NEW YORK—Toyota Motor Sales' Lexus division has selected 18- and 20-inch versions of Michelin's Premier LTX light truck/SUV tire line as original equipment fitment on the 2016 Lexus RX, the brand's four-door hatchback SUV.
The 2016 version of the Lexus RX, the best-selling model in the brand's 26-year history, debuted at the New York auto show revealing new safety features, new sheet metal and an optional adaptive variable suspension.
The all-new front end of the RX centers on the company's spindle grille. Bigger fender flares make it look wider from the front, while character lines run from fender to rear.
The RX will arrive with two trims: RX350 and RX450h. The 350 houses a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 making 300 hp; the hybrid 450h uses an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6, delivering about 300 hp with help from an electric motor generator.
The Premier LTX is the light truck/SUV version of Michelin's tire line featuring its EverGrip emerging-tread technology.
The Premier LTX is the light truck/SUV version of Michelin's tire line featuring its EverGrip emerging-tread technology. This OE fitment, plus one on the Kia Sorento, arrives ahead of the aftermarket launch of the tire line, scheduled for June 1.
Michelin worked closely with the Lexus team to tune the Premier tire to meet the safety and performance needs of the next-generation Lexus RX, according to Thom Roach, vice president of OE marketing, Michelin North America Inc.
“The Premier tire, like the Lexus itself, offers advancements in safety and performance that demonstrate both brands' commitment to innovation,” Mr. Roach said.
The Lexus RX fitments are sizes 235/65R18 and 235/55R20. Michelin said it expects to equip about half of the RX model run.
Lexus declined to identify at this time what other tires will be OE on the RX.
The car maker did say the 20-inch aluminum wheels/larger tire package will improve the vehicle stance and proportions and replace the current model's 19-inch options.
The 20-inch wheels can be customized with body color-matching inserts to emphasize the driver's individuality.