THE ALL-NEW LEXUS RX
- All-new, fifth generation Lexus RX – the car that pioneered the global luxury SUV market
- A completely reinvented model that delivers a step-change in dynamic performance
- A wider choice of electrified powertrains
- RX 500h, Lexus’ first performance-focused turbocharged hybrid with six-speed automatic transmission and DIRECT4 all-wheel drive torque control system
- RX 450h+, the first plug-in hybrid electric RX
- RX 350h, a new self-charging hybrid electric model
- Striking Lexus “Next Chapter” design, with new “spindle body” frontal treatment
- Open and spacious cabin environment with focused Tazuna driver’s cockpit design
- New-generation multimedia system with 14-inch touchscreen
- Lexus Driving Signature gives the driver confidence, comfort and control at all times with a constant sense of connection with the vehicle
INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW LEXUS RX
Lexus has undertaken a complete reinvention of the RX large luxury SUV, building on the model’s great heritage and breaking new design and technology boundaries to increase the breadth of its capabilities and its appeal to an even wider customer base.
In 1998, the original RX model founded the market segment for luxury-focused SUVs. Since then, it has continuously evolved, notably becoming the first electrified model in the premium market with the launch of the RX 400h in 2005. Today, it is firmly established as a global core model for Lexus with 3.5 million sales – 300,000 of these in Europe. The all-new fifth generation model range will strengthen this position and Lexus’ reputation for design and technology excellence.
Koji Sato, President of Lexus International, said: “For the all-new RX we were determined to keep the Lexus DNA of supreme quality, ride comfort and refinement, and elevate the driving experience to the next level, delivering a unique Lexus Driving Signature.”
Together with the recently launched NX and the upcoming RZ all-electric model, the RX will help build the “Next Chapter” of the Lexus brand. These three models will give the company its most comprehensive coverage yet of the D/E premium SUV market, the heart of Lexus’ business.
Lexus has developed its new Next Chapter design language for the new RX, including a new ‘spindle body,‘ achieved by integrating the signature spindle grille concept into the entire front of the vehicle. The RX team also drew inspiration from the model’s rich design heritage to produce a car that is instantly recognisable as RX, but with a more dynamic, elegant and confident character.
Inside, the driver-centred ‘Tazuna’ cockpit focuses on giving the driver direct, intuitive control of the vehicle, following the principal of ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’. It also improves the driving experience, with its intuitive and clean layout, enhanced by the new Lexus Link Multimedia system with the “Hey Lexus“ onboard assistant, a 14-inch touchscreen and remote functions that can be accessed using the Lexus Link smartphone app.
To craft the new RX’s ‘Lexus Driving Signature’, Lexus optimised the SUV’s fundamentals such as the centre of gravity, inertia specifications, weight reduction, rigidity, and powertrain to create a more natural dialogue between car and driver. The improved handling and responsiveness are founded on a development of Lexus‘ GA-K platform that delivers excellent body rigidity and a low centre of gravity.
The new RX comes with a line-up of three different electrified powertrains in Europe. At the core of the brand’s offering in Western Europe, the RX 450h+ is the first RX to adopt Lexus‘ plug-in hybrid technology. The RX 350h hybrid electric is positioned as an efficient alternative to lower displacement diesel and petrol powertrains. And for customers seeking more exhilarating performance, Lexus is introducing its first performance-focused turbocharged hybrid, the RX 500h, which comes with DIRECT4 drive force control.
For Eastern markets, alongside the RX 500h performance hybrid, Lexus is also offering the RX 350 with a new 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, delivering higher performance than the current 3.5-litre model.
Leveraging Lexus’ world-class safety technology, the RX benefits from the third generation Lexus Safety System +, with an improved Pre-Collision System, new Proactive Driving Assist and optional Extended Safety Package. It is also available with Lexus’ Safe Exit Assist; linked to an electronic door release system, it prevents doors being opened into the path of vehicles or cyclists approaching from the rear.
DESIGN AND PACKAGING
- Sleek and powerful Next Chapter design gives the RX stand-out road presence
- New global architecture platform allows for a longer wheelbase and more spacious cabin with the same overall length as the current model
- Luxury expressed in simplicity of interior design
- Focused driver’s cockpit, using Lexus’ Tazuna design concept
- Exclusive styling features for F SPORT models
Next Chapter Lexus design
The mission for the exterior design team was to give the new RX a unique identity with proportions born from its dynamic driving experience. This approach marks further development of the “Next Chapter” Lexus design, introduced with the new generation NX model, through which the styling directly communicates the car’s performance and the quality of the driving experience.
At the same time as the designers could look to the future, there was also a requirement to project the quality of Lexus as a global luxury brand and for the new model to be recognisably an RX, with details that reference its heritage.
These diverse qualities are witnessed in a car that projects a powerful road presence and performance potential, with a bold appearance and firmly planted stance. The sense of “newness” is immediate and strong, giving the car visual impact to match the quality of its three new electrified powertrains.
Next Chapter design has taken the spindle shape from the signature Lexus grille to create a new spindle body effect, integrating the shape into the entire front of the vehicle. The grille itself has been reinterpreted as a seamless unit that integrates with the body along its edges. The new slim headlight units and a front track that is wider by 15 mm add emphasis to the car’s lower centre of gravity and planted look.
