2023 Lexus RX makes global debut, India will likely get the 450h+ model early next year
With just months left for the 25th anniversary of Lexus’ RX brand of cars, the Toyota subsidiary has now unveiled the 2023 RX series with a complete makeover featuring new hybrid powertrains. Also, for the first time since 1998, the car loses its 6-cylinder engines.
On the outside, though the 2023 model looks nearly identical to the outgoing fourth generation RX, there are some noticeable changes.
The signature spindle grille now gets fused with the bonnet lip (zig-zack mesh grille on the top-end model). The nearly quilted pattern is thoughtfully integrated on to the body panel.
Because of this setup, the grille is now smaller in size than the outgoing version. The bumper recesses feature the same grille’s quilted design elements and they house the tiny fog lamps below. The recesses also get more creases this time for a meaner look upfront.
As the bonnet lip is more pronounced, the LED headlamps have been redesigned as well. Though they aren’t arrow sharp as the fourth generation car, they sport a unique design. The split headlamps are bisected by sharp drls.
At the sides, the latest Lexus gets a subtle design for the alloy wheels. The V-shaped units are broad and no longer sporty like the outgoing model. Lexus has taken the safe route this time to make the car feel at home for varied set of people.
The wheel arches are more pronounced with the SUV oozing out a lot of muscle. They are also more rounded now. The floating roof and the chrome roof liners have been retained and the overall silhouette from the side also remains the identical to the outgoing version.
The rear gets maximum changes like the front. The angry looking LED tail lights have been replaced with slim interconnected units. The tail lamps run like a tail gate strip which is currently the trend with many manufacturers like Volkswagen and Hyundai.
The number plate is present on the tail gate recess below the tail lamp strip. The rear parking lights gel well with the overall flow of the tail lights which also feature the Lexus lettering at the centre. A body coloured sharkfin antenna completes the look at the top.
The bumper has been extensively redesigned as well. The spindle grille elements are present at the two sides of the bumper while there are too many lines running across the area. The rear, overall, gets a wave like design, again, showing a lot of muscle.
The new RX is built on a new platform, GA-K, that’s targeted at maximum weight reduction. While the car’s length remains the same, the wheelbase has been stretched by 61 mm for better leg room. The rear axles now get multi-link suspension in place of double wishbone.
The 2023 Lexus RX comes in 4 variants – RX 350, RX 350h, RX 450h+, and RX 500h F. The base non-hybrid RX350 is powered by a 275 HP and 430 Nm 2.4-litre turbocharged 4 mated to an 8-speed autobox.
The hybrid 350 h is powered by a 2.5-litre engine driving the front wheels via a CVT and a motor driving the rear ones. It puts out a slightly lower 246 HP and 316 Nm.
Next up is the PHEV 450h+ whose details are sparse now. But, it’s expected to get nearly the same configuration as the RAV4 Prime and NX 450h+. Also, this is the model that will likely hit our shores as the longer wheelbase version of the RX, 450hL is already on sale in India.
The final top-end variant is the RX500h F Sport Performance pictured here. It utilises the same 2.4-liter turbocharged engine as the base variant with a hybrid drive for a combined 367 HP and 550 Nm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed autobox.
The SUV gets a host of driver aids branded as Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 that includes radar adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and blindspot monitoring as standard.
On the inside, in addition, the slightly updated interiors, a 14-inch center touchscreen with a responsive user interface takes centre stage. The 2023 Lexus RX series will go on sale internationally late this year while Indian launch is expected to happen in early 2023.