Lexus on Tuesday unveiled the 2023 RX luxury SUV. It’s a fair departure from the fourth-generation RX, ditching its higher-riding appearance for more body-coloured elements that help bring the design lower to the ground. No matter what you think of the new design, the new RX is poised to increase its coverage of the luxury-SUV spectrum with new powertrains including a plug-in hybrid model and a 367-hp RX500h F Sport Performance hybrid variant that features a new all-wheel-drive setup Lexus calls Direct4.
Both the 19- and 21-inch wheel options fill the wheel wells nicely, but perhaps the most striking part of its new design is the pared-down “spindle” grille, which loses a fair bit of visual mass up top. The silhouette and rear end give off some serious big-hatchback vibes.
The 3.5-litre V-6 engine used in the previous RX350 and RX450his gone and has been replaced by a variety of four-cylinder drivetrains that include a base gas engine and three separate hybrid variants. The RX350 has a turbocharged 2.4-litre inline-four with 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque; like in the NX350, this engine is available with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive.
We think the 2023 RX’s base price will rise somewhat compared with the outgoing RX350’s ₦23,497.500 ($46,995) starting cost. The RX350h hybrid is likely to start somewhere around ₦25 million ($50,000), while the RX450h+ is likely to approach ₦30 million ($60,000). There’s no precedent for the RX500h F Sport Performance model, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see that model reach the ₦35 million ($70,000) range. Lexus says the new RX will go on sale at the end of this year.
Lexus also gave the 2023 RX a variety of new powertrain setups, most of which are electrified. The base RX 350, available in both front- and all-wheel drive, uses a 2.4-litre turbocharged inline-4 to produce 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The RX 350h offers a 2.5-litre I4 as part of a gas-electric hybrid system producing 246 hp and 233 lb-ft. The new RX 500h F Sport Performance hybrid puts the 2.4-litre engine back under the hood, but it combines with a rear-mounted electric motor to make 367 hp and 406 lb-ft, which is nothing to shake a stick at. A new plug-in hybrid will be offered, as well, but Lexus isn’t giving out any details on that variant just yet.