- Fifth generation RX ushers in new era for luxury crossover segment
- First-ever RX 500h F SPORT Performance AWD
- New Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform provides a lighter, lower center of gravity
- Lexus-First available Traffic Jam Assist
- RX-first available Advanced Park
- Four all-new electrified powertrains; RX-first PHEV
- Available by the end of 2022
The first RX 300 arrived in 1998 as a shiny specimen of an unfamiliar species — never had something like it existed before. Half SUV, half luxury four-door, the all-new model melded each genre’s choice attributes into a unique, highly versatile package called the crossover utility vehicle, or CUV.
RX’s fortified sedan-based platform wore an avant-garde design (or radiant design, hence the model’s full name, Radiant Crossover), and inside, passengers enjoyed high seating positions with expansive sightlines and room for everyone. RX’s refined on- and soft-road demeanor, plush comfort and available all-wheel drive capability quickly made it a bona fide hit.
By the end of 1998, approximately 42,000 were sold in North America. RX didn’t push the luxury crossover’s standard forward. RX created it.
For more than 20 years, RX’s five generations have redefined the luxury crossover space. And from first to fifth, a vibrant verve known as omotenashi, or anticipatory hospitality, has perpetuated in their crafting, compelling designers and engineers to exceed the ever-demanding requirements of guests.
The all-new 2023 RX is no exception to this rule, adding extraordinary refinement to its legacy. Innovative computational analysis, an integration of enhanced materials and repeatable high-stress testing performed at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama have realized the best version of RX to date.
The all-new RX aims to exceed their needs through a myriad of technological, stylistic and innovative improvements. RX offers a highly diverse powertrain portfolio encompassing Lexus Electrified variants, as well as the Lexus-first DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system. And, for the first time ever, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) variant will be available.
The new RX further elevates the Lexus Driving Signature fundamentals that launched with the IS. Direct responsiveness, with control at the top of mind, are understood and appreciated at the slightest depression of the RX’s accelerator or tilt of the steering wheel, enabling clear input and response.
The 2023 RX will be offered in six grades: Standard, Premium, RX-first Premium+, Luxury, F SPORT Handling and RX-first, F SPORT Performance.
From the new, more robust Global Architecture-K platform and accommodating cabin packaging to the stunning exterior’s sleek aerodynamics and the seamless power distribution and delivery via DIRECT4 AWD, anticipating the needs of guests remains a foundational element for RX.
The 2023 RX rides atop the GA-K platform, which is 198-pounds lighter than the previous platform. Its center of gravity is 0.6 inches lower versus its predecessor thanks to its use of stronger metals (such as 1180 MPa steel on side rockers, 1470 MPa steel for the roof, and 2GPa steel for B-pillars) and innovative adhesives and welds.
Overall rigidity improves as well with the addition of bracing at the radiator support, center floor, rear suspension towers and back door opening. Although the 2023 RX remains 192.5 inches long, its wheelbase grows by 2.36 inches to 112.2 inches and its track is widened by 0.59 inches to 65 inches in front and 1.77 inches to 66 inches in the rear. The rear section of the platform features an all-new multi-link suspension design, attached to a rigid high-torsion rear body frame that facilitates more consistent suspension input/travel during acceleration, deceleration and steering moments.
The GA-K platform also increases the front/rear couple distance, resulting in more legroom for rear passengers. RX guests will also enjoy increased cargo space and a lowered back door trim to decrease loading height.
The new 275-hp turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine realizes higher torque (317 lb.-ft.) and higher output thanks to several advanced technologies like a center injection system (for more stable combustion), lightweight, spherical lipless pistons (for high-speed combustion) and a continuously variable capacity oil pump (to modify discharge volume based on running conditions). A short-ratio eight-speed Direct Shift-8AT offers an improved shift control program for smooth acceleration and deceleration. The electronically controlled full-time AWD constantly varies the front-to-rear driving force distribution from 75:25 to 50:50 (depending on situation) to achieve an optimal contact patch and linear steering feel.
A hybrid motor coupled with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with 246 total system horsepower and 233 lb.-ft. of torque is teamed with a high-output, low-resistance nickel-metal hydride battery that offers a high level of output and fuel economy. The 216-cell battery is located below the rear seat, thus enabling improved passenger comfort and storage capacity. RX HEV can be equipped with E-Four, Lexus’ innovative all-wheel drive system, which places a motor at the rear axle for near-instantaneous drive force application in low-grip or acceleration scenarios.
Available at a later date in the U.S., RX’s first plug-in powertrain combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery and rear E-Four motor to provide powerful acceleration and full-time all-wheel drive.
