Front end image gives clues to wider redesign
Premium marque’s fourth-generation flagship has been redesigned from the ground up and is tipped for PHEV power
The all-new, 2023 Lexus RX will arrive on 1 June as the range-topper for a newly expanded line of SUVs from the premium Japanese marque.
Arriving hot on the heels of the smaller, second-generation Lexus NX and the brand’s first bespoke EV, the Lexus RZ 450e, the fourth-generation RX will be heavily upgraded inside and out in a bid to better compete with its all-conquering German rivals, the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
A preview image released by Lexus suggests the design overhaul is more substantial for the RX than it was for its subtly reshaped NX sibling. Striking new headlight designs, prominent air intakes and a new interpretation of the brand’s trademark ‘Spindle’ grille are among the defining features.
Overall, though, it is likely that Lexus’s designers will have pursued a similar evolutionary approach aimed at sustaining the RX’s continued popularity (it’s the company’s most popular model in the US) while emphasising the brand’s renewed push to promote the dynamic appeal of its models.
That will be carried over to the interior, where the RX will play host to the latest – and much improved – generation of Lexus’s infotainment system, running through a 12.3in touchscreen, while adopting a new driver-focused layout designed according to the ‘Takuna’ (reins of a horse) ethos.
It is also expected to move onto the latest generation of parent firm Toyota’s GA-K architecture, as used by the similarly sized Toyota Highlander, which paves the way for the RX to follow the NX in being offered with plug-in hybrid power, although Lexus has yet to confirm any details of the powertrain.
The anticipated Lexus RX 450h+ will no doubt use a variation of the set-up found in the NX and the technically identical Toyota RAV4. This pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 180bhp EV motor on the rear axle and another with 54bhp at the front for a combined output of 305bhp. An 18.1kWh battery supplies an EV range of 43 miles – but this would likely decrease in the larger RX, unless Lexus uses the extra floor space to install a larger battery.
More familiar full-hybrid models using either a 2.5-litre four-pot or a 3.5-litre V6 are also expected to be offered.