First drive of the redesigned 2023 Lexus RX
We expect it to be more powerful than the 2023 RX 350h, which has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a hybrid system, with a combined output of 246 horsepower and a running time. estimated 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. We wouldn’t be surprised if the RX 450h+ ends up having the same powertrain as its smaller Lexus counterpart, the NX 450h+. This vehicle is equipped with a plug-in hybrid system that produces 302 hp and can travel approximately 37 miles on a fully charged battery.
The RX 500h F Sport Performance is a whole different beast. It uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission and a hybrid system to produce a hearty 366 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Lexus says 0-60 mph will take a respectably quick 5.9 seconds. The last-generation RX 450h we tested, which had 308 hp, needed 7.3 seconds to hit 60 mph.
All-wheel drive is standard for the RX 500h F Sport Performance, and Lexus says it’s optimized to improve traction on dry roads as well as the more typical snowy or icy conditions. Safer handling and upgraded brakes specific to the RX 500h F Sport Performance should also add to the RX 500h’s athleticism.
Lexus estimates the RX 500h F Sport Performance will achieve 26 mpg in combined city/highway driving. That’s 2 mpg better than the RX 350, which has 91 hp less. More power and better fuel economy – what’s not to like?
How does the RX 350 ride?
We got a chance to sample the first three RX models which will be available to the public from later this year. The RX 450h+ wasn’t ready for review yet, but we did some laps in the RX 350 with the F Sport Handling package, the RX 350h and the top-of-the-line RX 500h F Sport Performance.
Any fear of missing out on the current model’s venerable V6 engine can be put aside. The pairing of the new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic makes the RX 350 more responsive and punchier than the outgoing V6 and its slower six-speed automatic. Due to the RX’s extra size and weight, it doesn’t feel as fast as the smaller NX 350 (which sports the same motor), but the RX is far from underpowered.