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New York show: Lexus teases next RX

Lexus offers sneak preview of fourth-gen RX ahead of New York debut

Lexus logo23 Mar 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

LEXUS has offered a glimpse at its new RX SUV, with a dimly-lit rear view image released just days ahead of the vehicle's official unveiling at the New York International Auto Show.

Little detail is revealed in the shot but the diving rear roof-line indicates the RX will wear a coupe-inspired profile, meaning it could do battle in an emerging segment with BMW's X6 and the forthcoming GLE Coupe from Mercedes.

Its squared-off wheel arches and sharply creased panels are in keeping with the Japanese luxury brand's latest styling trend, along with the smaller NX SUV, while the tail-lights also adopt the company's evolved L-finesse design language.

The car also appears to feature an unusual continuous rear-quarter light window, which flows all the way to the tailgate and back window.

The image features at the end of a short film in which Lexus describes the new vehicle as “an expression of luxury made at full volume,” but a front-end view of the car-maker's growing spindle-grille is not shown.

Lexus Australia could not confirm an arrival date for the fourth-generation RX but a spokesperson told GoAuto it would be on its way Down Under following the global launch in 2016.

No technical details accompany the release, although a petrol-electric hybrid system is likely alongside more conventional options, that could also include the brand's 2.0-litre turbo-petrol unit found in the smaller NX.

The current shape RX has been on sale in Australia since 2009, underwent a facelift two years ago and is available as entry-level RX270, mid range RX350 or the top of the range RX450h hybrid.

When it arrives, the RX will sit in the middle of the Lexus SUV range above the small NX and under the upper large Toyota LandCruiser-based LX570.

The RX model name is 17 years old, with the first version rolling out in 1998 powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine, although Australian sales only started with the second-generation version in 2003.

Sales of the existing RX are steady, with 130 registrations in February – which roughly matches its average monthly tally from last year.

Sales slid by 14.7 per cent last year to 1866 units against tough competition from the likes of the BMW X5 (4130), Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (3143) and Volkswagen Touareg (1926), however the RX did outsell the soon-to-be-replaced Audi Q7 (1355).

Alongside the IS mid-sized sedan and freshly launched NX small SUV, the RX is one of Lexus' most popular models.

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