New Lexus RX, RZ spindle design ushers in new era

The redesigned RX also gets a nose job.

The front ditches the mammoth hourglass-shaped cow catcher for a toned-down grille that is filled in at the top and gradually blends into traditional mesh below. The RX also loses the sloped front hood for a more angular and robust front lip presenting a squared-off look.

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

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

Like the RX, the RZ gets a prominent nib at the leading edge of the hood, creating a more vertical front profile and more planted posture.

And on both vehicles, to help blend the new spindle shape into the body, the swoosh-mark daytime running lights pinch in from both sides, accentuating the cinched middle.

“This sleek, dynamic design is symbolized by a sense of solid mass,” Lexus says of the new look. “Central to the new spindle body design are the carefully sculpted seamless grille and integrated headlamps that strengthen and evolve the signature design.”

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

Lexus sales in the U.S. declined 13 percent to 64,365 vehicles in first quarter, placing the brand No. 3 in the luxury sales race behind estimated top-seller Tesla and runner-up BMW. But RX sales, accounting for 41.6 percent of the Lexus total, dipped just 4.1 percent to 26,795.

The RX dominated the premium midsize crossover market with nearly 22.2 percent 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 globally since its 1998 debut.

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