A Pioneer Evolves

The RX, the vehicle that helped establish the luxury SUV segment when it was first introduced in 1998, has undergone enhanced, evolutionary changes

Lexus has unveiled the new RX luxury, revealing evolutionary changes to the model that helped establish the luxury SUV segment when it was first introduced in 1998. Scheduled to go on sale in South Africa later this year, the new RX is a testament to Lexus’ ongoing commitment to maintain its status as a pioneer of the luxury SUV segment.

The new RX exterior retains a powerful and sporty appearance, with newly sculpted front and rear bumpers and a character line that now runs from the front of the vehicle to the rear, giving the overall appearance exceptional flow and consistency. There are also new slender headlamps with rear combination lamps that feature an L-shaped motif, resulting in an elegant, dynamic exterior that emphasises Lexus’s new design language.

The RX’s driving character embraces engaging Lexus performance and follows the path of LC and LS flagship coupé and sedan: the engineers scrutinised every part of the vehicle, making enhancements to the rigidity of the body and the suspension system, and adding a new shock absorber and brake control system. The result is a vehicle with an excellent handling feel and precision, allowing users to accurately trace their desired driving lines.

As ever, safety is front and centre in Lexus thinking, so the new RX is also equipped with the world’s first BladeScan Type AHS and the latest-generation Lexus Safety System+.


The first of its type, this new adaptive headlight system will be introduced in the RX, confirming the brand’s fine reputation for technical innovation. Lexus was the first car manufacturer to introduce LED headlights with its LS flagship model in 2007, and the first to produce adaptive high-beam headlights, again initially for the LS, in 2012.


BladeScan provides both an extended field of forward illumination and more accurate lighting control to support safer driving at night and in poor weather.

With the Lexus Safety System+ package of active safety features, the current RX already benefits from automatic or adaptive high-beam LED lighting. This maximises headlight illumination without the risk of dazzling other road users. BladeScan goes further by providing more precise photometric control of the illuminated area in front of the car, with accuracy to within 0.7 degrees (compared to around 1.7 degrees for the current technology).

This means it can light up areas – such as road margins – that would be difficult to see with a conventional high-beam system, and give earlier illumination of road signs and pedestrians. With BladeScan, pedestrian recognition at night has been improved to 56 metres in front of the RX, compared to 32 metres with the current system.

While other manufacturers have increased the number of LEDs in their headlight systems to improve lighting resolution, the Lexus system uses a more cost-effective array of LEDs – 10 on each side of the vehicle in the case of the new RX. These are contained in a compact module located in the front corner of each headlamp, alongside the familiar triple-eye light arrangement. Rather than shining light forwards, the LEDs in each BladeScan module cast light diagonally across two blade-shaped mirrors that rotate at high speed. The precise synchronisation of the mirror rotation and the switching on and off of the LEDs creates the shading effect; the light is then reflected into a lens, which casts the beam on to the road ahead without the risk of dazzling oncoming traffic or drivers of vehicles ahead.