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Lexus RX: the fourth generation lands at 2015 New York auto show

Published: 01 April 2015

New Lexus RX at New York
► The fourth generation of SUV
► Not a bad looker, it turns out 

Lexus has revealed its new RX soft-roader in full shortly ahead of its debut at the 2015 New York auto show.

This is the fourth generation of Lexus RX, arriving 17 years after the original which went on to disrupt the 4x4 market by mixing premium positioning with four-wheel drive and - eventually in 2004 - hybrid power.

Not every Lexus model has been an unbridled success. But the Lexus RX is different. Nearly three in 10 Lexus vehicles sold – ever – are RXs. People love a posh 4x4.

Looks a bit more interesting than the old one.

Doesn’t it just. Lexus has thrown all of its current design cues at the new RX, from squared-off wheelarches to gigantic ‘spindle’ grille via an upswept sill line and more pointy bits than a porcupine, and it actually wears them very well.

Hats off to the plunging side window graphic with its rearmost glass blending neatly into the D-pillar, a particularly well-resolved touch.

And if you want to get a bit jazzy, you can choose various coloured inserts to personalise the RX’s 20-inch wheels.

Read more about Lexus's plan to become 'sportier and more stylish' here.

What else is new for RX Mk4?

It’s roomier, thanks to a longer wheelbase. And it sounds like a good place to be for rear passengers in general, since as well as luxuriating in the extra legroom over the last RX, the rear chairs can also be electrically reclined, and they’re heated for good measure on certain models.

Up front, there’s a head-up display and enormous 12inch+ digital instrument panel, with a glass roof available to keep things light.

The body structure’s stronger and stiffer, with better handling and a less noisy cabin said to be the benefits. Suspension’s a MacPherson struts at the front, double wishbones at the rear affair, with adaptive dampers an option.

There’ll be an F Sport version too, with the usual exterior bodykit and sportier interior treatment, along with an active suspension system to help combat bodyroll.

What about engines?

Pick from a 3.5-litre petrol V6, with a ‘target output’ of 300bhp and a new eight-speed automatic transmission, or a hybrid version.

Hybrid power was a major selling point for the previous-gen RX, so expect plenty of emphasis on petrol-electric power within the new range. The Mk4 hybrid RX will supplement a less powerful 3.5-litre V6 with electric motor with 300bhp once again the target, according to Lexus.

Following its New York show debut, the new Lexus RX will reach showrooms late in 2015. 

Click here for CAR's full rundown from the 2015 New York show.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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