Lexus risks next-generation RX SUV model with new styling

Lexus' styling has gone off the deep end with sharp angles and an aggressive aesthetic, and it looks like the next generation of its popular RX SUV will similarly upgrade its look during next week's New York auto show.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
2016 Lexus RX
Lexus will show off the 2016 RX model, with strong new styling, at the New York auto show next week. Lexus

Lexus' styling, as seen on the new RC 350 and NX 200t models, has become all sharp angles and big intakes, a dramatic look with a more youthful appeal than one would expect for Toyota's luxury brand. At next week's New York auto show, Lexus will show the next generation of its RX SUV, a very popular model that looks to get a similar styling update.

Lexus released a teaser image showing the side of the new RX, which makes a big leap from the current model. Much of the styling seems to take off from the NX 200t, a model Lexus designed to slot right below the RX. In the new image, we see a sharp beltline that dips at the rear door, and a free-standing lower line that slants toward the front wheel well.

The roofline, in proportion to the hood, appears to have sedanlike dimensions. The rear pillar looks particularly wide, and hints at a heavily raked back end. If the teaser image proves faithful, the new RX will come out with a very strong design that may prove polarizing among buyers.

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Although Lexus has not released information as to driveline options, Toyota tends to be fairly conservative in this regard. The new model may continue with the current 3.5-liter V-6, in the RX 350, and hybrid RX 450h options. Considering the adoption of a turbo engine in the NX 200t, it is possible that Lexus could offer a new, turbocharged powerplant in the RX.

As to cabin tech, it is more than likely the new RX will get the same Remote Touch pad we have seen in the RC and NX models. This pad, similar to a laptop touchpad, lets you move a cursor on the car's LCD by tracing on its surface with a fingertip. Expect the latest generation of Lexus Enform telematics and app integration features to appear in the new model as well.

Lexus will unveil this 2016 RX model during the press preview days of the New York auto show next week.

Watch this: New Lexus RX: Prescription for continued dominance? (CNET On Cars, Episode 89)