2016 Lexus RX 350, 450h debut with (literally) sharp new design

1 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Lexus RX revealed.

The all-new fourth-generation Lexus RX made its much-anticipated world debut and unlike previous, relatively conservative generational design changes and model refreshes, the 2016 Lexus RX model arrives flaunting much edgier, more aggressive styling language very much in keeping with the brand’s recent overall design evolution.Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager, Lexus, introduces the Lexus RX350 on Wednesday at the Jacob Javits Centre in New York. (AFP photo) The battle for leadership of the US luxury auto market heats up on Wednesday when Lexus and Mercedes-Benz debut new SUVs at the New York International Auto Show.

Of note in particular is the new model’s use of metal, chrome, and glass that gives the new mid-size luxury SUV’s rear C-pillar a dramatic evolution that creates a “floating roofline” effect. Under the hood, the new RX gets a more powerful direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 engine that will deliver 300-horsepower mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Lexus has yet to provide performance or fuel economy figures for either drivetrain, although we do know that both models will come with 18-inch wheels as standard and 20-inch rims as an optional extra. Some US-bound models will be equipped with Michelin’s EverGrip tyres, which features rain grooves that expand as the tyre ages and has emerging grooves that pop up as the tyre wears.

It’s a bit of a magic trick, though: if you open the rear lid, you immediately notice that the pillars are still there — Lexus has just designed the glass to flow around them on the outside. The RX’s flashy redesign and extensive feature upgrades come at a time when rivals the likes of Audi, Acura, BMW, and Mercedes remain not far behind in race to the top on the luxury SUV segment sales in Canada. As a 2016 model, the RX will be available later this year, so you’ve got some time to decide whether you want to let this level of design insanity into your heart. Other tech features include lane departure warning, automatic high beam, radar-guided cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automated emergency braking, and a surround view camera system

It also features technology upgrades, including the pedestrian pre-collision warning that uses radar and a camera to detect walkers, as well as vehicles. The advantage goes to the manufacturers and the brands that have the product.” Compared with M-Class models such as the ML350, the GLE has a revamped front and back end and is available as a plug-in hybrid, a first for a Mercedes SUV.

Sales of the QX50, which replaced the EX model, rose 26% last year to 2,727. “RX still has a target on its back,” said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with LMC Automotive.

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