The 2023 Lexus RX large SUV is set to go on sale locally in early 2023 with four variants, but no plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

    The Japanese competitor to the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 will be available with one petrol engine, and three separate hybrid setups.

    It seems Australian buyers are going to miss out on the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the Lexus RX at launch.

    Final specifications and pricing for the Lexus RX will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

    The 2023 Lexus RX range will start off with the RX350h 2WD and RX350h AWD which are both powered the “latest-generation” 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol hybrid powertrain that produces 184kW of power.

    Lexus says this hybrid powertrain has been “tuned specifically for the new model”.

    The two entry-level hybrid variants will be joined by the RX350 AWD which is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 205kW, with drive sent through an all-wheel drive system.

    The local RX range will be capped off with the flagship RX500h F Sport Performance AWD which is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that produces a total system output of 273kW.

    This flagship model has a “high-output” eAxle rear electric motor, with drive sent through what DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system.

    The Lexus RX500h F Sport Performance has six-piston front brakes, adaptive suspension, rear-axle steering, as well as 21-inch aluminium wheels to burnish its flagship credentials.

    The 2023 Lexus RX is based on the company’s GA-K platform, also referred to as TNGA-K, which also underpins the Lexus NX, Lexus ES, Toyota Kluger, Toyota RAV4, and Toyota Camry, among others.

    As revealed the new Lexus RX is a five-seater, with no mention of a followup to the outgoing stretched seven-seater RX L model.

    It’s expected Lexus will launch a new TX three-row model to fill that gap.

    Rear luggage space in the new Lexus RX is said to be lengthened by 50mm compared to the outgoing two-row model, courtesy of a thinner hatch door, while loading lip height is reduced by 30mm for “more useful overall luggage space”.

    Outside, the new RX measures an unchanged 4890mm long, but the wheelbase is 60mm longer at 2850mm, freeing up more interior space.

    Overall width has increased by 25mm to 1920mm, and the height has been dropped by 10mm to 1695mm.

    The front track has been widened by 15mm, and the rear track by 45mm, while overall weight has been reduced by 90kg.

    Lexus says these changes reduce the centre of gravity which contributes to safer driving performance, but the differences in size are minor.

    The front suspension comprises MacPherson struts while the rear uses a “newly developed” multi-link system that supposedly creates more efficient interior space.

    The RX’s interior is based on the Tazuna design philosophy, which apparently allows the driver to concentrate on driving, while still creating a spacious, open interior.

    Although Lexus hasn’t detailed standard equipment for the RX as of yet, it has said it will offer “class-leading equipment levels” with “the latest in active and passive safety technologies as standard”.

    MORE: Everything Lexus RX

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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