Lexus unveils all-new RX Luxury Crossover in Middle East
22 Nov 2015 - 11:20
Doha: Lexus announced the arrival of the all-new Lexus RX in the Middle East recently. The new RX’s mix of sharp creases and curves represents a bold evolution in the model’s styling, sharing the same design DNA with other recently launched models in the Lexus line-up. Moreover, the luxury crossover adds advanced new redesigned powertrains, sophisticated safety technologies, driver aids and welcomes new convenience and technology features.
According to Takayuki Katsuda, the Chief Engineer of the new Lexus RX, “The new RX is completely different from the current generation vehicle thanks to a new, more powerful and efficient powertrain, an improved platform with high rigidity body shell, and highly tuned suspensions. From a visual standpoint, the bold and outstanding styling proportions stand out without sacrificing the elegant appeal of the RX lineage.”
“This latest model of the RX continues the ‘Progressive Luxury’ vision of Lexus with sharp lines and contemporary styling in addition to significant improvements in performance combined with best in class safety technologies,” said Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation
The Lexus RX is available with two engine choices: the RX 350 model comes with a 3.5-liter, V-6 petrol engine mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, while the RX 450h is equipped with a 3.5-liter, V-6 petrol engine and revised hybrid powertrain components.
Bold and aggressive design
The front view of the new RX is characterized by an emboldened version of the Lexus brand’s signature spindle grille featuring a chrome-plated border and triple L-shape-LED headlamps. Together with the new front fog light/LED cornering light clusters, the RX’s face exudes an elegant yet futuristic aura. The headlight designs feature a bold-looking slanted geometric shape. With the upgrade L-shaped LED headlight system, the 18 individual LEDs that surround the headlights not only act as turn signal indicators, but also illuminate sequentially from the inside section of the headlamp toward the outside when the driver activates the turn signal.
When seen from the side, the sharp character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear end, together with a flowing roofline, give the RX a dynamic profile. All of this helps make the vehicle surefooted at high speed and reduces wind noise. A truly distinctive styling cue is the blacked-out C-pillars which provide a floating-roof effect never before seen on a Lexus product.
The new RX’s rear appearance has been sharpened with the design highlighted by LED L-shaped taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle, creating a wider, more authoritative presence when illuminated. When lit, a brilliant glow spans laterally from the body to the back door, another Lexus-first. Other new exterior features include flush-fitting headlight washers, panoramic moon roof design, solid roof rails, redesigned Smart Entry System door handles and convenient door handle illumination.
The new RX is offered in 10 colours including six newly introduced colours: Graphite Black Glass Flake, Amber Crystal Shine, Sonic Titanium, Deep Blue Mica, Sonic Quarts and Red Mica Crystal Shine. All RX models feature a self-restoring coat in the body paint that helps improve scratch resistance, such as from car washes or fingernail marks around the door handles.
The RX also offers a choice of five different aluminium wheel packages including an 18-inch seven-spoke wheel and four distinct 20-inch wheel sets.
Five new colours have been added for the leather surfaces that include the seats and door panels—Noble Brown, Rich Cream, Topaz Brown, Dark Rose (F Sport only), White (F Sport only) giving the interior a chic, classy aura.
The driver is treated to a completely redesigned instrument panel section that has been shaped with a strong horizontal axis and the lowered dashboard position adds to the RX’s interior’s wide open and spacious feel.
With an interior space optimized for five passengers, the new RX’s lowered rear floor section helps provide seating position comparable to that of the rear-seat passengers in the flagship Lexus LS luxury sedan. The new RX features improved rear cargo space with room enough to fit hefty items including up to four large suitcases or multiple golf bags. New for this model year is the available Touchless Power Back Door, a Lexus first, which allows users to open the rear hatch by placing a hand near the Lexus emblem.
Based upon the concept of Lexus’s Human Machine Interface (HMI) that allows the driver to concentrate on the road ahead with minimal distraction, a feature incorporated into the design of the new-look instrument panel is a large colour Heads-Up Display (HUD) system. The redesigned instrument cluster offers the driver instantaneous information with a quick glance at its large and easy-to-read gauge faces.
RX 450h model redefines hybrid power and performance
The reengineered 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 hybrid engine (2GR-FXS) is an evolution of the base six-cylinder drivetrain and produces a combined system output of 308 hp at 6,300 rpm with 34.2kg-m of torque at 4,600 rpm.
The RX 450h also features newly shaped intake ports and combustion chambers that generate a high degree of tumble inside the cylinders and improve combustion.
Among other updates to the hybrid system are a design evolution of the Power Control Unit (PCU) and HV Engine Control Unit (ECU) that delivers enhanced energy efficiency, driver-friendly operation and refined performance. There is also a lighter, efficient hybrid system coolant electric water pump and packaging changes to the hybrid battery that result in a more compact design to save space.
Under the RX 350’s hood is an upgraded 3.5-liter V-6. Power is rated at 296 hp at 6300 rpm with 37.7 kg-m of torque at 4600-4700 rpm. To enhance breathing and fuel efficiency, Lexus engineers rely on an all-new cylinder head design with reshaped intake ports and combustion chambers for added efficiency in the engine’s combustion process, D-4S fuel injection system that enables direct injection to the cylinders with high fuel pressure, and a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.
To maximize torque throughout the rev range, Variable Valve Timing with intelligence Wide VVT-iW has been included on the RX’s intake side, while the exhaust side features VVT-i. The inclusion of VVT-iW has enabled the adoption of the Atkinson cycle to further benefit fuel economy, without sacrificing engine start-up in severe weather conditions and during Wide Open Throttle (WOT) driving.
