2016 Lexus RX 450h hybrid is finally unveiled at 2015 New York Auto Show

The 300hp Lexus RX 450h employs a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline V-6 and the two-motor Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system for propulsion in front-wheel drive applications.

4/25/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

The first generation of the RX lineup has appeared more than 15 years ago and now the legendary fourth-generation 2016 Lexus RX is back with the hybrid drivetrain.

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Design

The Lexus 2016 RX adopts more aggressive styling, similar to that of the compact NX crossover, with a large spindle grille and angular sides that look like they could be used to grate cheese.

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Chassis

That new sheetmetal conceals a chassis that uses significant amounts of aluminum to save weight.

The chassis itself is related to that of the current-generation Toyota Highlander.

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Unlike the Toyota, the RX will launch with seating for five only, but a seven-seat option may appear later for the first time in the model's history.

Performance

The 300hp Lexus RX 450h employs a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline V-6 and the two-motor Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system for propulsion in front-wheel drive applications.

Lexus estimates total system output at around 300 horsepower.

Expect an all-wheel drive version with an additional electric motor powering the rear wheels some time after launch.

In addition, the non-hybrid 2016 RX 350 features a standalone 3.5-liter V-6 with the same 300-hp output as the hybrid, coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Interior

The interior gets an update as well to bring it in line with current Lexus design conventions, meaning less wood trim and more technology.

That includes an optional head-up display and 12.3-inch screen in front, as well as a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 11.6-inch screens mounted to the backs of the front headrests.

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The 2016 RX also features the new Lexus Safety System+, which bundles several electronic aids, including Lane-Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and a Pre-Collision System.

Parent Toyota introduced its own version of the package--dubbed Toyota Safety Sense in New York(in use in its Toyota 2016 RAV4 Hybrid).

Release date & price

The 2016 Lexus RX 450h is expected to go on sale later this year. Pricing and EPA gas-mileage ratings will be published closer to the on-sale date, but don't expect it to be cheap.

Lexus is known for being a luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota and we wouldn't wait for something cheap.

We’d wager that the new sport-ute will come in around $50 grands to start.

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