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Lexus RX 2020: Apple CarPlay/Android Auto lead cabin-tech overhaul

Lexus has finally ditched the mousepad system used to control the multimedia screen

The Lexus RX has been revealed ahead of its Q4 arrival in Australia, with the five- or seven-seat SUV getting a cabin-tech overhaul with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to make their brand debut.

There's no change under the bonnet, with the same 3.5-litre, six-cylinder unit good for 221kW and 370Nm, and a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 175kW and 350Nm, as well as a hybrid option.

But Lexus is promising its engineers have overhauled the suspension and stiffened the body in the pursuit of sharper cornering and more dynamic prowess.

The brand has redesigned the RX's shock absorbers, now fit with friction-control system designed to iron out road imperfection for a smoother ride, while Lexus says the addition of more substantial stabiliser bars and new welding and adhesive techniques have sharpened the SUV's steering response.

The Lexus RX has been revealed ahead of its Q4 arrival in Australia. The Lexus RX has been revealed ahead of its Q4 arrival in Australia.

The design has evolved, rather than been overhauled, with new paint options, new wheel designs, a reshaped "spindle" grille and a new headlight design. Lexus is also calming a world first with auto high-beam system, with the LEDs using the "blade-scan" tech that, using a spinning mirror, bounces light outside the usual straight-ahead path, helping spot walking pedestrians and road signs.

But in perhaps the biggest change for owners, Lexus has finally ditched the mousepad system used to control the multimedia screen, which is now a touchscreen system that, by the time it arrives in Australia, will run both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The trackpad persists, but the tech update means you can now largely ignore it.

How important is cabin technology to you? Tell us in the comments below.