Lexus unveiled an F-Sport package on the RX 450h hybrid model for the European market at the Geneva Motor Show last month. The U.S. won't be getting the F-Sport package on the hybrid, but it will be getting it on the RX 350, with an added surprise - and eight-speed transmission.
Lexus was a pioneer in the 8-speed game with the debut of the LS 460 flagship sedan for the 2007 model year. The eight-speed was later offered on the IS-F performance sedan, but any front/transverse models in the lineup had to make do with a six-speed. Until now. The 2013 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport is the first model in Lexus' lineup to apply an 8-speed to a model with a transverse drive train. The engine remains the same 270 hp 3.5-liter V-6 as the standard RX 350.
To emphasize the "sport" aspect of F-Sport, the model features paddle shifters to complement the 19-inch wheels and tires, along with sport-tuned suspension, and lateral performance damping system, adding a new-found level of performance and sportiness to this formerly plain-vanilla midsize crossover. Adding to the sporty theme in the interior are contrast stitching on the seats, center console and armrests, a perforated leather steering wheel with the F logo, Ebody Bird's Eye Maple wood trim and aluminum pedals.
On the outside, the F-Sport can be distinguished by an exclusive mesh grille pattern and "F" logos on the front fenders. The RX 350 F-Sport package is available exclusively with all-wheel drive. The RX 350 F-Sport will arrive at Lexus dealerships this summer.