Electrified Renewal |

The Lexus RX, now in its fifth generation and based on the new GA-K platform with multi-link rear suspension for improved dynamic performance, has undergone a complete renewal. 

While the overall length of the new RX remains the same as that of its predecessor, its wheelbase has been extended by 60 mm. It now also has a 15 mm broader tread in front and is 45 mm wider in the rear to reduce the yaw moment of inertia.

When initially launched in 1998, the RX 300 pioneered a new segment – the luxury crossover – and building upon this, Lexus launched the RX400h, the first hybrid luxury crossover in the world, in 2005. 

As a pioneer of hybrid electric vehicles, Lexus sold approximately 3.5 million vehicles in 95 countries and regions between 1998 and the end of April this year. The RX, as one of the brand’s core models, has also evolved to significantly improve fundamental performance using electrification technologies.

Lexus now provides limited but practical electrified vehicle solutions such as Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). This is in line with the electrification vision of “Lexus Electrified” announced in 2019, with Lexus aiming to achieve a full line-up of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in all categories by 2030, and to produce and sell only BEVs globally by 2035, contributing to the realisation of a carbon-neutral society.

Variety of Powertrains

The design of the RX has been transformed with the “spindle body” style concept, and the interior design is based on the human-centred “Tazuna” concept. The range is now available with a variety of powertrains. 

Following the RZ, the Direct4 all-wheel-drive force system with electrification technology will be available on the new RX500h F Sport Performance grade. However, this model will not be available in South Africa at launch. 

The line-up includes RX 450h+ with a 2.5-litre inline-four engine and plug-in hybrid system to deliver class-leading EV range and powerful acceleration performance, the RX 350h (2.5-litre inline-four mild hybrid system) delivering low fuel consumption and an exhilarating drive, and the RX 350 (2.4-litre turbocharged inline-four) delivering torque-filled dynamic driving performance. 

Other markets will also receive the RX 500h (with a powerful 2.4-litre turbocharged inline-four engine and hybrid system). The 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid and 2.4-litre turbo models are available with all-wheel-drive (AWD), and the 2.5-litre mild hybrid is available with either AWD or a front-wheel-drive (FWD) system.

In line with the human-centred interior design, the steering wheel switches are highly integrated with the head-up display. Navigation, audio, and other functions can be controlled without the need for extra eye movement or complicated switch operations. 

The centre display is available in 14” or 9.8” sizes, with many functions integrated into its soft switches. Safety systems include Proactive Driving Assist (PDA), Pre-Collision Safety, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (with all-speed following function), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Abnormal Driver condition response system.

Last Word

Lexus South Africa plans to introduce the new RX here in early 2023. More details, specifications, pricing, and availability will be available at the market launch and in line with its global release.

Report by Ferdi de Vos | Images © Lexus South Africa


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