A next level of dynamism is realized by the high-performance hybrid 271-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four that’s matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox and integrated Power Control Unit and electric motor. At the rear, an 80-kW eAxle consisting of an inverter and motor provides near-instantaneous power to the rear wheels. Together with a high-output, low-resistance nickel-metal hydride battery, the system produces 366 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque total. A DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system orchestrates a seamless, direct application of drive force between the front and rear axles in milliseconds, thus improving handling, controllability and feel. Body movement is also minimized for more pleasant ride comfort.
A thoroughly revised suspension is affixed to the 2023 RX’s new GA-K platform. MacPherson front struts provide sharp turn-in and confident, linear handling. Suspension arms and bushings better absorb the passing road’s high frequency vibrations and shocks. The rear’s new five-arm multi-link setup is more compact than before, yielding additional cabin space for passengers, cargo and, for hybrid powertrains, battery pack placement.
RX’s available AVS system provides a comfortable ride, improved stability and superior steering response. AVS uses linear solenoid-type actuators to modify shock absorbers’ damping force with near-instant adjustments that are based on driving operation and road conditions.
Two-piston calipers biting on 13.39-inch front and rear rotors help to curb speed smoothly. For F SPORT Handling and F SPORT Performance, composed braking arrives via opposed six-piston aluminum calipers and 15.74-inch front rotors. The opposed calipers are 2.4 pounds lighter than those used on the LS and LC.
F SPORT Performance’s available DRS system can provide impressive maneuverability. During higher speed maneuvers, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels to give clear, stable turning response. At slower speed, the rear wheels can seamlessly turn in the opposite direction as the front wheels for seamless low speed maneuverability. The DRS system allows for a maximum of 4 degrees steering angle — in phase or counter phase to the front wheels depending on speed.
A spindle body – rather than a spindle grille – reflects the new expression of Lexus design. A seamless grille at the front provides a strong, clean presence and marks the origination of the spindle body that expresses athleticism and finesse in a sophisticated, dynamic shape. RX’s optimized proportions reflect the platform’s low center of gravity, while the available 19- or 21-inch wheels add stunning flair. At the rear, a single lens taillamp wraps around the body, further emphasizing the RX’s wide and low silhouette.
Enhanced aerodynamics equates to enhanced handling and control. The 2023 RX’s front fascia’s refined shape efficiently directs airflow around the spindle body while cooling its brakes. Other aerodynamic elements include flush window and door molding, a rear spoiler and dimpled underbody covers.
F SPORT Performance grade brings exclusive front and rear bumpers, and a piano black grille and accents. Its exclusive 21-inch wheels wear Michelin® Pilot Sport® tires made from a bespoke compound and tread pattern. Additional black accents and body-colored sills distinguish the Performance model.
The 2023 RX will be offered in 10 exterior color options depending on grade: Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Iridium, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Copper Crest, Nori Green Pearl, Nightfall Mica and Grecian Water.
Inside the RX, the tazuna concept, a design vision inspired by the Lexus Driving Signature, intuitively orients all essential controls and information (e.g., gauges, available Head-Up Display, meters, etc.) within the driver’s reach and forward sightline and directs the space’s expansive, minimalist layout.
Small items can be stowed in several convenient locations. A front cubby located ahead of the gearshift features a front-rear sliding lid and houses an available Qi-compatible wireless mobile device charger and USB connection. The new central console box can be opened from either the driver or passenger side.
Front seats have been designed for accessibility, superior ergonomic comfort and excellent holding capability, even during the longest of commutes or road trips. Passengers in the available 40/20/40 power split-folding rear seat can charge their mobile devices on two USB Type-C outlets (six USB ports are found throughout the vehicle) or an available single AC power socket. The rear seats are available with power folding capabilities and available cooling and heating functions.
Premium materials and patterns decorate the cabin. An available L-shaped pattern adorns the doors and seats. It’s inspired by the Japanese kageri aesthetic, which produces a varying three-dimensional expression when lit by outside or interior lighting.
The 2023 RX will be offered in six interior color options with four ornamentation styles depending on grade. Interior colors: Macadamia, Black, Birch, Palomino, Peppercorn and Rioja Red. Ornamentation styles: Black Cascade, Ash Bamboo, Black Open Pore and Dark Graphite Aluminum.
An indirect illumination system resides seamlessly throughout the cabin as an expression of omotenashi. Lighting from a palette of 64 colors and 14 themes can be selected to best match a driver’s mood and energy.
For the F SPORT Handling and F SPORT Performance grades, an exclusive steering wheel and meter reside in front of the driver, while pedals are trimmed with aluminum. The sporty metal decorates the cabin, specifically at the dashboard and cup holder surrounds. Grade-specific front seats offer improved bolstering during cornering. Rioja Red and Black color themes can be selected for an athletic look and feel. F SPORT Performance models are even more distinct with darkened side sill and steering wheel logos.