In side-on view, a horizontal posture was created by raising the front of the bonnet and lowering the bottom edge of the rear window, compared to the current RX. This compresses the area above the wheels, creating a solid, well-grounded look.
While the new RX has the same overall length as the current model, the bonnet has been elongated, with the A-pillar moved further back, and the wheelbase has been extended by 60 mm. Sculpted surfaces on the door panels, flared rear wings and 21-inch wheels add a sense of powerful traction and dynamism.
The RX’s characteristic “floating roof” effect created by a blacked-out rear-pillar is retained but given a stronger three-dimensional appearance. The rear of the car communicates a sense of power with a shorter overhang, wider track (+45 mm) and a sweeping transition from the wings round to the tail lights. The rear combination lights are set in a light bar that spans the width of the car and wraps around the corners to heighten the wider look.
Nine exterior colours are available, including a new Sonic Copper – one of several options using Lexus’ advanced sonic paint technology for a more lustrous finish with deep contrasts. The wheel choices include new 21-inch alloys – larger rims than previously for the RX, adding to the model’s dynamic look and powerful stance.
Slim, three-projector LED headlights are featured on the new RX mid-grade and, with a BladeScan Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) on the Luxury grade and F SPORT Performance model; other versions use bi-Beam LED design. These sit above daytime running lights with surface illumination that have a stronger three-dimensional look and silhouette; those on higher grade models have elegant “fade-in” illumination. Quality is further expressed in turn indicators with light guides, giving a seamless lighting effect.
The front fog lights and cornering lights are discreet units, incorporated in bezels set low in the front bumper
At the rear, the combination lights are set in an L-shaped light bar with a single lens that spans the full width of the vehicle and wraps around the corners, emphasising the powerful design and underlining the new LEXUS logo.
The visual appeal of the exterior design is matched by its aerodynamic efficiency. Effective details include the precise calculation of the rear spoiler shape and position, a belt moulding that is flush with the bodywork and the addition of a fin on the bottom edge of the rear bumper which suppresses air flow turbulence behind the rear wheels.
Beneath the car there is an engine undercover with a dimpled surface that creates air vortices as the car moves, enhancing the feeling of it being in firm contact with the road. Across the range, each model has a larger area of flat undercover and flat-surfaced heat insulators, creating a flat floor for smoother air flow.
F SPORT design features
The RX 350 is also available in F SPORT grade, while the RX 500h is introduced exclusively as an F SPORT Performance model, with additional performance engineering features (details in the powertrain and dynamic performance sections below).
In design terms, the F SPORT models are distinguished by exclusive styling touches inside and out. The exterior details include dedicated 10-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels with a matt black finish, black roof rails and door mirrors, a seamless grille with a specific piano black mesh pattern, F SPORT front and rear bumpers, black F SPORT badging on the front wing and additional black stainless steel mouldings on the doors and bumpers. Six exterior colours are available for the F SPORT Performance, including the new Sonic Copper.
As well as style additions there are also extra aero features: the lower edge of the front bumper is shaped to generate higher downforce and additional wheel arch mouldings serve to release the pressure inside the bumper and to regulate air flow around the front wheels.
Inside, the F SPORT features include the steering wheel and shift lever with perforated leather trim, the meter display, aluminium sports pedals and trim details, F SPORT-branded scuff plates and sports front seats upholstered in Black or Dark Rose leather with Ultrasuede bolsters. Trim inserts are in a new Dark Spin aluminium with a horizontal line pattern that gives the surface shading and texture.
The RX’s interior expresses luxury through simplicity. This “less is more” approach dispenses with superfluous details in favour of a cool, contemporary look with clean, uncluttered surfaces. The effect of this Lexus design evolution is an immediate sense of space, well-being, refinement and comfort.
The cabin retains elements that display Lexus’ Takumi hand-crafted luxury and appeal to all the senses. Even the opening and closing feel and sound of the doors came under close scrutiny.
The new design simplicity can be seen in the way the dashboard sweeps in a clean, continuous form, taking in the meter hood, instrument panel and the door trims. Equipping the car with the new e-latch electronic door release system has allowed the interior handles to be moved lower down and the upper section of the door panels to be carved out, creating a natural extension of the instrument panel.
The RX is available with a new, larger panoramic roof with an opening front section. To give the best possible view from the rear seats, the centre frame has the thinnest possible cross-section without compromising collision safety.
Tazuna driver’s cockpit
The theme of simplicity complements Lexus’ Tazuna concept for the driver’s cockpit, which rationalises the location and ease of use of the controls and information sources, so that attention is focused on the job of driving.
The design allows the driver to have a deeper, more intuitive connection with the car, making it easier for them to control it as they intend. The Tazuna approach can be seen in details such as the new multimedia system: the large, 14-inch touchscreen and the provision of physical buttons for frequently used functions help minimise driver head movement. The modular design and positioning of the principal information sources – the meters, centre console display and optional head-up display – mean only smooth, small changes in the driver’s line of sight are required to view them.
The interior packaging is that of a true SUV, delivering the necessary practicality, convenience and flexibility. Basic advantages are drawn from the GA-K platform, including the lower centre of gravity (-15 mm), increased wheelbase (2,850 mm - +60 mm) and wider tracks (front +15 mm, rear +50 mm), achieved within an overall length that is the same as the current RX (4,890 mm).
