Lexus has revealed its fifth-generation RX large SUV – built on the latest company GA-K platform, with an entirely redesigned exterior and interior, and a new selection of engines including various hybrids.
The company’s latest competitor to the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE is confirmed for Australia, but the company will keep us waiting until later in 2022 to reveal local powertrains, specifications, pricing and arrival timing.
One highlight of the new-look 2023 Lexus RX is confirmation of a new flagship RX500h F Sport Performance variant powered by a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with a hybrid system including a “high-output” eAxle rear electric motor.
Other powertrain options include a regular 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine for the RX350, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid for the RX350h, and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for the RX450h+.
This lattermost model means the RX will be Lexus’s second PHEV following the NX450h+.
There will be two- and all-wheel drive options available, Lexus adds, while the old V6 options have been retired in favour of these more efficient new options.
The new RX measures an unchanged 4890mm long, but the wheelbase is 60mm longer at 2850mm, freeing up more interior space.
The 2023 Lexus RX as revealed is a five-seater, with no mention of a followup to today’s stretched seven-seater model. But it’s expected that Lexus will launch a new ‘TX’ three-row model to fill that gap.
Rear luggage space is said to be lengthened by 50mm courtesy of a thinner hatch door while load height is reduced by 30mm for “more useful overall luggage space”.
Overall width has increased by 25mm to 1920mm, and the height has been dropped by 10mm to 1695mm.
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 RX500h F Sport Performance is further differentiated by adaptive suspension, rear-axle steering and six-piston front brakes.
Design-wise, the new Lexus RX is said to have a “unique identity”, but clearly has a lot of design elements drawn from the smaller Lexus NX.
At the front is the company’s signature spindle grille and an L-shaped daytime running light signature. F Sport models gain a different front bumper design with a wide and low stance, body-coloured lower panels, black stainless-steel window mouldings, and 21-inch aluminium wheels.
Around the side, the new RX has electronically-latching doors like the NX and a typical SUV silhouette with a sharp creases, rounded wheel arches and door scallops. It not as angular as its predecessor and looks very much like recent Lexus vehicles.
From the back there is a full-width light bar.
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.
There will be two different central touchscreen sizes available, a 9.8-inch and 14-inch, as well as a digital instrument cluster – just like the NX.
Drivers will be able to interact with the head-up display using the trackpad-style buttons/switches on the steering wheel. These buttons also control various functions including navigation and audio.
Other interior features listed as available include multi-coloured ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, tri-zone climate control, as well as heated and ventilated seats.
There will be five interior colours available and 10 exterior paint colours. There is a new Sonic Copper metallic paint option as well.
On the safety front, the new Lexus RX has the following safety equipment:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Radar cruise control
- Traffic jam support
- Lane departure warning
- Lane tracing assist
- Proactive driving assist
- Abnormal driver condition response system
- Remote perpendicular and parallel parking
- Safe exit assist
Lexus is offering the new RX with over-the-air (OTA) updates which allow for functions to be updated, new functions to be added, and performance to be improved.
There’s also a smartphone app that can be used as a digital key, and allows functions such as remote locking and unlocking, and remote engine start.
“The all-new RX incorporates the latest technology and safety features to deliver the ultimate in refinement, comfort and luxury for our customers,” said Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas.
“The new powertrains will deliver exhilarating performance and broaden the RX’s appeal to an even wider range of customers.”
As mentioned above, the Australian Lexus RX model line-up, specifications, pricing and on-sale date will be announced later in 2022.
MORE: Everything Lexus RX