The Lexus RX is one of the few “old” models left and the premium Japanese automaker’s lineup. Lexus has been cleaning house over the past couple years, and the third-gen RX crossover introduced back in 2009 is next on the list for an overhaul. Today we have our first teaser for what the new RX may look like when it makes its debut at the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show.
We’re really excited to see what a new RX could do for Lexus. The current third-generation model is already one of Toyota’s best-selling premium cars despite its obvious similarity to the Toyota Highlander. That’s because it’s one of the best true SUVs available from a premium marque, and all sources say that Lexus is looking to continue that trend with the new model, despite this relatively sedan-ish looking teaser.
If anything, we expect that the new Lexus RX will be larger than the outgoing model. Now that Lexus has the compact NX crossover in their lineup, they can afford to move a bit larger with their other big-seller. This would make the RX more appealing to full-size SUV drivers who value semi-offroad utility with plenty of interior space, while pushing the more compact, aesthetics-oriented cityfolk over to their stylish new NX.
That being said, we won’t know anything until the new RX makes its official debut in New York. We’d actually originally expected to see a new Lexus RC coupe in NY, but it sounds like Lexus is only planning to show the RX instead. Fine by us, although we’re willing to bet that Mitsubishi and their new Outlander won’t be too happy to lose the spotlight to a superior upmarket model.
Even though Lexus hasn’t given us any official word, it’s a safe assumption that they will stick with the Toyota Highlander underpinnings for the new RX. A big reason that the current RX is so profitable for Toyota’s premium marque is because they don’t need a dedicated manufacturing line to produce it. The fact that it uses many of the same parts from other Toyota models makes it the perfect mix of cheap production costs and high MSRP profits.
Our guess is that the new Lexus RX will get the hallmark pinched spindle grille, enlarged wheel wells, a slightly higher beltline and a more sedan-like tapered rear-end. We’d also guess that the biggest changes actually won’t be in the exterior design but in the interior, where we’re expecting Lexus to increase cabin space and tech. amenities.
Unfortunately, this is all guesswork until we see the new Lexus RX in-the-metal at next week’s New York Auto Show, so stay tuned for the full details.