The driver’s field of view is increased to provide top-class visibility for safer and more comfortable driving. This is helped by a new ergonomic design for the area around the front pillars to give a better sight-line when cornering. Accurate line-tracing is also helped by raising the front edge of the bonnet, so that it is easier to judge the vehicle corners, and optimising the height of the central bonnet bulge. Similarly, thinner rear quarter pillars give a better rearward view for the driver, for example when merging onto a highway.
The design provides more knee room for rear seat passengers and a better view both to the side and ahead, helped by the car’s lower belt line and the wider forward field of vision. Access has been made easier with a lower hip-point and adjustment of the easy access power adjustment.
The rear load compartment matches the current RX for capacity, despite the new model having a shorter rear overhang. This is thanks to clever design solutions, including a thinner back door and a lower loading height. The VDA volume is 612 litres with the rear seats in place, above the deckboard. This gives enough space to carry four 9.5-inch golf bags or two 77-litre and two 63-litre suitcases. There is extra space beneath the deck for tools and smaller items and roof rails are available so that accessories such as roof boxes and cycle carriers can be fitted. The roof bars are compatible for use with the optional panoramic roof.
Upholsteries and trims
The new RX is Lexus’ first model to be offered with a leather-like upholstery that uses no animal products, featured on the seats, steering wheel and shift lever in the Comfort grade models.
Smooth leather colour options for Executive grade include new Dark Sepia, Ammonite Sand and Hazel, with black inlays. These are also available for the semi-aniline leather on Luxury grade models with Ash Sumi Black and new Dark Bamboo option wood grain trim detailing.
The door panels and seat shoulders have a new embossed L-motif pattern that creates a shadow effect, inspired by the traditional Japanese Kageri (dark shadow) aesthetic.
DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE AND THE LEXUS DRIVING SIGNATURE
- New model marks a major leap forward in terms of dynamic performance
- Lexus Driving Signature strengthens the driver’s connection with the vehicle, giving confidence, comfort and control at all times
- Handling, responsiveness and comfort supported by increased body rigidity, a lower centre of gravity, weight-saving measures and improved inertia specifications
An essential element in the Lexus “Next Chapter” is the enabling of a natural connection between driver and car, a “dialogue” in which the vehicle responds exactly as the driver intends and where the driver always feels confident, comfortable and in control. This is the Lexus Driving Signature, a dynamic performance hallmark of all new Lexus models which the RX achieves through the strengthening of its fundamental qualities and refinement of its drive control.
The adoption of Lexus’ Global Architecture GA-K platform is the foundation for achieving lower centre of gravity, improved inertia specifications, weight reduction (by up to 90 kg compared to the current model) and increased body rigidity – elements that play a central role in taking the model’s dynamic performance to a higher level.
The inherent rigidity of the GA-K platform translates directly into ride quality, reassuring responsiveness, faithful, agile handling and comfort.
Although this platform also underpins the new Lexus NX, it has been significantly redesigned for use in the RX. The changes have allowed for an increase in the wheelbase and the installation of an additional cross-member and additional suspension braces. This strengthens the body rigidity and allows for more accurate suspension tuning.
Measures to secure a greater torsional stiffness also include a seamless ring frame at the rear. Structural joints have been strengthened with more extensive use of adhesives (an extra 2.6 m compared to the current RX), laser screw welding and new short pitch welding. In total the welding length has been increased by 7.4 m. Using high-rigidity foam around the back door aperture provides lightweight but effective reinforcement.
Following the innovation introduced on the all-new NX, the RX adopts a twin-latch mechanism for the bonnet. This allows the bonnet to contribute to the overall rigidity of the car’s front end, while also giving quieter performance with less vibration when travelling at speed.
Lexus has introduced new materials into the car’s construction to reduce vehicle weight without compromising the integrity of the structure or performance.
Notably, the thickness of the side members and the door assemblies has been reduced and high tensile strength and hot-stamped steels have been adopted for certain components, including the centre pillar.
Further weight savings have been achieved by changing the front wings from steel to aluminium – a measure that has helped improve the car’s front/rear weight distribution. No detail is too small: the covers for the fuel filler and the RX 450h+ charging port have been switched from steel to resin.
Noise and vibration countermeasures
Producing a cabin that’s comfortable and quiet at all times was a priority development goal for the new RX. Particular targets were to achieve a pleasant door closing sound, with no unwanted noise; a reduction in booming when the drivetrain is idling; and less transmission of road noise, particularly when there is a change in surface.
To produce the ideal door closing sound, unwanted high frequency noise has been eliminated through detailed design changes and the use of high-damping material. Booming has been controlled by measures to suppress vibration of the windscreen and back door, while the use of high-damping mastic on the roof and side door panels has reduced the level of road noise experience inside the vehicle.
Further use of noise-proofing material to absorb and insulate sound has contributed to a quieter interior where conversation can be enjoyed with clarity during cruising. Elsewhere, steps have been taken to reduce wind noise generated around the front pillars and door mirrors.
The aim of the suspension design was to support delivery of good steering feel, stability and a ground-hugging, flat vehicle posture that isn’t affected by external disturbances.
The new MacPherson system at the front is optimised for ride comfort and linear response to the driver’s steering inputs, with better absorption of shock and vibration from uneven road surfaces. This entailed a comprehensive refinement of all the key components, including the layout and performance characteristics of the arms, bushes and shock absorbers.
