The 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport. Photo courtesy of Lexus.

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport debuts at NYIAS

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The 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport made its North American debut at NYIAS today, revealing optional all-wheel-drive, an F Sport tuned suspension and an eight-speed transmission at the beck and call of paddle shifters.

“The RX 350 F SPORT challenges pre-conceived notions about luxury crossover utility vehicles,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “RX F SPORT is not just an appearance package, but a full-fledged performance package.”

Though perennially a pleasure to drive and ready to tackle the urban morass in any and all weather, the new RX 350 F Sport promises to up the ante with a new electronically controlled transmission mated to the 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The combination produces 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, benefitting from the use of miniature high-flow linear solenoids that allow precise shifting and clutch operation. The torque converter has a new low-speed lockup damper that enables lock-up throughout the gear range to improve fuel economy.

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT also has an electronically controlled Active Torque Control AWD assuring surefooted performance in inclement weather. ATC utilizes an electric coupling before the rear differential to vary the distribution of torque front to rear from 100:0 to 50:50. When accelerating or on a slippery surface, torque is instantly routed to all four wheels. At speed, torque is restricted to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency.

EPA ratings of 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway are expected to result from the 2013 RX 350 F Sport’s newly engineered performance package.

That includes a stiffer suspension thanks to firmer shocks and springs that promise a compelling driving experience. A new lateral damper system serves to minimize vibrations, making the steering feel more exactly linear while increasing overall comfort. Instead of the usual fixed bracing, the 2013 Lexus RX 350F Sport uses dampers front and rear that provide a more rigid feel while actually producing greater flexibility.

VDIM handling technology comes standard and governs the entire vehicle’s dynamic handling systems including the Anti-lock Brakes, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control along with the electronic throttle control system.

The new look incorporates the Lexus spindle grill in a design that is crisp and clean, with fewer lines in a sleeker body intended to slide through the air with the greatest of ease. The front features an exclusive F Sport mesh grille treatment and the vehicle rests at the ready on split five-spoke 19-inch wheels with a dark graphite finish. Exclusive F Sport badging identifies the 2013 Lexus RX350 F Sport as a cut above the rest.


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