The new RX made a sizeable splash at the New York International Auto Show this past April, where the press and public applauded Lexus’ best-selling vehicle’s bold new attitude. While there have been many improvements made under the sheet metal, it was the RX’s fresh new appearance that made the biggest impression on first-time observers.
“We set out to improve the styling of the new RX dramatically, and to do that, we needed to go far beyond the mindset of the current model. We wanted to build a luxury SUV with a breakthrough look, one that remained true to the RX lineage,” said Takayuki Katsuda, the chief engineer of the new RX.
The new RX was styled under the theme: “Seductive Strength,” and it’s obvious at first glance that this phrase was successfully implemented into the vehicle’s new design. The face is highlighted by an emboldened spindle grille with a chrome-plated border and triple L-shape-LED headlamps. Muscular fender flares add a hint of power residing underneath the sheet metal. A truly daring visual cue is the blacked-out C-pillars, which provides a floating-roof effect never before seen on a Lexus product. Also, newly designed 20-in. aluminum wheels, which replace the current model’s 19-in. variants, can now be customized with variable color inserts to emphasize the driver’s individuality.
The RX’s sportier stance is partly the result of its reimagined proportions. The new model is 120mm longer and 10mm wider than its predecessor, riding on a wheelbase extended by 50mm. According to Katsuda, the foundation of a vehicle is largely defined by its dimensions; therefore, he concentrated on forming the RX’s new proportions not only to sharpen its appearance, but also to improve performance.
The longer wheelbase resulted in better ride quality and significantly increased cabin room. Step inside the RX’s luxurious interior, and you’re greeted by a tastefully-designed dashboard and repositioned trim pieces that exude a high level of class. There’s even a specially-finished laser-cut ornamentation available for those who desire an extra dose of opulence. Also, supple leather-upholstered seats guarantee that all passengers remain comfortable.
“When we showed a preview of the RX to our dealers around the world, they said, ‘It has changed so much, yet it’s definitely an RX.’ To me, this is the greatest compliment I could ever receive,” Katsuda said.