Family-Friendly 2016 Lexus RX Debuts at New York International Auto Show
Lexus‘s best selling model in its 26-year history has gotten a make-over. A new, more luxurious interior joins with a chiseled, aggressive exterior to bring the RX in line with other models in the brand’s portfolio.
Leading both of the vehicle models (350- billed the RX, and 450h- called the RX Hybrid) is a completely new front end. Highlighted by the Lexus hallmark of an emboldened spindle grille the 2016 RX also features a more aggressive front bumper and available triple L-shaped LED headlamps. Together with the all-new LED fog lamps and LED daytime running lights, the RX looks slightly sexy and fierce.
Families will appreciate the vehicle’s refreshed cabin with elegant, high-quality trim with available finished Yamaha laser-cut ornamentation. An available color heads-up display (HUD) projects pertinent vehicle information to the driver’s windshield, while the information display area, featuring an available 12.3-in. monitor with full-screen map, is situated atop the center stack. The shift lever, complete with leather boot, has been positioned away from the front of the instrument panel to optimize operability and create more space for the driver.
“Even while ensuring a high level of luxury and space within the cabin, the RX’s silhouette remains sleek and dynamic, while the interior has been designed for easy operation with luxurious execution,” said Gen Ikeda, Lexus RX chief designer.
Back seat riders haven’t been forgotten about. Rear-seat occupants are treated to more leg and knee space than before and the RX now offers heated outboard rear seats and a 60/40 power folding second row. New for the 2016 model is an available retractable power panorama moonroof and the available rear seat entertainment system which now includes 11.6-in. dual screens affixed to the back of the front headrests.
Drivers will be able to easily accelerate with an eye toward fuel economy with engine offerings. Under the RX 350’s hood is an upgraded and more powerful 3.5-liter V6 aiming to deliver
300 hp with direct injection, mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Based on this enhanced powertrain is the RX 450h’s Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6. When combined with the electric motor generator, the combined output results in around 300 hp. All RX engines have been tuned in anticipation of high fuel economy ratings and low carbon emissions.
A stiffer body structure leads to sportier handling and is designed to reduce engine and road noise in the cabin. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is standard, while Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is available on select models. Each system is designed to help recognize loss of vehicle control, and help mitigate potentially dangerous situations with automatic and often transparent adjustments to help the vehicle maintain optimal traction. The RX also is offered in All-Weather Drive to help the RX’s handling performance and control on dry and slick surfaces alike.
The new RX comes equipped with the Lexus Safety System+ which integrates several of the brand’s existing active safety technologies. These include:
- Pre-Collision System that is designed to detect sudden stops initiated by the preceding vehicle and can engage automatic braking in certain circumstances
- Lane Departure Alert which issues an audible signal if it determines that the vehicle has strayed from its intended lane
- Automatic High Beam that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.
- Lane Keep Assist feature
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop capability under certain circumstances.
- Adaptive High-beam System
- Panoramic View Monitor
- Blind Spot Monitor
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
For an even sportier drive, buyers have the option of purchasing the RX F SPORT (AWD models only), which will be available with both models’ engine offerings for the first time. Lexus vehicles designated with the F SPORT badge are equipped with a number of special visual and performance features that set them apart from other versions. In the RX’s case, the spindle grille and lower center piece of the rear bumper incorporate an “F” mesh design, instantly giving the vehicle a sportier flair. New 20-inch alloy wheels with graphite finish, exclusive to the F SPORT, also help give the RX a commanding presence. Inside, the driver is treated to a custom F SPORT instrument cluster with a TFT Multi Information Display (MID) as well as a sport steering wheel, featuring perforated leather trim, an F SPORT emblem, and paddle shifters. Exclusive colors and trim pieces are also part of F SPORT.
2016 RX Preliminary Specifications:
|RX 350||RX 450h|
|Overall length||192.5 in.||192.5 in.|
|Overall width||74.6 in.||74.6 in.|
|Overall height||66.5 in.||66.5 in.|
|Wheelbase||109.8 in.||109.8 in.|
|Tread (Fr/Rr)||64.6 in./64.2 in.||64.6 in./64.2 in.|
The 2016 RX and RX Hybrid are expected in showrooms at the end of 2015.