Lexus RX also uses a millimeter-wave radar that works together with a camera to help keep the vehicle in its intended driving lane via the Lane Keep Assist feature (LKA) and enhances target detection for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop capability. Other available features that can help the driver include Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The RX is an important model for Lexus in South Africa too, and should debut within the next six months.