Lexus RX sharpens up

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 29, 2016

Fresh from showing its LF-LC concept at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this month, Lexus has officially announced pricing details of its brand new fourth generation RX luxury crossover.

Available in a number of markets since September last year, the newcomer incorporates the latest version of Lexus’ trademark Spindle Grille, with a number of cues also being derived from the smaller NX and RC coupe.

Known internally as AL20, the RX makes use of a revised version of its predecessors’ K-series platform, which features a 50 mm increase in wheelbase and 20 mm drop in height. Aside from the NX-inspired front facia, the RX also boats a slightly lowered roof line and blacked-out C-pillars, lending the impression of a floating roof.

Changes under the skin have also been extensive with the RX making use of a new differential setup, known as pre-load. Claimed to improve drivability the system uses a conical spring between the diff case and side gear to provide an even torque split depending the load, as well as improving steering by applying the correct amount of power whether on tarmac or gravel.

In additional, the convention RX features a revised version of Lexus’ Dynamic Torque Control which, as the name suggests, distributes torque evenly between the front and rear axles, while hybrid versions employ an improved E-Four all-wheel drive system that provides an even split of petrol and battery outputs.

As before, the RX is again offered in a choice of two models with the 350 making use of an upgraded 3.5-litre V6, that produces 221 kW and 370 N.m of torque. A new eight-speed automatic gearbox replaces the previous six-speeder with Lexus claiming a combined fuel consumption of 9.6 L/100 km.

Displaying the same capacity, the revised RX450h adds two electric motors for a combined output of 230 kW and 362 N.m of torque. A revised CVT drives all four wheels with fuel consumption being rated at 5.7 L/100 km.

In typical Lexus fashion, creature comfort are high with the RX350 featuring a 12-speaker audio system with digital radio and Bluetooth, a 12.3-inch display with satellite navigation, heated and cooled front seats, electric tailgate, cruise control, rear cross traffic assist, electric sunroof, reverse sonar and camera, wireless smartphone charger and blind sport recognition.

Building on this, the RX450h adds a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, heated steering wheel, tri-LED headlights and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM).

A four year / 100 000 km warranty and four year / 100 000 km distance plan is standard on both models.

 

PRICING

MODEL POWER PRICE
RX350 EX 221 kW / 370 N.m R799 000
RX450h EX 230 kW / 362 N.m R999 000