ALL-NEW LEXUS RX PERFORMANCE EXPRESSED THROUGH “NEXT CHAPTER” DESIGN
- New RX styling advances Lexus “Next Chapter” design to communicate performance and driving enjoyment
- Design also references RX’s heritage and iconic status for Lexus
- Elongated bonnet, sculpted door panels, flared wings and larger wheels communicate a sense of power
- New “spindle body” design approach for the front end, with signature Lexus grille seamlessly integrated into the bodywork
- Coupe-like silhouette and powerfully condensed rear-end that emphasises the car’s width and planted stance
The team responsible for crafting the exterior design of the all-new Lexus RX large luxury SUV had a clear mission: to give the car a unique identity with proportions born from its dynamic driving experience. This approach marks further development of the “Next Chapter” Lexus design, introduced with the new generation NX model, through which the styling directly communicates the car’s performance and the quality of the driving experience.
At the same time as the designers could look to the future, there was also a requirement to project the quality of Lexus as a global luxury brand. The new model also had to be recognisably as an RX, with details that reference its heritage as the world’s first premium recreational SUV and the luxury market’s first hybrid electric model.
The successful incorporation of these diverse qualities is witnessed in a car that projects a powerful road presence and performance potential, with a bold appearance and firmly planted stance. The sense of “newness” is immediate and strong, giving the car visual impact to match the quality of its three new electrified powertrains: the RX 500h performance hybrid, RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid and RX 350h full hybrid.
The car’s side-on appearance was of particular importance for exterior design lead Nozomi Hirai and her team: “The first thing we wanted to express was a bold appearance and stance with a low centre of gravity and a solidly planted feel,” she said. “To do this, we established a horizontal front-to-rear posture… by raising the front of the bonnet and lowering the bottom edge of the rear window, compared to the current RX. By lowering the belt line, we compressed the area above the wheels, creating a solid, low centre of gravity and well-grounded look.”
While the new RX is similar in overall length to the current model, the bonnet has been elongated, with the A-pillar moved further back and the wheelbase has been extended by 6 mm. This has the effect of making the weight of the cabin appear to rest on the rear tyres, while sculpted surfaces on the door panels, flared rear wings and 21-inch wheels add a sense of powerful traction, likened by the designers to an animal about to spring forward. “I think the uniqueness of Lexus is evident in these kinds of expressions,” said Hirai, “The opposing elements coexist well, with a solid feel that begins at the front, moving towards the dynamic rear surfaces.
The front of the car displays a completely new look. Next Chapter design has taken the concept of the spindle shape from the signature Lexus grille to create a new spindle body effect. The grille meanwhile has been reinterpreted as a seamless unit: integrated into the body, it is also an expression of the RX’s electrified power. The arrangement of the new slim headlight units and a front track that is wider by 50 mm add emphasis to the car’s lower centre of gravity and planted look.
At the rear, the RX’s characteristic “floating roof” effect created by a blacked-out D-pillar is retained, but given a stronger three-dimensional look. This combines with a roofline that has been lowered by 10 mm to generate a coupe-like silhouette. The look of a condensed, powerful rear is heightened by a shorter rear overhang and a sweeping transition from the wings round to the tail lights. The rear combination lights are set in a light bar that spans the width of the car and wraps around the corners to heighten the wider look.
For more information please visit https://www.lexus.eu/car-models/the-all-new-rx/world-premiere/