NEXT LEXUS RX: The new Lexus RS is headed for South Africa though the automaker has yet to announce when it will arrive locally. Image: Lexus
• Fourth-generation Lexus RX
• Longer wheelbase, improved cabin
• New Lexus Safety System+ package
• 3.5-litre V6 petrol, V6 hybrid power
NEW YORK – Lexus’ fourth generation RX made its debut at the 2015 New York auto show, sporting a new body, redesigned interior, longer wheelbase and the latest in safety and technology from the automaker.
The RX SUV, the best-selling model in Lexus’ 26-year history, measures 4.8m long, 1.8m wide, 1.6 tall and has a wheelbase of 2.7m. The range will be powered by 3.5-litre V6 petrol and V6 petrol/hybrid engines.
It's expected to be launched later in Europe towards the end of 2015. Details and specifications for South Africa will be announced later.
At the front it has new a version of Lexus’ signature spindle-grille design, chromed trim and triple L-shaped LEDs. It has redesigned foglights and assertive flares to its front wings. Its blacked-out C-pillars, create what Lexus calls a "floating roof" effect, and its new 20" alloy rims can be fitted with coloured inserts.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Lexus RX
At the rear, the all-wheel drive RX has been enhanced with L-shaped taillights that wrap around its flanks.
Inside it has new laser-cut wood ornamentation, sunroof, a large head-up display and a 31cm screen. The rear seats can be heatable and power-adjustable.
'EXCITEMENT AND STRENGTH'
Lexus RX chief designer, Gen Ikeda, said: “We designed the RX to have a high amount of excitement and strength. The longer wheelbase and larger wheel size create sporty, powerful proportions. At the same time as we have secured a highly luxurious and spacious cabin, we have kept a sleek and dynamic vehicle silhouette.”
The new RX will be available (depending on market) with an upgraded 3.5-litre V6 petrol capable of 223kW, mated to a new eight-speed auto driving power to all four wheels. A hybrid version of the 3.5 litre V6 will also be available.
The RX chassis has been strengthened to provide better stability and control through bends. The body structure has been made stronger with improved rigidity, handling and reduced road noise.
Its Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is designed to, Lexus says, "recognise potentially dangerous situations and make automatic adjustments to ensure the car is kept under control" when entering/exiting corners.
LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM+
According to Lexus: “Most RX versions will be available with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which electronically monitors and adapts suspension damping and steering to secure the best handling and ride according to the driving conditions.”
The new RX benefits from improvements in safety including a stronger body and the introduction of Lexus Safety System+, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions.
The system integrates several existing Lexus active safety technologies; pre-collision system, lane departure alert and automatic high beam.
Optional safety kit includes adaptive high-beam system and blind spot monitor.
NEW RX F SPORT
The F Sport version of the new RX will be available with either engine and benefits from a number of visual and performance enhancements.
The spindle grille and lower centre section of the rear bumper have a new F Sport mesh and it has new alloy rims. Inside it gains a new instrument cluster, leather, sports steering wheel with paddle shifts. Exclusive colour options and trims are also available.
The RX F-Sport receives an active stabiliser system and AVS. The drive mode select adds a Sport S+ mode with AVS, in addition to eco, normal and Sports S.
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