- SUV pioneer has ‘evolved to new heights’
- First BladeScan-controlled headlights
- Connectivity has new touchscreen and touchpad
TOKYO, Japan – Lexus has unveiled its upcoming RX luxury SUV with what the automaker describes as ”evolutionary changes to our core model”.
That was the vehicle which, back in 1998, helped to establish the luxury SUV segment. This the latest RX is scheduled to go on sale (in the US, at least) in late September 2019 and is described as ”a testament to Lexus’ ongoing commitment to maintain its status as a segment pioneer”.
The exterior is said to have retained ”a powerful and sporty appearance, while the character line that runs from the front to rear has been improved, giving the RX and overall exceptional flow and consistency.
”The result is an elegant and dynamic exterior that emphasises Lexus’ new design language.”
The shell has been made even more rigid and suspension system, including new shock-absorbers and braking.
”The result,” Lexus claims, ”is a vehicle with excellent handling feel and precision. It also has the world’s first BladeScan Type AHS (a kind of shutter system that blocks headlight glare in the face of oncoming traffic – Ed) and the latest of in crash-protection systems.
The lower front bumper has been connected the rear fenders and presenting the rear exhaust box and the underbody shield has accentuated the SUV’s width.
The third-row seating has two seating positions, normal or with more legroom. The second row can be reconfigured to include a ‘captain’s seat’,
All fine, but what Lexus calls ”among the biggest changes to the RX”. ”They are significant enhancements that contribute to driving pleasure resulting from changes to the suspension and a more rigid shell.” chief engineer Takeaki Kato explained. ”We were determined to deliver pleasurable driving through agile handling and an exhilarating drive.
”My engineering team worked closely with the production team to achieve.”
Re-designed shock-absorbers not only reduce high- frequency vibrations from road-surface imperfections but also allow flat cornering and ”exceptional” responsiveness.
Lexus, a pioneer in automotive lighting technology, claims to be the first automaker to install diode headlights and auto-dipping high beam but now comes an automatic high-beam system using what appear to be shutters to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.
It’s called BladeScan and directs the LED light source on to a fast-spinning blade mirror with transfers the light via a lens to illuminate the road ahead.
”While the light does not appear to be moving,” Audi says, ”the BladeScan Type AHS precisely controls light distribution by synchronising the rotation of the blade mirror and switching the LED headlights on and off.
”The system illuminates spots that might be hardto see with conventional high-beams, such as the road shoulder. It also allows the driver to identify pedestrians and road signs much earlier without blinding drivers travelling in the opposite direction.”
(NB: BladeScan Type AHS is not yet available in all markets thanks to regional regulations.)
The Lexus Safety System+ uses a camera and grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar to spot bicyclists during daytime and pedestrians after dark. There’s also an advanced combination of radar cruise-control and lane-keeping.
The new RX features a new touch-display screen (see above) in addition to a remote touch interface (which changes from controller to track pad). Smartphone communication is incorporated into the design (with a new phone holder) and USB port, plus connectivity to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
VOICE CONTROL STANDARD
Voice control is enabled through a native cloud connection, or customers’ phones to Apple Siri*6 or, Google Assistant. Owners can select Lexus satnav or smartphone versions.
And the automaker ends the media release info with:
”Lexus is committed to always listen to customers and lett them select the operation that best suits their preferences or circumstances.”