Striking new upgrades to the harmoniously profiled Lexus RX 450h SE flagship offers exquisite craftsmanship and an expansive cabin, filled with many connectivity features that are brimming with cutting-edge tech and safety technology.
A smoother chassis set-up offers notable engineering updates that reduces body roll and vibrations. The pioneering RX was the first vehicle in the luxury segment to offer a self-charging hybrid powertrain already in 2005, four generations ago.
rontally, the new signature Lexus grille has a mesh pattern of radiating three-dimensional “L” shapes with sleeker and sharper headlights. A revised side character line creates a coupé-like silhouette and an electrically operated sunroof and 20-inch alloy wheels is standard across the range.
Human-machine interfacing has greatly improved due to touchscreen functionality with a wider viewing angle and within easy reach of both the driver and front passenger. Multimedia functions can also be operated using a new trackpad version of Lexus’s Remote Touch Interface, or with voice control. Seamless smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while voice control is enabled via Apple’s Siri or Android’s Google Assistant. MyLexus provides connected services via a dedicated app and an on-board WiFi hotspot comes with an initial complimentary 15GB data plan.
An LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), features AHS with BladeScan technology, which is a world first. This new technology directs the lamps back towards a blade mirror rotating at 12 000rpm, which utilises the reflection of light off the mirror to increase high-beam brightness and such perfectly controlled light distribution achieves the most precise “shading” to avoid dazzling other drivers and the high-beam reach of pedestrians close to shaded vehicles increases to 56 metres. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert gives an audible warning and the system can brake to prevent a collision when reversing. Lexus Safety System+, is a pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking that also has night-time pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection.
Enhanced rigidity has been achieved by more laser screw welding, spot welding and high-strength adhesives, resulting in less body roll with more responsive steering. Active Cornering suppresses cornering understeer and steering now has a more linear steering feel and better line-tracing as intended. Refined class-leading ride quality follows from new-design shock absorbers fitted with a friction control device that reduces the high-frequency vibrations caused by small road imperfections.
The RX 450h SE uses the responsive 3,5-litre V6 engine paired with powerful electric motors and an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission for a combined 230kW output. It is extremely rare to get such ultra-low emissions (131g/km) from such a powerful and big car. The best thing about this car is the effortless silence in the cocooning cabin.