Lexus has big plans for Europe: what’s going on with the RX hybrid

Lexus has added a plug-in hybrid version of the new generation of its best-selling model, the large premium RX SUV.

The RX 450h + plug-in hybrid will be the flagship model in Western Europe, Lexus said in a press release. It will have CO2 emissions of less than 30 grams per km and a range of 65 km only for electricity.

In total, the RX will have three electrified variants in Europe – two complete hybrids and the new plug-in. According to the recent Lexus strategy, there will be no diesel variant. A petrol RX will also be offered, mainly for Eastern Europe.

The fifth generation RX is due to arrive in dealerships in Europe in December.

“Through the various options we offer on the new RX, we offer customers the chance to join the electrification on their own terms,” ​​Spiros Fortinos, head of Lexus Europe, told a news event here in Brussels.

How does Lexus compare to the market?

Lexus expects to sell about 12,300 RXs in its European region next year, a figure that does not directly compare to the more than 18,000 units sold in 2021.

Last year, Russia and Ukraine accounted for more than 8,000 RX units, but sales in these two markets were discontinued in March and are not currently included in future planning.

X-ray sales were steady last year in Europe (EU plus UK and European Free Trade Association countries) at 5,679 units, according to Dataforce figures. RX ranked 13th in the segment of large premium SUVs, which increased by 3.2% to 255,385 units. He was driven by the Mercedes GLE at 50,192, ahead of the BMW X5 (46,079) and the Volvo XC90 (29,551).

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For customers looking beyond hybrids to all-electric cars, Lexus will introduce the battery-only RZ crossover in January 2023. Lexus expects to sell about RZ 6,000 in 2023, mainly in Western Europe.

The 450h + plug-in hybrid RX will have a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor in the rear to allow permanent all-wheel drive. The total power is 306 hp, and CO2 emissions will be 24 to 26 g / km in the WLTP cycle, says Lexus. An 18.1 kilowatt-hour battery allows only an electric range of 65 km, with a top speed of 135 km / h.

450h + will be sold in other markets, including the US

Performance hybrid

For buyers who want more performance, Lexus will offer the RX 500h, the brand’s first fully hybrid turbo model, with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine that offers 371 hp and standard all-wheel drive. Emissions are expected to be 182 -189 g / km.

The entry-level RX 350h fully hybrid model is positioned as an effective alternative to small-cylinder diesel engines. It has a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with a power of 245 hp and emissions of 143-150 g / km.

In Eastern Europe, Lexus will continue to offer a non-hybrid RX. The RX 350 is powered by a 2.4-liter petrol engine with 279 hp and 197 g / km emissions, with permanent all-wheel drive.

Dynamic exterior design

To get a bolder position for the new RX, Lexus designers extended the hood, extended the wheelbase by 60 mm and lowered the roof line by 10 mm to 1710 mm. The black, sloping rear pillar, which creates what Lexus calls a floating roof and gives the car a coupe-like look, is now more three-dimensional. The three LED headlights are sleeker, clearer and more horizontal.

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“We first created a dynamic exterior design to express a captivating, captivating presence and a solidly planted position to evoke driving performance,” RX chief engineer Takaaki Ohno said in a statement.

The length of the RX is unchanged at 4890 mm, with the rear console shortened by 60 mm to allow for longer wheelbase. The width has been increased by 25 mm to 1920 mm.

To make the minimalist interior more driver-centered, Lexus has developed the Tazuna cockpit concept, which aims at direct but intuitive control. First introduced on the new NX and RZ models, it takes its name from the Japanese word for reins. Sources of information such as the multimedia display, centralized tools, and head-up display are grouped together so that their contents can be read with minimal eye and head movement.

Minimalist design

The RX has a 14-inch center touch screen as standard. In addition to the built-in navigation system, the new RX also offers cloud services in the markets where the service is available. The car’s data communication module provides permanent connectivity, providing live information on traffic events, accidents and road conditions.

The new multimedia system includes the smart voice assistant “Hey Lexus” which answers questions and commands in a more natural language style.

In addition to the remote features available in the Lexus Link application, such as driving analysis, hybrid coaching, fuel level monitoring, and the “find my car” feature, the new features include battery charge monitoring, charging scheduling, and a stopwatch. charging. The application also allows you to lock and unlock the vehicle, open the tailgate ate, turn on the air conditioning and turn on the hazard warning lights to identify the car in a parking lot.

The new RX offers the third generation Lexus Safety System +, with an improved pre-collision system, new proactive driver assistance and an extended safety package.

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