I wonder why it was not released in New York next month?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- March 2, 2012
Current 2012 Lexus RX450h grille. What a change for the better just one model year is going to be
Little is known but here is what we can expect given what the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid and 2013 Lexus GS450h provided in terms of upgrades with their new designs.
The current 2012 Lexus RX450h is a 32 city/28 highway offering with the 245 HP 3.5L V6 and HSD providing a total system output of 295 HP. I believe the 3.5L V6 in the RX was a mistake but considering who Lexus sells too, most of those customers probably do not care?
Case for the 2.5L I4
If Lexus has decided on an I4 given what gas prices are doing today and what we can expect them to do in the future, which I hope they do, it will surely be the 2012 Camry Hybrid’s 2.5L providing a net 200 HP output. What was significant is that from the previous first generation Camry Hybrid’s 31/35/33 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating to the current 2012 that provides a 43/39/41 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating, there was an approximate 25% increase in Fuel economy over a single generation of HSD
If Lexus is going to use the I4, expect the much more aggressive looking 2013 RX450h’s Monroney to list something like a 37/37/37 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating. I do indeed hope Lexus follows this path?
Case for the 3.5L V6
Given Lexus’ much more aggressive push into the performance realm as of late, one can make the case they will carry on with the much more powerful and redesigned, direct injected AND
port fuel injected 3.5L out of the GS450h to make its appearance in the all-new RX450h.
The GS450h provides its future owners a 286 HP mill with a net 338 HP net total system output thanks to HSD. The GS450h is rated at 29/34/31 mpgUS and while I am sure you are thinking along the same line as I am here, that level of fuel economy makes no sense in this day and age, it provided an approximate 35% increase over the previous less powerful GS450h’s 3.5L V6 with a paltry 22/25/23 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating. That said, it would not be out of the realm of possibilities to see a the new RX450h equipped with the recently redesigned 3.5L mated to Lexus’ second generation HSD providing a similar 32/33/32 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating?
What about both
Unlikely as Lexus already provides a number of single engine combinations with far different outputs, the 2013 GS350 F-Sport, GS350 and GS450h as an example. It may however be in a Lexus’ customer’s interest to be offered a choice as to the level of fuel economy they would like to receive from their hybrid purchase, not just a hybrid vs. non-hybrid. While an expensive 2-year trial to see which engine -- the 2.5L or the 3.5L -- would be the overall powertrain of choice, discontinue the one that sells the least after year two as the consumer has spoken with his or her wallet or purse. I have faith that even Lexus customers “get it” when it comes to dropping $75 to $100 a week into their rides vs. $50 to $75.
We will all know soon enough...
2013 Lexus RX450h
The World premiere of the all-new Lexus RX 450h and RX 450h F Sport
The Lexus Spindle grille design language in full regalia. Also notice the aggressive layout of the LED DRLs
is scheduled for next week at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show Press Event alongside what Lexus is calling the first F Sport interpretation of the full hybrid luxury SUV for those interested in driving to the stop light ahead a little quicker
Due to go on sale this summer, the new RX will continue to play an important role in the Lexus model range as it should given it outsells almost every other Lexus available by 2:1 or more. It just missed the 2:1 ratio vs. the ES in February (5,792 vs. 2,997) and will continue to dominate the Lexus showroom floor for the foreseeable future.