2023 Lexus RX V-6 ditch, turbo-4 gain and plug-in hybrid powertrain

The best-selling, most important, Lexus is new again.

On Tuesday, the 2023 Lexus RX debuted with a new powertrain lineup, a new platform, a complete overhaul of its design, and the automaker’s latest interior technology.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance

Turbo and electrified era

The V-6 engine, which has been a major part of the RX lineup since the model’s inception in 1998, will not return for 2023.

The Base RX 350 models are powered by a 2.4-liter Turbo-4 that produces 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It combines an 8-speed automatic transmission and comes with a standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg is just above the current V-6 model, which is rated at 23 mpg.

Lexus splits the hybrid lineup for the new generation. The outgoing RX 450h became the RX 350h with a 2.5-liter inline-4 and electric motors producing 246 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque, which flows on four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Lexus collectively gives an estimated fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, which is 3 mpg better than the current 450h with its V-6 hybrid powertrain.

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

A new RX 450h + plug-in hybrid has joined the 2023 lineup, although Lexus has not yet revealed details about the powertrain. This will probably attach the RX 350h’s powertrain to a larger battery pack and a plug to enable a limited number of miles of electric-only driving.

The current generation RX has launched an F Sport model. The 2023 RX 500h F Sport takes the performance model to the top of the performance ladder with more power.

The RX 500h F Sport Performance model is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 and two electric motors coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combined output is rated at 367 hp and 406 pound-feet of torque and the 6-piston front brake caliper must increase stopping power.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance

Lexus estimates that the 500h F Sport Performance model on the RX 350 front-wheel drive model will reduce the 0-60 mph time from 7.5 seconds (7.4 with all-wheel drive) to 5.9 seconds. The approximate fuel economy for the performance model is 26 mpg combined.

The new RX runs on Toyota’s GA-K version of the TNGA platform. This is the same modular design that underpins the latest ES sedan. The new platform makes the RX up to 198 pounds lighter than the current model due to the composite material design.

The Lexus RX increases the wheelbase by 2.4 inches, but reduces the rear overhang by 2.4 inches to keep the overall length the same. Although changes in platform and dimensions have increased the leg room and cargo space in the rear seat, the Lexus has dropped the three-row version and its almost useless rear seat. The height of the rear liftover is also lower for the cargo area, according to Lexus. Full specification not disclosed.

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

Evolution instead of revolution

The exterior of the new RX looks like a mashup of recent NX compact crossovers and RZ electric crossovers, giving some electrical ideas for better measurement.

The automaker’s spindle grille is back, but now the hoodline and the upper part of the bumper are bleeding. The frameless grille looks as if it is floating towards the front of the RX, while the vertical air intake under the headlights provides visual elevation at the front end. There seems to be a quick rack behind the roof, the recent RX almost gives the appearance of a low sport wagon. Like the future electric concept of the Lexus, there are LED taillights wrapped around the rear end.

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

Inside the RX follows the path laid down by the smaller NX in a wider format. Electronic door release, an available head-up display, a digital gauge cluster and a 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the automaker’s new interface (which is better than the outgoing system, but can’t multitask). The gear selector replaces the existing mechanical unit and helps to clear some of the clutter in the center console.

2023 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX

When it comes to safety standards

Each 2023 RX will have a suite of active safety technology, called Automaker Lexus Safety System + 3.0, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and active lane control.

The Lexus did not say how much the 2023 RX would cost if it was sold at the end of 2022.

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