Tokyo - Lexus has given its BMW X5-rivalling RX crossover a makeover for 2019 and the revised model is set to reach South African shores around September, Lexus SA tells us, although judging by the international press pictures it has (technically) already been here.

The 2019 RX is set apart by subtle exterior revisions, under the skin refinements, new safety systems and updated electronics on board, where the big news is that it now has a touchscreen with the latest smartphone integration software.

That’s significant because the mushroom-shaped Lexus joystick controller for the infotainment system, much criticised for its clunky operation, has been done away with and front occupants can now interact with the system via a touchscreen or a new trackpad-type controller.

The RX now has modern smartphone integration too, with the new system being compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Baidu CarLife.

On the outside the 2019 RX receives redesigned front and rear bumpers with sharp character lines that integrate with those on the side of the vehicle, as well as a redesigned front grille featuring a new ‘L’ pattern and "slender" new headlights.

'Bladescan' headlights - a world first

On that note, Lexus is claiming a world first with its new BladeScan Type Adaptive Highbeam System, which shines light onto a fast-spinning blade mirror before being transferred to a lens and then onto the road ahead.

“While the light does not appear to be moving, the BladeScan Type AHS precisely controls light distribution by synchronising the rotation of the blade mirror and switching the LED headlamps on and off,” Lexus says.

“Because the effect of the high beam can be expanded in a more natural manner, the system illuminates spots that may be difficult to see with conventional high-beam systems, such as the shoulder of the road.”

It’s worth noting however that these lights will not be available on all markets due to differing legislation.

Talking safety, the RX also comes with the latest version of the Lexus Safety System +, which includes the Pre-Collision System with cyclist and pedestrian detection and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist.

Lexus has also improved torsional stiffness and road holding through various revisions that have been made to the vehicle’s structure and suspension.

The South African line-up and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

IOL Motoring