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The Newest Incarnation of the Lexus RX Takes a Bold Styling Risk

The all-new design is aimed at the hip crowd, but loyalists may balk…

It is a brave new look for the popular Lexus RX, which was shown for the first time at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. In hopes of attracting younger buyers, the United States’ best-selling luxury crossover adopts the gutsy design language found on current-generation Lexus models, such as the RC Coupe and the IS sedan. Marked by sharper angles and more aggressive lines, the new RX’s centerpiece is a gargantuan version of Lexus’s trapezoidal-shaped spindle grille, flanked by L-shaped headlamps.

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The new RX is nearly five inches longer than its predecessor, resulting in more rear-seat legroom. Cabin appointments can include a 12.3-inch screen, a color head-up display, and laser-cut interior trim fashioned by Yamaha. New active safety features—such as lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert—are competitive with German rivals.

An updated version of the Lexus’s 3.5-liter V-6 delivers 300 hp to the RX 350, while an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor power the 300 hp RX 450h hybrid. For the first time, the RX can be fitted with an optional variable suspension, which offers adjustable driving modes. A new F Sport package is available on all-wheel-drive models, which adds a firmer Sport S+ driving mode, race-inspired styling, 20-inch wheels, and paddle shifters. (lexus.com)

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