At the rear there is a new multi-link set-up that is engineered for better lateral stability and handling higher levels of torque. A focus on improved component rigidity has contributed to better steering response and giving the driver a sense of the rear of the car having a secure, planted feel at all times.
Adaptive Variable Suspension
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), featured as standard on Luxury and F SPORT/F SPORT Performance grades, provides independent damping control at each wheel, giving a more comfortable ride on uneven surfaces, higher damping force when turning and flat ride stability.
Compared to the system on the current RX, the damping force range has been increased, so AVS is effective on an even wider range of surface quality and in different driving operations. Finer adjustment of the damping force gives smoother response the changes in road quality and response is quick, giving better control and reducing body roll.
The driver can choose between two damping force control modes. ‘Normal’ gives a high balance between steering response and ride comfort while ‘Sport’ prioritises steering response and a flat ride, with more frequent use of hard/high damping force.
The new RX hybrid electric models adopt a new AHB-G electronically controlled brake system, a pressure-on-demand system that uses a high-performance pump motor, giving a natural braking feel, controllability and responsiveness. Front-rear brake force distribution is controlled by independent pressure regulation, helping the vehicle maintain a stable posture under braking. The system’s refinement is also reflected in a new damping mechanism for the brake pedal, giving smooth operation and controllability.
The F SPORT model is equipped with larger, 400 mm diameter ventilated front discs and new opposed six-piston aluminium monoblock callipers. The new callipers – painted black and bearing the Lexus logo – are highly rigid. They provide a greater brake pad surface area and uniform pressure. The driver will notice the benefits in linear, direct and stable braking and fade-resistant performance.
The RX 350 gasoline models are fitted with a vacuum brake system with optimised booster and master cylinder characteristics to give superior braking force, control and response.
Vehicle Braking Posture Control
Vehicle Braking Posture Control is a Lexus world-first, providing reassuring performance that communicates a linear braking feel to the driver and a sense of all four wheels being in secure contact with the road.
Provided on the RX 450h+ and RX 350h, this varies the front/rear brake force distribution, according to the driver’s pressure on the brake pedal and the vertical suspension movements. This reduces pitching to maintain a stable vehicle posture.
On the RX 500h, the DIRECT4 drive force control system is used to control vehicle posture as well.
Dynamic Rear Steering
The RX 500h F SPORT Performance uses a Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) system which automatically calculates the optimum steering angle for the rear wheels, in line with vehicle speed and direction.
The maximum rear wheel turning angle has been increased to four degrees. This improves low-speed manoeuvrability and helps maintain stability at high speeds.
At low and mid-speeds, the rear wheels turn counter to the front wheels while at high speeds they turn in phase with the front axle. The DRS angle is also optimally controlled as part of the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) operation.
Trail Mode is provided on the Lexus RX for the first time, integrating control of the all-wheel drive system, braking and drive force to prevent wheel-slip when driving on slippery or uneven roads. This allows maximum drive force to be used, even when driving on rough road surfaces.
POWERTRAINS AND PERFORMANCE
- New electrified powertrains give Lexus complete coverage of the large premium SUV segment
- Ground-breaking new RX 500h turbocharged performance hybrid with DIRECT4
- RX 450h+, the first plug-in hybrid electric RX model
- RX 350h the new entry point to the electrified RX range
The all-new RX provides more comprehensive segment coverage in terms of powertrain choice than any previous generation. Lexus has brought to bear more than 15 years’ experience in electrified powertrain technology to embrace the evolution of the sector and provide a choice that includes the first plug-in hybrid electric RX, an accessible and efficient full hybrid electric model and, for the first time, a completely new performance hybrid, aimed at customers seeking a higher level of dynamic performance.
Alongside the new, all-electric RZ 450e battery electric model, this expansion of the RX line-up gives more customers the chance to choose their ideal electrified option.
RX 500h: a game-changing performance hybrid with DIRECT4
- 2.4-litre turbo hybrid engine with six-speed automatic transmission and DIRECT4
- Output: 371 DIN hp/273 kW
- 0-100 km/h: 6.2 sec *
- CO2: 182-189 g/km *
- Fuel consumption: 8.0-8.3 l/100 km *
The RX 500h marks a breakthrough in hybrid electric technology that sets it apart from any hybrid model that has gone before. Lexus has successfully shifted the focus from optimum efficiency to produce a model with a genuine performance edge, raising the RX’s appeal with customers who want high-end electrified performance.
It uses a completely new parallel hybrid architecture, featuring a turbocharged 2.4-litre turbo petrol engine and six-speed transmission, integrated front motor and power control unit, hybrid battery and a compact 76 kW rear e-axle. Total system output is 371 DIN hp/273 kW with 550 Nm of torque, giving 0-100 km/h acceleration in 6.2 seconds.
Parallel hybrid system
The front electric motor is positioned between the engine and the transmission (which has a clutch on both sides), enabling great flexibility in power delivery and the ability for the vehicle to run in all-electric EV mode. The hybrid control system automatically switches between parallel and EV modes according to the driving situation, giving both powerful acceleration and fuel efficiency. While performance is at a level typical for a 3.0-litre V6 petrol model, the RX 500h’s hybrid system can deliver around a 20% improvement in fuel economy.
