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This is the RX generation – new Lexus hybrid poses a key question


The new Lexus RX

The new Lexus RX

The new Lexus RX

It is hard to believe there are now five generations of the Lexus RX. The new one arrives in December.

It has been a pioneer of hybrid power in an SUV for a long time. I remember when it was first launched and I remember its unveiling in Hawaii of all places.

The latest launch of a new RX has a line-up of three electrified powertrains: a 500h performance hybrid, 450h+ plug-in electric hybrid, and a 350h entry hybrid.

There is a new platform and dynamic systems, and an ergonomic cockpit design as well as a new-generation multimedia system with 14in touchscreen. The Lexus Safety System+ comes as standard. 

More than 3.5 million RXs have been sold since its introduction in 1998. That makes it something of a best-seller over the last two decades. Of the 3.5 million, 300,000 were bought in Europe.

A core car in western Europe will be the RX 450h+ while there is also a 350h hybrid described as an efficient alternative to diesel and petrol powertrains.

For those looking for performance there is its first turbo hybrid, the RX 500h, which comes with DIRECT4 drive force control.

Back in 1998, the RX 300 became the world’s first luxury SUV and it created a whole new car segment.

In 2005, the RX 400h was called the world’s first luxury hybrid car with a powertrain that combined a V6 petrol with an electric motor.

There have been subsequent improvements technologically and aesthetically.

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And seeing it for the first time, it was hard not to suppress the thought of how far the whole hybrid concept thing has come.

And how far it has to go? 

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