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The fifth-generation Lexus RX has debuted and is more swoopy than ever. Picture: SUPPLIED
The fifth-generation Lexus RX has debuted and is more swoopy than ever. Picture: SUPPLIED

Lexus, the luxury wing of Toyota, has premiered its new RX, the range established in 1989 and a pioneer in hybrid crossover SUVs. Now in its fifth generation, the model’s wheelbase is 60mm longer than that of its predecessor and the tread is widened by 15mm in the front and 45mm in the rear. What hasn’t changed is the vehicle’s refined ride quality and quietness.

When it comes to exterior tweaks, Lexus says it wanted to create a unique identity through the use of the “spindle body. The rear view is simple but strong, with a floating roof concept and signature L-shaped tail lights.

Much like the new NX, the interior design is based on the human-centred Tazuna concept, which aims to create a more intuitive connection between car and driver while being spacious and comfortable. Sadly, there's no option to fit the new Lexus yoke steering wheel as found in the RZ electric SUV. The steering wheel switches are integrated with the head-up display. Control of navigation, audio and other functions can also be monitored through the HUD, and there is a centre display that comes in either 35cm or 24.8cm. 

The cockpit is typical Lexus quality and neatness with a head-up display option: SUPPLIED
The cockpit is typical Lexus quality and neatness with a head-up display option: SUPPLIED

A variety of power trains are now available. The RX 450h+ is a 2.5l plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive; the RX 350h is a 2.5l in-line-four with a conventional hybrid system and choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive; while the RX 350 is powered exclusively by a 2.4l turbocharged in-line-four engine. Other markets will have the more powerful RX 500h, which combines the 2.4l turbocharged engine with an electric drive system.

Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) is a suite of electronic interventions to avoid dangerous situations, by anticipating risks according to the driving situation, such as crossing pedestrians.

Pre-collision safety, dynamic radar cruise control with all-speed after-function and lane-departure alert (LDA) are possible options. The Abnormal Driver condition response system is a new aid that senses if the driver’s posture is significantly compromised during lane tracking assist, and assess if it is difficult for the driver to continue driving and warns others by flashing hazard lamps while the vehicle gradually decelerates. The vehicle will stop in the lane.

More details and specification, pricing and availability will be shared closer to the launch and Lexus SA plans to introduce the new RX early in 2023.

The rear is given flair by a floating roof and new L-motif illumination. Picture: SUPPLIED
The rear is given flair by a floating roof and new L-motif illumination. Picture: SUPPLIED
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