The driver experiences powerful performance and drivability characterised by a direct, “torqueful” feel with minimal delay between pressing the accelerator and drive force being delivered to all four wheels.
The RX 500h uses a new low-resistance nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery unit that delivers high output while supporting fuel economy. It has a bipolar structure and adopts new high-output components. It is installed beneath the car’s rear seat, avoiding loss of cabin or load space and is quieter, thanks to refinement of its air cooling system.
Power delivery is controlled by DIRECT4, an exclusive new Lexus drive force technology that is also featured in the new RZ 450e battery electric SUV.
This intelligent all-wheel drive system uses a separate electric motor and inverter to constantly balance the power and torque between the front and rear axles in any driving situation. It automatically and seamlessly adjusts the level the drive force between the two axles – more quickly and precisely than any mechanical system could.
DIRECT4 communicates a better feel between the road and steering wheel and delivers improved handling stability and driving dynamics at high speed. Importantly for the RX 500h, it also enhances ride comfort with instant torque that helps control body movement.
Its benefits are experienced in different driving scenarios:
- Starting off – drive force is securely delivered to all four wheels
- Straight line driving – vehicle remains steady at all times
- Entering a bend – change of direction is smooth
- Steering through a bend – steering provides good feedback
- Accelerating out of a bend – easy for the driver to trace a faithful line
- Exiting a bend – confident, direct acceleration
The balance of front/rear drive torque is adjusted to achieve ideal performance, with the front/rear balance adjusting between 100:0 and 20:80, according to the driving scenario. When pulling away and in straight-line driving the system controls the ratio at between 60:40 and 40:60, suppressing pitching and giving a direct acceleration feel. When cornering, the system uses information such as vehicle speed and steering angle to determine the drive force distribution and secure handling stability. Drive force is weighted towards the front axle (70:30 to 50:50) at the start of a turn, then more biased to the rear (50:50 to 20:80) when exiting the corner, giving good traction and maintaining stability.
RX 450h+: the first plug-in hybrid electric RX
- 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid electric powertrain
- Output: 309 DIN hp/227 kW
- 0-100 km/h: 6.5 sec *
- CO2: 24-26 g/km *
- Fuel consumption: 1.1-1.2 l/100 km *
The plug-in hybrid system deployed in the RX 450h+ is the same as that which Lexus debuted to great success in the all-new NX.
It features a four-cylinder Atkinson cycle 2.5-litre hybrid engine and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 18.1 kWh capacity. An additional rear electric motor enables Lexus E-Four full-time all-wheel drive.
While it offers similar power to the outgoing RX 450h, it produces more torque and faster acceleration. Total output is 309 DIN hp, which is expected to enable 0-100 km/h acceleration in 6.5 seconds.
The battery’s size and capacity and Lexus’s electrification know-how combine to deliver significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions. Lexus’ target CO2 emissions (WLTP combined cycle) are below 26 g/km with fuel economy of less than 1.2 l/100 km. An EV driving range of more than 65 kilometres is expected, with all-electric driving possible at speeds up to 130 km/h.
The Lexus plug-in hybrid system offers a critical benefit that sets the RX 450h+ apart from its rivals. When the battery charge is depleted, the vehicle switches seamlessly to its self-charging hybrid system, maintaining high fuel and emissions efficiency. This is in contrast to most other manufacturers’ systems, where the powertrain defaults to its internal combustion engine.
Lexus expects the RX 450h+ will be its core RX model, a logical step-up for many of its current RX 450h customers and consequently the best-selling RX in Western and Central Europe.
Hybrid system drive modes
EV electric running is the default mode – the car will run on electric power to the limit of is range, regardless of how hard the driver uses the accelerator. With the contribution of the lithium-ion battery maximised and more power coming from the electric motors, driving feels effortless yet refined.
The driver also has the option of Auto EV/HV mode, which automatically brings the hybrid engine into play when extra power is needed, then returning to EV operation immediately afterwards. The driver can also select HV mode to maximise efficient operation, automatically maintaining the battery’s state of charge.
Battery charging mode starts the engine to restore the battery charge level, helping ensure more battery power is available when EV driving is required, for example prior to entering a zero or low emissions zone.
Sequential Shiftmatic transmission
The driver can use paddle controls to operate the Shiftmatic transmission in a series of shift ranges, selecting “S” with the shift lever. This delivers engine braking force in six steps with a shift feel similar to a manual transmission. A low shift range enables high engine speed control for sharp acceleration response, increasing driver rewards.
Hybrid system components
The plug-in hybrid system uses a new transaxle that achieves a top-level balance of fuel economy and driving performance. The inclusion of a rear transaxle, with E-Four all-wheel drive, adds to driver confidence with stable performance assured in day-to-day driving.
The front transaxle is a compact unit thanks to a multi-axis design that located the electric motor/generators side by side instead of in line with each. The rear transaxle as a three-axis, two-stage reduction system, which reduces weight and operating losses. The gear train is engineered to be quieter and to give good pulling-away and acceleration performance on low-friction, slippery road surfaces.
The power control unit (PCU) is also new, designed to handle the higher output of the PHEV system while still supporting efficient fuel consumption. It is mounted in the same way as in the full hybrid electric system in the RX 350h, and is only slightly larger in size. It includes a boost converter, while the DC/DC converter is relocated beneath the rear seat.
