Fashionable crossovers may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, but they have been around for decades and one of the first was the Lexus RX.
The original model, released in 1998, was a great success and the trend continued for four generations, as Lexus sold more than 100,000 RXs annually in the United States for eight consecutive years.
The company seeks to reinforce this momentum with a redesigned 2023 RX with evolutionary design, advanced technology and a new hybrid power unit.
Evolutionary, but holistic design
While designers are reluctant to succeed, the 2023 RX adopts an updated version and appearance of the company’s controversial spindle grid. The latter is immediately noticeable, as it has a vertical design, as well as soft edges and diamond-like inserts. There are new headlights with daylight around the grille. They are located above the minimalist air curtains with a black curtain, as well as integrated fog lighting enclosures.
Going back, we can see an evolutionary design that combines simplified styling and round arches. The designers also added a clear floral to the lower doors and cleared the shoulder line. The model runs on dark gray 19-inch wheels, but consumers can upgrade to 21 inches in the design range.
Some of the biggest changes occur when the RX adopts an angular and integrated design. However, one thing that immediately jumps is the rear lights, which are now combined with a thin illuminated strip. Further down is a ventilated rear bumper with a sporty design with a angled bottom accent and a two-tone exterior.
Classy and high-tech interior
Luxury cars are related to the interior and today’s owners are happy to look inside the redesigned RX. The 2022 model follows in the footsteps of the NX and features a cluster of digital devices, as well as a new Lexus Interface system that is several miles ahead of its predecessor.
The company didn’t say much about the information entertainment system, but it does offer cloud-based navigation, an intelligent assistant, and on-air updates. While a 14-inch display is optional, you can expect basic models to be equipped with a smaller 9.8-inch screen, such as the NX.
Thanks to the new sensory and voice-oriented information entertainment system, designers are free to adjust the central stack and remove the average switching devices found in the output model. As the new RX lives in the digital world, analog watches have also been eliminated.
Elsewhere, there are interior door handles, a minimalist switch and an elegant control panel that can be distinguished by the available colorful lighting. Buyers will also find finishes made of aluminum, ash bamboo, black cascade or black open hole wood.
Details will be announced closer to launch, but will be available in six different finishes called 2023 RX Standard, Premium, Premium +, Luxury, F Sport Handling and F Sport Performance. We will talk about the latter in a while, but Lexus also noted that the model will be presented with a panoramic glass roof and a high display.
New platform and significant weight reduction
A completely new model requires a new architecture, and for the 2023 Lexus RX, this is the GA-K platform shared by the ES and NX. The new platform allows you to increase rigidity and save weight up to 198 pounds (89.8 kg). Lexus didn’t mention many features, but noted that the crossover has a completely new multi-link rear suspension design that is “attached to a rigidly high-swivel rear body frame that facilitates more consistent insertion / travel of the suspension during acceleration, deceleration and movement.” moments of management “.
Although the 2.36-inch (60 mm) wheelbase is longer, the 2023 RX remains 192.5 inches (4,890 mm) because the rear clutch is reduced by the same amount. This is good news, as the rear seat finds extra space for passengers’ feet, and everyone can appreciate the increase in cargo capacity.
New engines and hybrid power available
As the RX 350 is replaced by a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged V6 with a 3.5-liter V6, the war on displacement continues. It produces 275 horsepower (205 kW / 279 PS) and 317 pound-feet (429 Nm) of torque, which is 20 hp. (15 kW / 20 PS) decreased, but increased by 50 pound-feet (68 Nm). output pattern.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which can be combined with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The latest version of the Lexus says it can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km / h) in 7.2 seconds, compared to the previous version in 0.7 seconds.
However, it should be noted that consumers should not expect great benefits from fuel savings. The Lexus estimates that the RX 350 returns a combined 24 mpg, which is not much better than the older model running a 23 mpg integrated V6.
With gas prices rising to an all-time high, many consumers may want to opt for the 2023 RX 350h, which replaces the previous 450 hours. It offers a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with a fourth-generation hybrid system and a standard all-wheel drive system.
2023 RX 350h 246 hp (183 kW / 249 PS) and 233 pound-feet (316 Nm) of torque, 308 hp. (230 kW / 312 PS). and 247 pound-feet (335 Nm) of torque on the old RX 450h. However, Lexus says the new model is actually faster, as it takes 7.4 seconds instead of 7.9 seconds to reach 96 km / h.
Of course, the hybrids are mostly fuel efficient, and the RX 350h is great here. Lexus believes that the fuel economy rating of this model will be 33 mph / g or 3 mph higher than its predecessor.
Buyers can also choose a new RX 450h + hybrid plug-in. Lexus wasn’t ready to talk about the specifications of the US, but the model shares a power unit with the NX 450h +. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, three electric motors and a set of 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. This installation is a hybrid NX 302 hp. (222 kW / 306 PS) and a range of 37 miles (60 km) driven by electricity only.
The new RX 500h F sports performance is a 367 HP hybrid
Although the plug-in hybrid is unique, the most eyebrow-raising version is the new RX 500h F Sport Performance. It’s a performance-oriented hybrid with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and a rear eAsle with a ‘high-performance electric motor’ that promises ‘improved performance and faster acceleration’.
This installation is powered by a all – wheel drive crossover with 367 hp. (274 kW / 372 PS) and 406 pound-feet (550 Nm) of torque, which is enough to suppress laughter on the surface of the Acura MDX Type S. The good news doesn’t end there, as the RX 500h F Sport Performance travels at 0-60 mph (0-96 km / h) in 5.9 seconds and the overall calculated fuel economy rating is 26 mph, which is 7 mph. Acura.
In addition to the powerful hybrid system, the RX 500h F Sport Performance has a sporty appearance with unique bumpers, grille and aggressive air intakes. They include black accents, additional body color components and six-piston brake calipers.
Sporty styling continues in a cabin with perforated leather steering wheel with paddle switches. Drivers will also find aluminum pedals, suede-covered door panels and F Sport ruler panels.
It will go on sale later this year with advanced security features
When the 2023 RX arrives at U.S. dealers later this year, it will come with a set of Lexus Safety System + 3.0 driver assistance systems. It includes full-speed dynamic radar cruise control with a new curve speed control function, as well as an advanced pre-collision system with the ability to detect pedestrians, support intersections and detect a new motorcycle.
Buyers will also find an emergency stop system and a steering wheel warning. The crossover can also be equipped with an advanced parking system, which now supports forward parking conditions.
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