The Lexus RX 450h F Sport shown in Geneva seemed to lack the traditional F Sport suspension upgrades, and it appeared to be little more than an appearance package with unique wheels, black chrome trim and a restyled front end.
Now Lexus is back with the New York Auto Show introduction of the RX 350 F Sport, which it promises will be more than just a trim package. While output remains the same 270 horsepower found in other RX 350 models, the RX 350 F Sport benefits from a full suspension retuning that promises to deliver superior handling.
All RX 350 F Sport models will feature all-wheel-drive; an eight-speed transmission with paddle shifters; an F Sport tuned suspension; a unique front bumper and grille; 19-inch wheels finished in Dark Graphite and interior enhancements to distinguish F Sport models.
The F Sport suspension package includes firmer shocks and stiffer springs, with what Lexus bills as a “unique lateral performance damper system.” This produces a more linear steering feel and greater ride comfort, but still allows for improved handling compared to standard RX 350 models.
Inside, F Sport versions get perforated black leather seats with contrasting white stitching and white perforations. White stitching is used to accent the the center console and door armrests, and Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple adds an upscale touch. The leather-wrapped steering wheel gets an “F” logo, and aluminum pedals round out the sporty look.
As with other RX models, the F Sport gets Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB port and auxiliary in jack, and Sirius XM satellite radio. A voice-controlled, hard drive based navigation system is an available option, and the Lexus Remote Touch Interface has been improved for easier control of climate, audio, phone or navigation systems.
Lexus’ Enform infotainment system is available as well, and supports the use of iPhone, Android or Blackberry devices. Enform customers can check business reviews, make reservations, get the latest weather and traffic and stream internet radio via Pandora or iHeartRadio.
Look for the RX 350 F Sport to hit Lexus dealers this summer, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.
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