Here you go ladies and gentlemen – the all-new Lexus RX, fresh from its world debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The RX has come a long way since its roots shared with the Toyota Harrier – the latest generation of the popular grey import SUV has looked nothing like the Harrier since the last generation, and now looks even more distinct.
While the Japan-centric Harrier has kept its dimensions restrained with a short 2,660 mm wheelbase platform the new RX has had the room to grow since it now has the NX taking care of compact SUV duties. As a result, the RX is now larger, riding on a 2,789 mm wheelbase, up from the previous generation’s 2,740 mm.
There’s no 2.0 litre turbo so far – we’re looking at two variants at launch, an RX 350 powered by a 3.5 litre V6 and an RX 450h powered by a 3.5 litre V6 mated to a hybrid drive system. The RX 350’s direct injection V6 has had its output increase to 300 horsepower, while the RX 450h’s Atkinson cycle engine and electric motor also has a combined output of around 300 horses.
Looking like a big NX from the outside, the new RX greets you with a large spindle grille up front. The headlamps, daytime running lights, fog lamps and tail lamps all use LED technology.
The interior is where we got a big shocker – it seems to introduce a completely new design language for Lexus interiors. It adopts a more driver-focused design, with the instrument panel and centre stack wrapping around the driver seat, while previous Lexus interior designs were more symmetrical. That steering wheel looks new too, with much slimmer spokes.
You’ll see two different instrument clusters in the galleries below – the hybrid uses a more conventional instrument cluster with two large analog metres and a colour multi-info display between them. The RX 350 F Sport has a nice LFA-inspired digital cluster where a large central digital meter has a square multi-info display to the left of it, and regular gauges for temp and fuel tank level on the right.
The chassis rides on MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone system at the rear. Optional is the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, which electronically monitors and adapts the shock absorber damping and steering to help ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions.
In terms of safety, Lexus has a suite of features it collectively calls the Lexus Safety System+ which can help avoid or mitigate collisions. These include the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that is designed to detect sudden stops by the vehicle in front and brake in certain circumstances; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which issues an audible signal if it determines the vehicle has strayed from its intended lane; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.
The system uses a millimeter-wave radar that works together with a camera to help keep the RX 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 under certain circumstances. 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).
These are just the first details of the car released by Lexus. We hope to be able to share more info later, especially on the new higher-powered engines. For now, enjoy the video and galleries below.
GALLERY: Lexus RX 450h
GALLERY: Lexus RX 350 F Sport