Although it utilizes an updated version of the underbody platform of its predecessor, it has been given revamped front engine mounts to the sub-frame structure. The side engine mounts have been relocated to enhance the vehicle’s lateral responsiveness, resulting in the engine sitting tighter in the compartment, which provides for sharper steering feel and better overall cornering reaction of the chassis.
The RX utilizes a front-strut and rear double-wishbone suspension system that has seen major improvements engineered to provide better steering response and ride comfort, which the RX has long been known for.
To match the changes made to the suspension and platform, the steering system was modified to make the car respond more precisely and responsively. The newest EPS management system was adopted for wider control range of initial steer, return-steer and cornering in accordance to variable speed ranges and reactive force. This enables the car to have a light and comfortable steering feel, but at the same time deliver stability, enhancing driver communication with the vehicle.
A premium equipment option, Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) adjusts the damping force according to road conditions and irregularities. By adding a linear solenoid with an oil pressure valve to the AVS shock absorber, a shock-free variable suspension system was made possible. Actively changing the absorbance level allows the suspension to respond quickly, as it allows the RX to achieve a flat riding feel in a broad range of driving environments.
The innovative Active Stabilizer Suspension has been carried over from the previous model, and the new RX now features the world’s first roll skyhook control that helps maintain the effectiveness of the stabilizing system in achieving a flat and smooth ride. It calculates the virtual damping force that might occur, and responds by simultaneously creating a counter force to the stabilizer, providing the sensation of the vehicle stabilized in mid-air or “hooked” in the sky.
The available Drive Mode Select system allows the driver to choose between distinct drive settings depending upon vehicle model and equipment. The ECO mode moderates engine power output, throttle response and the climate control system for increased fuel efficiency. “NORMAL” provides an even balance between engine performance and fuel economy. In “SPORT,” the driver is treated to more performance through enhanced throttle response and improved acceleration while sharpening the feel of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. The “SPORT S” setting (available with vehicles equipped with the Adaptive Variable Suspension system) offers even a higher level of performance with aggressive throttle mapping and quicker drivetrain response.
The new RX is available with 12-speaker Pioneer audio system offers crisp, clear sound broadcast throughout the cabin through speakers along the sides of the instrument panel in addition to 20-cm subwoofers and newly-developed 18-cm woofers in the front doors.
Discerning audiophiles will enjoy the available 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System, with its advanced Clari-Fi compressed music restoration technology, Green Edge high-efficiency conversion technology and Unity™, which brings the high-range and mid-range cone positions as close together as possible to realize a smooth connection between mid- and high-range sounds.
RX offers an optional eight-inch and 12.3-inch navigation system. The available eight-inch high-definition Thin Film Transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display features a high level of contrasting clarity as well as minimal colour variation when viewed at different angles from either the driver or the front passenger seat.
The 12.3-inch system features an Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display with a large high-definition Thin Film Transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display, enhanced Lexus Multimedia with new-look graphics and the handy computer mouse-like Remote Touch Interface.
The available rear seat entertainment system now includes 11.6-inch dual screens affixed to the back of the front headrests with tilt mechanism enabling the rear passengers to adjust the viewing angle between 0 and 50 degrees.
The introduction of Lexus Safety System+ helps the new RX avoid or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds under many different conditions. The Lexus Safety System+ integrates several of the brand’s existing active safety technologies. These include the following technologies:
• Pre-Collision System (PCS): Utilizing both a camera and millimetre-wave radar, the Pre-Collision System uses sensors to detect other vehicles in front of the vehicle. If the system judges that there is a possibility of a collision, a warning is activated so that the driver may perform evasive manoeuvres. After the warning, the amount of additional brake pressure provided when the driver depresses the brake pedal is increased in stages according to the level of possibility of a collision.
• Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC): In addition to maintaining a set cruising speed, the DRCC also has a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode.
• Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): LKA feature helps the driver stay in the current visibly-marked lane by alerting the driver when the system detects that the vehicle is about to deviate from a traffic lane. It does this by utilizing a millimetre-wave radar that works together with a camera to help keep the RX in its intended driving lane.
• Automatic High Beam (AHB)/Adaptive High-beam System (AHS): AHB helps ensure optimal forward visibility during night time driving and automatically turns off the high beam headlamps when another vehicle is detected. When no other vehicle is present, the system turns on the high beams.
A plethora of additional vital safety features and technologies are included for all RX models, including SRS airbags consisting of dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger’s airbag, driver’s knee airbag, passenger seat cushion airbag, front side airbags, rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers; Tire Pressure Warning System with available tire inflation display function; vehicle theft-deterrent and engine immobilizer system. Braking and Traction Control systems that include four-wheel ventilated power-assisted disc brakes, a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill-start Assist Control, to mention a few.
High performance F Sport model
The 2016 RX F SPORT model elevates the sporty image of the RX to an entirely new level. Available across the entire RX line, F SPORT models include a number of special visual and performance features that set them apart from other versions. The first thing the driver will notice is the distinctive shape of the spindle grille and the aluminium wheel design, in addition to the exclusive instrumentation cluster that consists of an 8-inch Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that’s characterized by a large, easy-to-read circular gauge that artistically combines a tachometer and a digital speed indicator.
All RX F SPORT models boast excellent handling, thanks in part to the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system—which controls the damping force of the shock absorbers at each individual wheel in response to road surface conditions and driver inputs—and the Active Stabilizer Suspension System that suppresses body roll in accordance to the unevenness of the road surface.