A standard 9.8-inch or available 14-inch high-definition touchscreen provides easy-to-use controls and clear information to the driver and front-seat passengers. Their glass screens utilize a high-adhesion, anti-reflective coating to realize a vivid display. Menu operations are similar to those found on smartphones and tablets. For additional ease of use by driver and passenger, a center knob located at the screen’s bottom edge controls power on/off and volume.
With a Drive Connect trial or subscription, this 100% cloud-capable system integrates with Google points of interest (POI) data to provide faster and more up-to-date search results, more accurate directions and alternate routes based on current traffic conditions. Offline mode is designed to detect a potential loss of signal and download applicable maps and services in advance.
With an active Drive Connect trial or subscription, Intelligent Assistant ushers in a new era of convenience for guests. Designed with dual microphones, enhanced noise cancellation and seat detection capabilities for greater voice-recognition accuracy, by simply saying “Hey Lexus,” available voice commands can operate certain interior amenities, such as navigation, multimedia and climate control.
With an active Remote Connect subscription, guests can utilize their compatible smartphone as a vehicle key through the Lexus app. The digital key can allow for the control of door locks and enables additional usability when car sharing, during valet parking or home delivery of packages to the RX’s cargo area.
Through wired or wireless connection, users can access many of their favorite apps and control menus via their preferred mobile device ecosystem.
Use the Lexus app to remotely lock or unlock the doors, start the engine and adjust the climate control, check vehicle health and more.
Guests can use Lexus Safety Connect for access to exceptional service in case of emergency/vehicle theft.
Available via the Lexus app, Service Connect can connect a compatible Lexus and dealer to provide detailed maintenance reminders and Vehicle Health Reports.
Essential information such as a speedometer and shift position, and other information including navigational directions and the information displayed during the use of Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist, can be safely displayed in front of the driver’s field of vision. The display’s positioning can be linked to a driver’s seat position memory function.
The available 21-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound tuned for the RX’s cabin delivers high-quality audio. The system incorporates Mark Levinson QLS (Quantum Logic Surround) sound technology to provide stage-like, full-bodied, balanced tones to all passengers regardless of seating position.
The intuitive driver’s aid system can help in various maneuvers, such as when perpendicular parking/exiting and parallel parking/exiting. Four Parallel View Monitor (PVM) cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors provide visual data to support the automatic control of steering, accelerator, brake, and shift operations.
When exiting the luxury crossover, standard Digital Latch and Safe Exit Assist can detect a vehicle or bicycle approaching from the rear and prevent the occupant from opening the door if it senses danger.
This available technology can monitor surrounding traffic in condensed, low-speed driving situations and automatically move forward and brake as needed to keep a set following distance behind the preceding vehicle. In addition to providing hands-free steering assistance, this system can automatically bring the vehicle to a complete stop, then resume its path of travel as forward traffic begins to move.
*Available by subscription. 4G network dependent. See lexus.com/interface for details.
One of the hallmarks of RX’s success is its dependable safety features. For 2023, the all-new Lexus RX comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which provides additional features and an available driver monitor system.
Pre-Collision System (PCS) – engineered to help detect a vehicle or pedestrian in the path of your Lexus under certain conditions. Should it detect a potential frontal collision, it’s designed to automatically prepare Brake Assist for increased brake force and, in some cases, can even automatically brake the vehicle to a stop. The enhanced radar and camera capabilities make it possible for the system to also help detect a preceding motorcycle or bicyclist in daytime and a preceding pedestrian in daytime and low-light conditions. Additionally, the Pre-Collision System has left-turn intersection detection capability for a pedestrian and vehicle.
Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) – When system operating conditions are met, using the vehicle’s camera and radar, Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) provides gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help control distance between your vehicle and a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist.
Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide select road sign information in the instrument panel or in the Head-Up Display.
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA) – designed to provide an audible alert if an unintended lane departure is detected. With Steering Assist, it can take corrective measure with a slight pull on the steering wheel.
Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) – This feature works in conjunction with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The lane recognition performance has been enhanced to realize smoother and less disruptive steering support while detecting preceding vehicles and/or the lines on the road to help drivers stay centered in their lanes.
Intelligent High Beam – provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management (DRCC) – Dynamic Radar Cruise Control – uses radar and camera technology to help the driver maintain a preset speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead.
The 2023 RX will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and Toyota Motor Kyushu and the vehicle is expected to go on sale later this year. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) information will be announced closer to the on-sale date.