PHEV Joins Hybrid in Lexus RX Fifth Gen Range

The fifth generation of the successful Lexus RX SUV range brings the automaker’s latest hybrid powertrains to new levels.

Topping the range is the self-charging hybrid RX 500h marrying a 2.4-liter turbo gasoline engine with six-speed automatic transmission and DIRECT4 electronic four-wheel drive system that claims to balance the power and torque between the front and rear axles in milliseconds and more precisely than a mechanical system. Claimed power is 366bhp with a 0-62mph sprint time of 6 seconds, although Lexus has yet to release any torque figures for the RX range.

Below this is the RX 450h+, which is the first plug-in hybrid electric RX. This employs a 2.5-liter gasoline plug-in hybrid electric powertrain and has a claimed 302bhp and sprint time of 7 seconds. Its EV driving range is claimed to be around 40 miles and enable all-electric driving at speeds up to 84mph.

Its ‘entry level’ sibling is the self-charging hybrid RX 350h using a 2.5-liter gasoline hybrid electric powertrain with a claimed power output of 242bhp providing a 0-62mph sprint time of 8 seconds.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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