The new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery is compact and housed beneath the cabin floor, avoiding intrusion in cabin and load space. Its reliable performance and high output – qualities secured through Lexus’ long experience in battery technology – are central to the car’s good EV driving range. Using a boost converter increases the voltage, so the hybrid system can draw more power from the battery.
The RX 450h+ is fitted with a 6.6 kw/h on-board charger. With a 230 V/32 A connection, a full battery recharge can be accomplished in about 2.5 hours.
RX 350h: efficient fourth generation self-charging hybrid
- 2.5-litre self-charging hybrid electric powertrain
- Output: 250 DIN hp/184 kW
- 0-100 km/h: 7.9 sec *
- CO2: 142-149 g/km *
- Fuel consumption: 6.3-6.6 l/100 km *
The new RX 350h is characterised by the improved smoothness and efficiency of its fourth-generation self-charging hybrid electric system. This 2.5-litre petrol drivetrain provides 250 DIN hp and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 7.9 seconds, performance comparable with the current RX 450h, while at the same time producing lower emissions.
It benefits from the same programme of hybrid component improvements featured in the RX 450h+, including a new hybrid transaxle with a more compact design, lighter weight (~22% mass reduction) and reduced friction losses and a smaller (~ 9% volume reduction) and more efficient PCU. It is equipped with e-Four electric all-wheel drive as standard.
The RX 350h is a strong alternative to competitor models powered by small-displacement engines and ideal for customers who prioritise comfort and efficiency.
Like the RX 500h, the RX 350h uses a new low-resistance nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery unit, designed to give good drivability and a high level of both output and fuel economy. Compared to the battery featured in the previous RX 450h, it has fewer cells (216 vs 240), but delivers equivalent output. These are arranged in a more compact, integrated unit, replacing the previous three-part unit, installed beneath the car’s rear seat.
- 2.4-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with eight-speed automatic transmission
- Output: 279 DIN hp/205 kW
- Max. torque: 430 Nm
- 0-100 km/h: 7.6 sec *
- CO2: 197 g/km *
- Fuel consumption: 8.8 l/100 km *
Offered exclusively in Eastern Europe, the new RX 350 is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four cylinder gasoline unit that develops 279 DIN hp (249 DIN hp in certain markets) and 430 Nm of torque, which is substantially higher performance than previously. Its strength is matched by the rapid response of a Direct Shift eight-speed automatic transmission with shorter ratios.
A brand-new, electronically controlled, permanent all-wheel drive system ensures power is effectively transmitted in low-grip conditions such as gravel tracks. Torque allocation between the front and rear axles can be adjusted from 75:25 to 50:50 according to the driving conditions.
MULTIMEDIA AND CONNECTIVITY
New Lexus Link Multimedia system
The new RX delivers advanced connectivity that is both faster and more stable, providing the latest multimedia technology, “always connected” services and the convenience of over-the-air updates. With smartphone, navigation, vehicle commands and multimedia functions, there are about 100 ways for the driver to interact with their vehicle.
A 14-inch touchscreen, one of the largest in the RX’s class, is fitted as standard. As well as the anti-glare screen there are physical buttons to access the most frequently used functions. Graphics are presented in HD for excellent visibility in all lighting conditions, while the system’s CPU operates 3.6 times faster than that in the previous system, giving a much quicker response to user inputs.
In Western and Central Europe, all RX versions are equipped with an embedded navigation system. In Eastern European markets, customers can choose the 14-inch touchscreen without navigation. The car’s DCM (Data Communication Module) provides always-on connectivity, with access to live information on traffic events, accidents and road conditions. New RX models sold in western and central Europe come with a four-year data subscription package as standard; there are no additional charges and no phone pairing is required to access the cloud-based services.
The DCM also allows software updates for the car’s multimedia and safety systems to be conveniently delivered over-the-air, avoiding the need for a service appointment.
The standard audio system for the new RX is a premium 12-speaker package that is engineered for smoothly resonant high tones and rich, crisp low tones, to give a realistic live performance atmosphere. The array includes a 20 cm box subwoofer, set in the side of the luggage deck.
The amplifier enables playback of high-resolution sound sources that contain more audio information than a standard compact disc. Compressed sound sources are converted to produce playback quality equivalent to high-resolution audio.
Mark Levinson Surround Sound system
Lexus’ exclusive audio partner Mark Levinson has produced a new 21-speaker Premium Surround Sound system, designed and engineered specifically for the RX. It is optimised for the car’s internal architecture and takes into account any transmission of external noise that occurs during driving.
The system uses Mark Levinson’s Pure Play concept to produce an accurate, full-bodied sound stage, with sound reproduction that is as close to the original as possible. The design brings the speakers as close as possible to the listeners’ ears, to there is the least obstruction in the flow of sound.
The multimedia system includes a new audio streaming function, via a Lexus-approved service provider. After setting up their personal account, the customer can stream the music of their choice, without having to link to their smartphone.
Easy smartphone integration is provided as standard – wireless for Apple CarPlay and with a wired connection for Android Auto. A wireless charging tray is available, with charging performance that’s 50% stronger than before.
