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The LF-Xh is a taster for the forthcoming successor for the current RX series of luxury SUVs that Lexus will reposition to compete with BMW's new X6, complete with more coupe-like looks and hybrid drivetrain. Access to the car was restricted at the show and it was displayed in a rather dark cave (complete with dry ice mist that didn't aid viewing) and there didn't appear to be any interior on this model as yet. Compared to the current car, the sporty appearance is enhanced by the faster front and rear screen angles, plus a shallow DLO with more dynamic shape around the rear door area that has echoes of recent Lexus sedans.

In side profile the design is characterised by the horizontal stance with little wedge to the beltline and a taut bone line along the shoulder that, as on the Mitsubishi Concept ZT, acts to tie the front and rear ends together. The wheelbase is increased to 2850 mm and the wheelarches are now angled ellipses rather than purely circular, to add to the dynamic look of the car.

At the front, the visual weight is considerably lower than the current RX, which always suffered from its tip-toe stance and too-high bumper. However, the LF-Xh front end is possibly the weakest part of this design: there is a wide four-bar grille that sits lower than the headlamps with a surrounding frame extending as sharp spears into the adjacent lamps and, together with the heavily-cheeked 'jowels' on the corners that contain airscoops and driving lamps, the overall effect appears somewhat over-busy.

By contrast, the rear is very orthodox in design, with only the outline shape of the taillamp to add a new twist to the clean rear appearance. In all, the LF-Xh is a logical progression of Lexus design language and the new production model should relate more clearly to that character than does the current RX series.