Lexus unveils a muscular fifth-generation RX with plug-in capabilities for its class leader

Lexus unveiled its fifth-generation RX at an event in Plano, Texas on May 31st.The Globe and Mail

Lexus launched the luxury crossover segment with its first RX more than two decades ago. For model year 2023, the brand has redesigned its best-selling type label, raising the bar in a category now full of competition, including the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Audi A5.

But unlike its competitors, RX is manufactured in Canada by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) in Cambridge, Ont. and is made for the North American market. In the SUV-dominated part of the world, RX leads in the field of medium-sized luxury cars and also leads the entire Lexus line in terms of sales.

The RX is not only a major vehicle for the Canadian Toyota, but also for the Canadian economy. In 2003, TMMC was the first plant outside Japan to produce Lexus cars. Since then, more than 1.5 million Lexus RX and Lexus RX Hybrid cars have been built here – more than 150,000 of them have been sold in Canada.

“Not only does TMMC employ more than 8,500 people in its three plants, but we have also invested heavily in supporting the Canadian economy,” said Frank Voss, president of TMMC before launching the car in Plano, Texas. “Toyota has invested more than $ 9.2 billion in its Canadian operations since 1985, and in 2018 TMMC announced an investment of $ 1.4 billion in transforming its North and West plants into the company’s New Global Architecture platform. This has made it possible to increase flexibility and further production efficiency while shifting production to meet the demands of the fast-growing compact SUV market in North America. The fact that TMMC manufactures the Lexus RX and NX also helps us attract new investment. ”

From the outside, the RX is clearly a Lexus with an updated twisted iconic spindle design on the front.Petrina Gentile / Globe and mail

The fifth generation RX is impressive at first glance – it gets a new exterior and interior look, four redesigned powertrains, including three electrified versions, and more technology and safety features than previous models. It will have two rows of seats. So far, there are no reports of whether the RX L with three rows of seats will be available later, or whether it will be discontinued and replaced by a completely new three-row SUV.

RX runs on a new global platform called “GA-K” – not that this acronym would say anything to most people. However, this translates into more space in the cargo area and cab, especially the legroom of the rear seats. Compared to the previous version, the RX is almost 90 kilograms lighter. While the length remains the same, the new RX rides on a slightly longer wheelbase with a shorter rear overhang.

Four new drive variants are available, including the 2.4-liter supercharged in-line four-cylinder engine in the RX 350 all-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine combined with the fourth-generation RX 350h all-wheel drive hybrid system. The RX 450h + is a plug-in hybrid electric version, but no details have been released about this engine or electric motor. The RX 500h F SPORT Performance receives a new hybrid electric system for the Lexus brand with a front unit that integrates a 2.4-liter turbo engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, an inverter and an electric motor with a high e-Axle rear unit. -output electric motor, inverter and reduction gearbox.

From the outside, the RX is clearly a Lexus with an updated twisted iconic spindle design on the front. From the profile, the roof line slopes slightly towards the rear. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, and thicker 21-inch wheels are available on request. At the rear, there is the famous Lexus L-shaped light bar with lenses that wrap around the sides of the body for a wider and more muscular look.

Inside, it is tasteful and elegant with real wood touches, leather upholstery and available features including a 14-inch multimedia touch center display and panoramic roof. Technology comes to the fore with new innovative features available, including a digital key that allows you to lock or unlock doors and start the vehicle with a smartphone – no traditional key required – and an advanced multi-function parking system, including the ability to assist with parallel driving. parking – this is in addition to conventional reversing and forward parking. The RX also features Lexus Safety System + 3.0, which includes a range of standard safety features such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, junction support and a new motorcycle detection feature; All-speed dynamic radar cruise control with new Curve Speed ​​Management feature; Lane Departure Warning with Driving Assistant; and an emergency stop system.

The Lexus RX for 2023 is expected to go on sale at the end of 2022. Prices are not yet available.

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