A USB-A port is provided for high-resolution audio playback, located in the front console box and illuminated for easy access. There two USB-C charging ports on the front console, two on the console’s rear end panel and a further one inside the console box.
The vehicle can store the preferred multimedia settings for up to three different users, including audio and navigation functions. This is in addition to personalised settings for the driving position, cabin illumination, meter display and Lexus Safety System + functions.
Lexus Link App
RX owners can use the Lexus Link app on their smartphone for a number of useful functions, including remote locking and unlocking of their car – useful, for example, if they want the vehicle to be used for a delivery drop-off. It can also activate the air conditioning system to warm or cool the cabin prior to a starting a journey.
On the RX 450h+, Lexus Link can help the driver programme charging operations and check the battery level.
Lexus Link can also be used to organise servicing and maintenance appointments and to monitor the owner’s hybrid driving performance.
LIFE ON BOARD
- Lexus Omotenashi principles deliver highest levels of comfort and ease of use
- Driver’s instrumentation designed for quick, intuitive use, true to the Tazuna cockpit concept
- An even quieter and more refined cabin environment
Lexus’ Omotenashi hospitality is the basic principle defining how the RX cares for all occupants, making them feel welcome, safe and comfortable at all times. This extends from a welcoming illumination sequence as you approach the vehicle and the animation graphics on the multimedia and multi-information displays as you prepare to drive off. Once the driver’s key has been registered, the sequence can be personalised with their name.
Meters, touch tracer switches and head-up display
The driver can customise the RX’s meter display to suit their preference, prioritising the tachometer, hybrid system indicator or speedometer. The design also changes in line with the drive mode that has been selected (Normal, Eco or Sport). F SPORT models have an exclusive racing-style read-out that adds to the model’s performance-focused feel.
Using technology first applied in the new Lexus NX, the RX has touch tracer switches on the steering wheel. A key part of the Tazuna cockpit concept, these can be used to change or update the contents of the multi-information display, without the driver having to look away from the road. They can be customised to operate the driver’s preferred functions, with details of operation confirmed in the head-up display or multi-information display. Although the switches use touch sensors, they have the haptic “click” feel of physical controls.
The colour head-up display has three modes showing different levels of information: the full mode includes the status of Lexus Safety System + safety and driver assistance features; standard mode summarises key information at the lower edge of the display; and minimum mode shows only the speed. It can be adjusted for position, rotation and brightness, with details saved on models with driver-personalised memory settings.
Heating and ventilation
The RX uses a new air conditioning unit that is more energy efficient and more compact and lightweight, helping Lexus realise a slimmer instrument panel.
The RX 450h+ uses an energy-saving heat pump which draws thermal energy from air outside the car to heat the cabin, so there is less impact on the car’s EV driving range when using the air conditioning system. It also has a humidity sensor, to help prevent windscreen misting.
On all RX models, the Lexus Climate Concierge ensures each occupant enjoys their ideal temperature, co-ordinating operation of the front seat heaters, heated steering wheel and triple-zone climate control. Lexus’ S-FLOW control detects which seats are occupied and adjusts air conditioning performance accordingly, saving fuel while ensuring those on board are comfortable.
Using the Lexus Link smartphone app, RX owners can operate their vehicle’s climate control system remotely, warming up or cooling their vehicle before starting a journey.
The front seats have been redesigned to offer easy access, excellent support and heating and ventilation. Using a “deep hung” construction for the seat upholstery and a new global architecture seat frame improves body holding performance and the seat sides have a concave shape that improves support for the occupant’s waist. The shape of the seat cushion has been revised so that it is comfortable for a wider range of body shapes and sizes. Comfort is further increased on Luxury grade models with an increase in the range of front cushion extension, and elimination of any gap between the front of the seat and main part of the cushion.
The integrated seat heaters now provide warmth across the entire seats rather than at specific points and the memory system for power seat adjustment has a new control which provides simultaneous adjustment of the slide, lift and recline position, giving quicker operation and avoiding any uncomfortable knee contact or torso compression.
The easy access system has also been revised, adding an automatic lift-down function in addition to the previous slide away and return, making it easier to enter and exit the front seats.
According to model grade, the rear seats have manual or power reclining and folding functions and optional integrated heating and ventilation.
An expression of the Lexus Omotenashi hospitality, the Lexus Mood Selector allows the RX’s ambient interior lighting to be adjusted to suit the mood or the drive from a palette of 64 colours and 14 bespoke themes that evoke different emotions and atmospheres.
The indirect lighting is featured across the instrument panel, the door switches, footwells and door pockets and creates an embracing feel when travelling at night.
SAFETY AND DRIVER ASSISTANCE
- Latest generation of Lexus Safety System +, with even greater functionality to detect accident risks and support the driver in avoiding them
- Optional Extended Safety Package featuring Lane Change Assistance, Front Cross-Traffic Alert and Emergency Steering Assist with Active Support
- Lexus’ e-latch with Safe Exit Assist
The new RX benefits from next-level active safety and driver assistance systems featured in the latest generation of Lexus Safety System + with upgraded functions and increased scope for accident risk detection and prevention. Moreover, their functionality can be kept up-to-date with convenient over-the-air software updates, with no need for the customer to take their vehicle to Lexus workshop.
Further expansion of the Pre-Collision System enables it to now detect motorcycles during daytime, and other objects in the car’s path. It can also recognise head-on collision risks with oncoming traffic or crossing pedestrians when making a left or right turn at a junction.
