Keen on the fastest version of the new Lexus RX SUV? You’ll have to wait a while.
Wait times for the RX500h F Sport Performance are currently sitting at close to 12 months, compared to between two and four months for the more sedate RX350h, and between two and six months for RX350 petrol models.
Lexus Australia says a quarter of buyers are opting for the range-topping model, more than it initially forecast. Half of buyers are signing on the dotted line for the RX350h, with the remainder opting for petrol power.
“We didn’t expect the 500h to perform as well as it’s doing already,” Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas told media.
The RX500h is the first car in Australia to feature the new F Sport Performance badge, designed to bridge the gap between sporty-looking F Sport cars and outright performance models such as the (discontinued in Australia) RC F.
It’s powered by a hybrid system that pairs a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a high-output eAxle motor on the rear axle for all-wheel drive. It makes 273kW of power, and has a claimed 100km/h sprint time of 6.2 seconds.
With a sticker price of $126,000 before on-road costs, it’s $9200 more expensive than the RX350h Sports Luxury AWD + Enhancement Pack 2 sitting below it in the range.
The delays for the RX pale in comparison to those faced by buyers after the smaller NX SUV. Currently, wait times for hybrid variants are sitting around two years.
Mr Pappas said the supply situation is “evolving”, but the brand is “hopeful that things will improve, particularly in the second half of the year”.
“We are very, very strongly trying to communicate with our dealer network on how we’re going and what’s going on, on the production side.
“And they’re doing a really good job trying to keep customers informed,” Mr Pappas told CarExpert.
Lexus has recently started offering customers who’ve been waiting for more than five months for their cars access to some parts of the Encore owner benefits package as a way to make the wait more palatable.
“It’s only a recent initiative,” Mr Pappas said, as part of a plan to give soon-to-be owners a taste of what life is like as an owner.
“Even though they haven’t got their car yet, let them start experiencing what Lexus is about so they can start to have access to things people can have access to if they’re owning a Lexus.”