Toyota Harrier is traditionally available as an identical twin to Lexus RX-series right from the first generation. The trend however stops at the current generation of Lexus RX as Toyota stop selling the identical car in Japan, a move which also kills the like of Toyota Altezza, Toyota Windom, Toyota Aristo, Toyota Soarer and Toyota Celsior, all which are Lexus IS, ES, GS, SC and LS respectively.
For this year, Harrier is back, and it is wearing a different clothes from the current Lexus RX (at least for now as we don't know how the forthcoming Lexus RX is going to look like. While the front end looks entirely different, it still has the slim light unit near the fender like the RX, but devoid of the mega spindle grille of course. Side profile however, does bears some resemblance, especially the C-pillar and rear window line.
That's as far as any resemblance detected. The rest of the exterior are unique, including the rear end. The rear window cladding makes it appear less steeply raked compared to Lexus RX. The rear fascia has trendy looking clear lens tail light with fashionable light rays, but the rest of aesthetic is well restraint and imparts a degree of elegance touch.
The interior is an all-new and carries several design cues like not unlike the other big Toyotas such as Toyota Crown and Mark X. The gear level retains the traditional position of gear knob in any previous Toyota Harrier which is mounted high up. Unlike the Lexus sibling, the centre stack is symmetrical. Interior finishing seems to have Lexus-level of craftmanship and design quality. High gloss centre console, classy wood insert and swooping leather line dashboard complete the interior.
The new Toyota Harrier will be hybrid powered although we don't know the detail of the powertrain unit. However, it is very likely it is the same unit as the one powering the latest bunch of Lexus hybrid series. The SUV is due to be launched in Japanese market this winter. A gallery can be found after the jump, thanks to Response and Autoc-one.