It is always exciting when a new brand comes to the country. There is a great sense of anticipation from a new range and also from the fact that the manufacturer now sees potential from the market, is generally considered a sign of growth. The area where this is happening the most is the luxury segment where Jeep recently made its debut and now there will be a player in the form of Lexus.
The Toyota owned luxury brand has been in existence since 1989 and produces a range of sedans, crossovers and SUVs. It also produces some performance models like the RCF and the totally bonkers LFA hypercar which set a new standard for what to expect from Japanese hyper cars. The automaker will make its India debut with the RX450h hybrid SUV and this seems like the logical step forward as India is currently on a SUV craze and this is the most prominent in the luxury market. Here then is what you can expect from the RX450h.
Firstly, the RX in its most basic form is what we would term a crossover. It has a car like stance but is high riding thanks to the large ground clearance and tall wheels. The car measures 4.8 metres with a wheelbase of 2.78 metres. The face is dominated by the massive grille which is flanked by a sharp chrome outline. The design is angular and very in-your-face. Both LED headlights sit like wedges on the side of the face while the bonnet has noticeable powerlines to give the car a muscular outlook. Moving over to the side, we can see the sport coupe outline thanks to the low roof, heavily flared wheel arches which hide within them really tall wheels. The rear is a bit more conventional thanks to the wrap around tail lamps, forward slanting glass area as well as chrome strip running above the number plate holder.
We can see where the Innova and Fortuner have got their cabin layout from when we look at the RX450h on the inside. It is a combination of leather, chrome plastics and wood inserts in the central console. Standard features are expected to include multi zone climate control, infotainment system with floating display, electrically adjustable seats with ventilation and multi speaker sound system. We believe that the Indian buyers will get the option of a touchscreen rear seat entertainment package as well as extendable foot rests for additional comfort. The boot is massive while the second row can be folded down to increase storage capacity.
Given that this is at the end of the day a Toyota product, expect at least eight airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control as well ESP. Also, now hat the Centre is slowly thawing with regard to radar-based safety mechanisms, we believe that Lexus will integrate at least one of these options into the RX450.
Motivation for this luxury SUV comes from a 3.5-litre petrol V6 as well as a hybrid motor that together produces 308bhp/334.8Nm of torque. We in India will get the AWD variant which sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed AT and torque on demand AWD system. There is expected to be various driving modes for the car.
The cars will sold from separate showrooms of which the first two will come up in Mumbai and Delhi. They are expected to price the car around Rs 70 lakh where it will compete with the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Audi Q7. The car will be unveiled and launched at the end of November with deliveries starting from December onwards.