Lexus RX: Fourth GenerationTech

No Current Plans for Lexus RX Plug-In Hybrid

Lexus RX Plug-in Hybrid

Australian website Car Advice spoke with Lexus RX chief engineer Takayuki Katsuda about the lack of a plug-in hybrid option for the new crossover:

“At this moment of time as you see, we are not ready for the PHEV for this generation RX. That is a fact. So we are going to launch without a plug-in hybrid.

“Yes, we already understand about the necessity of the plug-in. And this solution must be one of the solutions. But at the same time not only Lexus but corporate Toyota is now thinking about another solution, the fuel cell, for the [Toyota] Mirai.

“At the moment battery technology is limited, in case of having twice or three times more distance, then twice or three times more heavier the batteries have to be put in.

This train of thought is interesting, because it brings to mind the mystery RX prototype that was recently spotted in the USA. Let’s pull up an image just for fun:

Lexus RX Mystery prototype

Due to the position of the camouflage and dealer demand for a three-row SUV, it was assumed this prototype was hiding extra seats — we did our best to measure against the existing RX model, but the results were inconclusive.

However, what if this cladding is hiding an alternative fuel option and Lexus is testing a fuel cell RX? This is pure speculation on my part, but there eventually has to be other models using the technology besides the Mirai.

What’s your feeling on this? Should Lexus be looking at a plug-in hybrid or fuel cell version of the RX?

  • D
  • September 22, 2015
The network is growing quite rapidly in the California hotspots where they expect people to drive the Mirai.
  • G
  • September 23, 2015
I think the lack of any plug-in hybrid models is an embarrassment for Lexus. I recently test drove a BMW i3 and it was most impressive, making our CT 200h feel somewhat crude in comparison. So, a plug-in RX, or NX or CT would be appealing and help re-establish Lexus' innovative leadership.
  • J
  • September 23, 2015
3 row model will be available within two years (100% sure), Fuel Cell model will not. ;-)
  • R
    Rob Grieveson
  • September 23, 2015
With the oil price where it is now and looks like for the foreseeable future surely the pressure is off all manufacturers to worry about alternative motors e.g. Hybrid, fuel cell etc. Rather refine and improve the tried and trusted petrol engine. This may not appease the Green people but with the German disaster with diesel motors the motor industry I believe will take a deep breath and concentrate on continued refinement of what we know and trust.