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Future models - Lexus - RX - 350L

LA show: Lexus RX to gain seven seats

Lucky seven: Lexus Australia has confirmed that its new seven-seat RX SUV will join the line-up here.

Lexus finally sees the light and adds seven-seat RX to its SUV line-up

Lexus logo16 Nov 2017

LEXUS will finally be able to take the luxury SUV fight up to rivals without one hand tied behind its back when it gains a seven-seat version of its RX large wagon in 2018.

Until now, the RX has been a two-row, five-seat proposition, meaning it has been shut out of the large seven-seat family market dominated by the likes of BMW’s X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery.

Lexus buyers wanting seven seats have had to push up to the upper large V8 LX 570 at $143,160 – double the price of the most affordable RX – or over to Toyota’s mainstream Kluger.

The new, flexible RX variant will be unveiled at this year’s Los Angeles motor show on November 29, coming in two flavours – petrol V6 RX 350L and petrol-electric V6 hybrid RX 450L.

Although Lexus has not yet spelled out specific details of these powertrains or other features, we expect these seven-seaters to carry over existing 221kW/370Nm 3.5-litre normally aspirated petrol V6 with its eight-speed automatic transmission, and 306kW/420Nm hybrid V6 with continuously variable transmission (CVT).

So far, there is no mention of a four-cylinder turbo version of the seven seater, even though such a powertrain has been offered in the current five-seater since the fourth generation RX arrived two years ago. As always with Lexus, no diesel will be offered either.

Lexus says these new variants will retain the styling of the current RX that was launched in 2015, which makes sense, as Toyota president Akio Toyoda personally influenced the design.

The company has not said if the seven-seat version has been stretched to accommodate the extra row of seats, although the ‘L’ nomenclature would indicate so.

A teaser shot of the rear corner of the vehicle gives no hints as to what lies inside.

Lexus Australia is expected to confirm the seven-seater RX for this market, arriving in 2018.

The RX is one of the most important models for Toyota’s luxury brand in Australia where it is the second top-seller behind the smaller, more affordable NX SUV.

So far this year, RX sales are line-ball with last year, at 1667 sales to the end of October, up one unit over the same period of 2016.

Until the NX came along, the RX was Lexus’s best-selling SUV, and still accounts for a quarter of all Lexus vehicles sold in Australia.

The RX is offered in three specification levels – Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury, with pricing starting at $74,251 plus on-road costs for the RX 200t and topping out at $108,610 for the 450h Sports Luxury.

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