When the Lexus RZ was announced a few months ago, many people were wondering if this would take the place of its non-electric twin, the RX. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, as the legendary nameplate will live on in the brand’s electrified future.
If you’re wondering what’s so important about this car, this was the model that pioneered the luxury crossover trend and has been one of Lexus’ best-selling core models to date.
It’s not an entirely new design with familiar elements like the floating roof and the strong character lines, but it adopts the “spindle body” design first seen in the RZ, along with redesigned headlights, a brand-new 3D-effect spindle grille, and a lightbar at the back. Wheel sizes also start from 19 inches and go all the way up to 21 inches.
The interior also gets revised following a theme of “human-centric design” (or Tazuna). Aside from the redesigned layout, it receives the e-Latch system (an electronic door popper) and a 14-inch infotainment system first seen in the all-new NX. There are also options for a panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting, and a heads-up display.
Underneath, it uses the new TNGA-K platform, which allows it to be 90kg lighter and more rigid. The wheelbase has been stretched by 6cm for more legroom and cargo space, with a reduced rear overhang (also by 6cm). With the tuning from the Lexus Driving Signature and a new multilink rear suspension, the new RX should prove to be as exciting as it is comfortable to drive.
Aside from this, the car will also have new powertrain options, dropping the old reliable 3.5-liter V6 for a series of in-line-four engines.
Choices include either a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine (350) mated to an eight-speed automatic, with 275hp and 430Nm; a 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid engine (500h F Sport Performance) with 367hp and 550Nm; a 2.5-liter turbocharged hybrid engine (350h) with 246hp and 316Nm; and a PHEV variant (450h+) that will arrive at a later date.
If you’re craving for the fastest RX, the 500h F Sport Performance combines a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and a six-speed automatic transmission with tech first seen in the RZ, like the Direct4 four-wheel-drive system and a high-output electronic axle called the eAxle.
It also comes with the appropriate F Sport cosmetics inside and out, plus six-piston brake calipers and 21-inch aluminum wheels.
Finally, Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 is onboard, with features like the pre-collision system gaining pedestrian detection; intersection support and motorcycle detection; dynamic radar cruise control with curve speed management; lane departure alert with steering assist; emergency driving stop system; and an optional advanced park system with support for parallel parking.
The new RX is expected to go on sale globally at the end of 2022, so we may perhaps see this model reach our shores early next year.