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2023 Lexus RX to offer plug-in hybrid, two other hybrids - report

The next Lexus RX may lose its petrol and hybrid V6 options in favour of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and hybrid options, plus a new plug-in hybrid.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
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The next-generation Lexus RX could adopt a powertrain line-up consisting only of four-cylinder engines, including a plug-in hybrid.

Japanese outlets Creative311 and MagX report the RX, which will reportedly be released this autumn (our spring), will be available with a choice of three hybrid powertrains plus one petrol powertrain.

The RX350 will reportedly drop its naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine in favour of a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, likely that used in the redesigned NX350.

In the NX350, this produces 205kW of power and 430Nm of torque and is mated with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

Should this engine replace the current model’s V6, the RX350 would see a decrease of 16kW of power but an increase of 60Nm of torque.

The three-prong hybrid range will reportedly include a plug-in hybrid and be topped with a new RX500h, which mates a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor.

This would replace the current RX450h, which mates an atmo 3.5-litre V6 with two electric motors for a total power output of 230kW.

A new RX450h+ will reportedly emerge, mating a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.

In the new NX450h+, an 18.1kWh battery is used in conjunction with two electric motors, for a total system output of 227kW of power.

The base hybrid will reportedly be called the RX350h, and pair a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor as in the new NX350h.

In the smaller SUV, this powertrain has a total system output of 179kW of power and uses an electronic continuously-variable transmission.

Lexus quotes maximum torque figures of 239Nm for the engine, 270Nm for the front-wheel drive model’s electric motor, and 391Nm for the all-wheel drive model’s electric motors.

In addition to the RX350 and RX450h, the current RX also features a base turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder option, known as the RX300, which produces 175kW and 350Nm. It’s unclear whether this would continue.

The new RX is expected to move to the TNGA architecture, much like other SUVs like the recently redesigned Toyota Kluger and Harrier.

Automotive News reports the RX will launch in the US in the second half of this year, which suggests an Australian launch could take place either at the end of the year or early next year.

The company isn’t charging ahead solely with hybrids.

Lexus has revealed a new crossover, the RZ, which shares its e-TNGA underpinnings with the Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra.

In the US, at least, the RZ will be branded as the RZ450e with one of its drivetrain options. The RZ will be available with the new Direct4 all-wheel drive system.

Details about the RZ450e’s drivetrain have yet to be revealed, but it’s possible it will be gutsier than the 160kW dual-motor setup available in the bZ4X and Solterra.

Externally, it has a strong familial resemblance with the RX, if lower and sleeker with a steeper rake to the tailgate.

Lexus is also reportedly readying a more spacious three-row crossover to replace the current RX L, which has rather compromised packaging in its rear-most row.

Car & Driver found trademark filings for both a TX350 and TX500h.

Late last year, Lexus released shadowy teasers of what we believe to be a range of current and next-generation non-electric models, and one of these was a boxy SUV.

That could either be this rumoured three-row crossover, or a redesigned version of the GX, a body-on-frame SUV based on the Toyota LandCruiser Prado.

MORE: Everything Lexus RX

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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