Design Exposure: Lexus RX | Care Expert

Lexus claims that its original RX, launched in 1998, was the world’s first luxury SUV.

While Mercedes-Benz can compete head-to-head with its original M-Class, it’s hard to argue that the RX is at the core of the Lexus line-up today.

With over 3.5 million global sales since its inception, it has surpassed rivals such as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, a notable player locally with the brand’s second most popular models and options.

Like the original models in the line-up of other brands, this means that Lexus cannot rest on its laurels with a conservative approach that does not move the needle, or that it cannot isolate buyers with a radical overhaul.

The fifth-generation RX strives to hit the middle ground to present a design that demonstrates the improved driving performance and new hybrid powertrains added to the RX lineup, where the model is famous for maintaining practicality and spaciousness.

Design Language: Next Chapter

Lexus claims that the RX, along with the recently released RZ battery electric car, presents the ‘next chapter’ of its design story. For RX in particular, this is exemplified by elements such as spindle body grille and solid mass design concept.

The RX is launching the RX500h F-Sport and RX450h + with a variety of electric powertrains, including powerful hybrid and plug-in variants. In line with this, Lexus states that the spindle body represents an evolution of the previous, hourglass-shaped spindle grille, thus signifying the transformation of an electrified future.

The top of the grille is body-colored (like the closed nose of EVs), but is embossed with a trapezoidal diamond shape that repeats the motif from the bottom diamond-shaped mesh. As the eyes go down, these embossed forms give way and gradually merge with the grill. The mesh is finished with a light accent that, in the silver car, complements the body color.

The overall effect is that the Lexus retains its identity, but in a way to indicate the RX’s hybrid powertrains which are close-to-spindle-shaped half-way points in the fully electric RZ SUV.

The concept of solid mass is best seen behind the new RX, where the 15mm wide track creates a stronger position than the outgoing car. Lexus says it highlights the power created by the new hybrid drivetrain.

Styling features such as a full-width light bar and diagonal creases point the eye towards the fake vents in the rear bumper, increasing the width of the vehicle.

Although the side profile is clearer than its predecessor and other models in the Lexus range, such as the smaller UX, it retains an isolated appearance due to the curvature and sharpness, the mixing between more angular lines.

The D-pillar and rear quarter windows bend downwards and give the appearance of a floating roof design, where the lower seals start to kick up the back door.

These are divided by angular lines above the door handles and at the rear hinges which do not correspond to their curved counterparts, creating an incoherent and incongruous appearance.

Interior: Tazuna design concept

Over the years, Lexus has established a reputation for bulletproof cars that are intelligent, sophisticated, but otherwise remarkable for driving. The iconic LFA supercar turned that idea on its head, and several other F-models gave the Lexus credibility as a true performance car maker when it chose to do so.

With the launch of the TNGA platform architecture as the basis for almost all new Lexus and Toyota products, CEO Akio Toyoda has sought to integrate the Lexus range with more dynamic driving features.

The new RXO is no exception, and it flows inwards. Lexus claims that the word ‘Tajuna’ derives its name from the Japanese word ‘horse bridle’, and is the starting point of a driver-centric cockpit that allows direct and intuitive control.

In practice, this means that the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system have been restored to sit on a horizontal axis angled to the driver, which together with the head-up display reduces head movement and allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road. .

The remote touch infotainment system used in older Lexus models has been widely ridiculed for its rugged nature and confusing menu structure, and the new RX aims to solve this problem by adopting a touchscreen infotainment system from the NX, with faster response times and a larger 14 features. – Inch display.

However, unlike other vehicles with integrated air-conditioning and volume control on the touchscreen, Lexus has adopted this method only partially. There is a physical volume knob like a physical dial to change the temperature. Complete climate control settings are only accessible via touchscreen.

Nifty design features

The new RX also has electrically activated interior door handles that work with a button, not mechanically. Dubbed ‘e-latch’, the system provides a safe exit support and is connected to the car’s blind-spot monitor, preventing the door from opening when approaching a car or bicycle rider.

Like the new NX, the RX has a more sophisticated version of the ‘Touch Tracer’ steering wheel control, first introduced by Toyota Prius.

With this system, the head-up display directly demonstrates the effectiveness of the steering wheel the driver is accessing, which further reduces the driver’s time to avoid their sight from the road ahead.

In keeping with today’s eco-conscious society, the RX is one of the first Lexus models to be available in a completely animal-free, vegan leather interior with black and ammonite sand colors.

More: Everything Lexus RX

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