New Lexus RX and RZ spindle design ushers in a new era

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The redesigned RX also gets a nose job.

The front ditches the gigantic, hourglass-shaped cow-catcher for a toned down grille that’s filled in at the top and gradually blends into the traditional mesh below. The RX also loses the sloping front hood for a more angular and robust front lip featuring a boxy look.

The all-electric RZ, meanwhile, has a completely filled front, reminiscent of Tesla. Still, the hourglass shape molded into the dash, with a thin air intake at the bottom, is still clearly evident.

“We want to keep the shape of the pin itself. But the pin has always been based on the functionality of what’s going on under the hood,” Suga said.

Like the RX, the RZ gets a prominent peak at the leading edge of the hood, creating a more upright front profile and a more planted stance.

And on both vehicles, to help integrate the new tapered shape into the bodywork, swoosh-mark daytime running lights pinch in on both sides, accentuating the arched middle.

“This elegant and dynamic design is symbolized by a strong impression of mass,” says Lexus of the new look. “Central to the new spindle body design is the carefully sculpted seamless grille and integrated headlights that reinforce and evolve the signature design.”

The premium brand of Toyota Motor Corp. is banking on the redesign of the venerable RX to help rekindle the brand’s sales momentum amid tight inventory and supply chain turbulence.

Lexus sales in the United States fell 13% to 64,365 vehicles in the first quarter, putting the No. 3 brand in the luxury sales race behind estimated bestseller Tesla and runner-up BMW. But RX sales, which make up 41.6% of Lexus’ total, fell just 4.1% to 26,795.

The RX led the premium midsize crossover market with nearly 22.2% of the segment, outpacing the BMW X5 and rival Mercedes-Benz GLE/M-Class by more than 10,000 vehicles each. In fact, Toyota has sold 3.5 million RX crossovers worldwide since its debut in 1998.

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