Its detection response is quicker, and it now provides Emergency Steering Assist. When the driver initiates an evasive steering manoeuvre to avoid another vehicle or obstacle in the RX’s traffic lane, this system provides extra steering torque to help maintain vehicle stability and prevent the car from leaving its lane.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Enhancements have been made to the Adaptive Cruise Control so that it now more quickly recognises traffic cutting in in front and, in conjunction with upgrades to Lane Trace Assist, follows a more natural line through bends. The ACC has also been expanded to respond to more signs and commands, including warning signs and STOP signs.
Proactive Driving Assist
Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) improves safety and reduces the burden on the driver when travelling at lower speeds in urban traffic. It provides three functions: Obstacle Anticipation Assist, Deceleration Assist and Steering Assist.
Using the car’s front camera, Obstacle Anticipation Assist will spot a hazard such as pedestrians about to cross the road or walking along the road margin, cyclists and parked cars. If there is a collision risk, it will provide braking and steering to avoid the obstacle, while keeping within the traffic lane. It differs from the RX’s Pre-Collision System in recognising an accident risk earlier and initiating assistance so that the risk does not increase.
Deceleration Assist supports smooth slowing of the car when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, for example when approaching another vehicle or a bend ahead*. If the system determines that normal engine braking will not slow the car sufficiently, it applies extra conventional/regenerative braking.
Steering Assist helps keep the vehicle in its traffic lane when driving through a bend. The system will detect road markings for a curve ahead, calculate the radius and adjust the steering assistance for a correct line. If the steering angle is in insufficient, extra steering assistance is provided to make it easier for the driver to turn the wheel in the right direction. In straight-line driving, the system reduces the level of steering assistance, making it easier to keep the car in a neutral position.
*At speeds above 20 km/h.
The Driver Monitor uses a camera mounted above the steering wheel to constantly check the condition of the driver, recognising if they have become distracted, or lost concentration through tiredness or being unwell. If the driver fails to respond to alerts, the system will bring the car to a gentle standstill.
Other Lexus Safety System + features
The Lexus Safety System + package also equips the car with Automatic High-beam or Adaptive High-beam System, Lane Tracing Assist with Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist.
Extended Safety Package
While Lexus Safety System + is fitted as standard on all European models, owners of higher-grade models can specify an Extended Safety Package option.
It introduces Lane Change Assistance (LCA) which provides automatic lane change steering, when the turn indicators are used in highway driving.
It also adds Front Cross-Traffic Alert which uses radar monitoring to detect and warn the driver of traffic approaching from either side when emerging from a junction at low speed. An animation of the direction of the approaching vehicle is shown in the colour head-up display and if the system judges the driver is about to pull out, it will prompt them to slow down with a warning display and buzzer.
The Extended Safety Package also includes Emergency Steering Assist with Active support. With this additional Active support function, if the driver doesn’t steer the car in avoidance after the pre-collision warning, the system will apply gentle braking and steer around the hazard, while keeping the car within its lane.
Lexus e-latch with Safe Exit Assist
The RX’s e-latch electronic door release system is linked to the car’s Blind Spot Monitor to provide a Lexus-exclusive Safe Exit Assist function. This prevents the door from being opened if cars or cyclists are detected, approaching from the rear.
Lexus estimates this system can help prevent more than 95% of the accidents caused by inadvertent door opening.
Advanced driver support
Lexus introduces many advanced human-centred technologies in the new RX to enhance comfort, convenience and life on board, reinforcing the spirit of omotenashi hospitality.
The RX can be specified with a digital rear-view mirror which gives the driver a wide, unobstructed field of vision, using real-time images from the car’s reversing camera.
For easier driving in confined spaces, the Digital Panoramic View Monitor uses cameras to capture a live 360° view around and a pre-recorded view under the car (the cameras now benefit from automatic cleaners). It also creates a virtual 3D image of the RX, showing the vehicle as if seen from above.
An Advanced Park system is also available, which provides automated control of the steering, shift operation and braking. It uses the car’s array of four cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to gain an all-round picture of the immediate surroundings. It will also recognise up to three regularly used parking spots.
A full complement of SRS airbags is provided in the RX, including front centre and front passenger seat cushion airbags. The vehicle’s robust structure is engineered to safely absorb and channel impact forces in a collision while maintaining the integrity of the cabin. Performance has been improved with enlarged front side members; the addition of second member below the side members; and a new cross member in the floor, connecting the centre pillar and transmission tunnel. The new high-tensile steel frame at the rear of the vehicle gives better performance in a rear impact.
DIFFERENCE vs CG RX
Overall length (mm)
Overall width (mm)
Overall height (mm)
Front track (mm)
Rear track (mm)
Front overhang (mm)
Rear overhang (mm)
in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged
in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged
|Battery type||Nickel-metal hydride||Lithium-ion||Nickel-metal hydride||-|
|Max power (DIN hp/kW)||250/184||309/227||371/273||279/205|
|Transmission||Hybrid transaxle||Hybrid transaxle||6AT||8AT|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (sec)*||7.9||6.5||6.2||7.6|
(WLTP combined - g/km)*
|Fuel consumption |
(WLTP combined - l/100km)*
* All data are tentative and subject to homologation