Australian families will soon be able to enjoy more space in the luxury RX SUV following the world premiere of new variants that offer the flexibility of three rows of seating.
The seven-seat RX “L” models, available with V6 petrol or hybrid powertrains, were unveiled overnight at the Los Angeles auto show and are due in Australia from February next year.
Developed to meet frequent requests from customers and dealers, the 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL retain the model’s sleek features while incorporating a power-fold third-row seat and three-zone climate control.
Lexus has extended the body length 110 mm at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle to ensure good headroom for the additional passengers and class-leading luggage-space length behind the third row.
The 60/40 split-fold third row can accommodate both child seats and adults and is designed to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row. It is positioned slightly lower than the second row, creating more foot room for rear passengers.
Third-row passengers have the comfort and convenience of separate rear air-conditioning and dedicated vents as well as a pair of cupholders.
Details that enhance versatility include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, a hands-free power tailgate, an easily stowable tonneau and covered slide rails.
Access to the third row is made easy with a one-touch lever that folds and slides the second seat forward. Second-row seating head and legroom are unchanged.
The 2018 RX “L” models offer levels of safety, style, luxury and performance expected in this luxury Lexus SUV.
Lexus Safety System+ is standard, including a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian detection, all-speed active cruise control, lane-departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beam, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
Ten airbags are standard, including full-length side curtain airbags that cover all three rows.
The 3.5-litre V6 engine in the Lexus RX 350L employs the advanced D-4S fuel injection system, which combines direct and port fuel injection systems.
For maximum efficiency, variable valve timing with intelligence – wide (VVT iW) is used on the intake camshaft, along with VVT i on the exhaust camshaft, allowing the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles.
The result is 216 kW of power and 358 Nm of torque, with performance and efficiency optimised by an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The RX 350L features the Lexus Dynamic Torque Control AWD system that engages front-wheel drive under normal cruising conditions to help reduce fuel consumption.
It uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to send up to 50 per cent of available torque to the rear wheels, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S injection 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators, producing combined system power of 230kW for strong acceleration and overtaking performance.
The AWD system is unique to the hybrid model. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels used on RX 350L, an independent rear-mounted electric motor drives the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
In the RX 450hL, the Drive Mode Select system adds a fourth mode, EV, that enables the vehicle to drive under electric power at low speeds for short distances.
Lexus RX L occupants will experience the same luxuriously smooth, quiet ride as the two-row models offer.
Front strut and rear double-wishbone suspension systems ensure agility and exemplary ride compliance over all types of surfaces.
Electric power steering yields a light and comfortable steering feel with excellent feedback.
All RX paint colours feature a scratch-resistant self-restoring coat, using high-performance macromolecular polymer.
Elegantly blacked out C pillars create a floating-roof effect while 20-inch wheel designs enhance the powerful-looking stance.
The RX was introduced to the Australian market in 2003 and this year is experiencing its strongest deliveries since 2013.
Specification and pricing for the Australia RX “L” variants will be announced when they are launched locally.