SANTA MONICA, CA: Having arguably created the mid-size luxury CUV segment in 1998 with the RX 300, Lexus is launching the all-new, 2020 RX and RXL that will begin arriving in Canadian showrooms in the third quarter.
Any RX is a big deal for Lexus so the media introduction was staged simultaneously in Shenzhen, China, and Santa Monica, California as part of a global reveal.
“With the new 2020 Lexus RX, we’ve taken a practically perfect luxury SUV made right here in Canada and enhanced it where it counts,” said Robert Tsang, director of Lexus in Canada.
“We’re ushering in a new level of peace of mind and enhanced guest convenience while continuing to fine-tune the details that have made the RX the best-selling vehicle in the Lexus line-up.”
The Toyota/Lexus Cambridge, ON, assembly facility is the only plant outside of Japan to produce Lexus products with 2,000 of its total 8,000 workforce dedicated to producing the RX.
The attention to detail is so exacting that all interior leather stitching is done by hand by workers who practice their manual dexterity for a minimum six months before they are allowed to work on a Lexus.
And these people aren’t just pulled out of the employee pool.
They are tested and have to rise up the ladder just like going up in Karate belt colour degrees before they reach the level of skill demanded.
For maximum impact, the 2020 models will be available as the RX two-row, RXL three row, the RX 450h, and RX 450hL hybrids and the performance-oriented RX F Sport.
The RX 350 and RX F Sport will be built in Cambridge with production starting just before Labour Day.
The RX 350 and RX 350L are both equipped with a 3.5-litre, direct injection V6 producing 296 hp and 267 lb/ft of torque with an automatic transmission and proven Lexus all-wheel-drive.
The RX 450h and RX 450hL works with a 3.5-litre V6, CVT transmission and two high-torque electric motors putting out 308 hp combined while Lexus declines, as a rule, to publishing torque figures.
The all-weather drive system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
The F Sport takes handing and response up a notch following the lead of the redoubtable Lexus LC supercar utilizing the latest active variable suspension (AVS) system that’s more responsive than previous systems.
The 2020 Lexus RX F Sport package also includes a cold air intake, electric power steering (EPS) sport steering, and (my new favourite) heated steering wheel.
All RX models are now standard with paddle shifters and there is a choice of 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels depending on trim.
Android users will rejoice now that Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay in the long list of connectivity features starting with a trim-dependent choice between an eight- or 12.3-inch centre stack infotainment touchscreen.
Android faithful can navigate through Google Maps or Waze while Google Assistant lets drivers use his/her voice to get things done quickly and easily for a seamless, smooth, and enjoyable driving experiences. Tailored information is provided based on calendar, device usage, activity, and habits.
Over at Apple, when an iPhone is connected occupants can access travel directions, phone calls and sending and receiving messages with Siri. Apps like Waze, Spotify and Apple Audiobooks are also available.
At the global announcement, Lexus Canada confirmed with the 2020 RX will have s suite of standard advanced safety features including the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 (LSS+ 2.0) as standard equipment.
This adds daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) to further expand the scenarios in which the RX is designed to provide additional safety to the driver and passengers.
Daytime bicyclist detection is part of an enhanced Pre-Collision System (PCS). Previously designed to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian, the Pre-Collision System now has the potential to detect a preceding bicyclist as well.
The PCS has also been enhanced to help detect a preceding pedestrian in certain low-light situations by increasing the camera’s sensitivity and dynamic range.
In terms of cargo, the RX has 695 litres behind the second-row seat while the RXL has 652 litres behind the third row.
Fuel numbers and pricing will be released closer to the launch date in the third quarter.