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2023 Lexus RX Redesigned, Adds 367 HP RX500h F Sport Hybrid

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  • The new Lexus RX 2023 is available with many new engines.
  • The RX350 has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the RX350h, RX450h+ and RX500h F Sport Performance models all come with different hybrid setups.
  • The new RX will go on sale in the US by the end of the year.

    The RX has opened the floor for Lexus since it first came onto the scene, and now the new fifth-generation model offers new versatility in the brand’s spindle grille design. With a body-color upper area, the face of the 2023 RX is an interesting evolution of the polarizing Lexus look found across the lineup. Regardless of what you think of the new styling, the new RX is poised to increase its coverage of the luxury SUV spectrum with new powertrains including a plug-in hybrid model and the 367-hp RX500h F Sport Performance engine that features a new all-wheel drive setup that it calls a Lexus Direct4.

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    Rumors have it that Lexus will introduce a new three-row crossover called the TX in the near future, so we don’t think the previous RX “L” model will return this time around. This would allow the RX to occupy a two-row crossover space somewhere between the compact and mid-size that has proven so successful for this model throughout its history. With a 2.4-inch longer wheelbase, the new RX promises more rear seat space but the same overall length, which means its lengths are shorter and its proportions look more sporty.

    Toyota GA-K engineering, shared with many models including the Highlander, RAV4 and smaller Lexus NX, falls under the newer RX. It offers multilink rear suspension to replace the earlier model’s asymmetrical-length control arm setup. Lexus also claims that the new model is up to 198 pounds lighter than before.

    The 3.5-liter V-6 used in the previous RX350 and RX450h has disappeared and has been replaced by a variety of four-cylinder drivetrains that include a basic gas engine and three separate hybrids. The RX350 features a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque; As with the NX350, this engine is available with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The RX350h uses a familiar Toyota hybrid setup with a 2.5-liter inline-six and electric motors that combine to produce 246 horsepower; It comes standard with all-wheel drive and will achieve an estimated 33 mpg combined, 3 mpg better than the old RX450h V-6 hybrid setup.

    Things are starting to get interesting with the new RX500h F Sport Performance model. Supposed to be considered at the same level of performance as the V-8-powered IS500, this version of the RX has a new hybrid system with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission instead of the planetary transmission typical of Toyota engines. hybrids. It produces a total of 367 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, and Lexus says the all-wheel drive system, which it calls Direct4, includes a more powerful electric motor on the rear axle that’s intended to improve handling performance.

    There will also be an RX450h+ model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Lexus doesn’t provide specifics, but we think it will have a similar setup as the NX450h + 302 hp and Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEVs. The NX plug-in provides an EPA-estimated electric driving range of 37 miles, so the RX PHEV should fall nowhere near that.

    The trim levels for lower models will include Base, Premium, Premium +, Luxury, and F Sport Handling, while the RX500h F Sport Performance will fall into the top of the range. 19-inch wheels are standard across the board, with 21-inch wheels optional. The redesigned interior looks similar to the NX and is available with an optional 14.0-inch touchscreen that works with Lexus’ latest infotainment system. Interior color options include six different colors, including red and brown, while bamboo trim, open-pore wood and aluminum will be available.

    We think the base price of the 2023 RX will go up somewhat compared to the $46,995 starting cost of the RX350. The RX350h hybrid is likely to start somewhere around $50,000, while the RX450h+ is likely to approach $60,000. There is no precedent for the RX500h F Sport Performance model, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see this model hit the $70,000 range. Lexus says the new RX will go on sale at the end of this year.

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