Officially Official: Lexus RX 350L and RX 450hL Debuts in LA

Joaquin Ruhi

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Some notable tidbits on RX L:

From Automotive News' Laurence Iliff:

RX L...will be built in Japan and go on sale in December, a key month for Lexus and other luxury brands.

U.S. sales of the RX are flat at 84,254 this year through October in a midsize premium market that has expanded 4.9 percent.

Cooper Ericksen, vice president of marketing for Lexus, said brand officials expect about a 30 percent take rate for the RX L, with half of those buyers coming from current RX owners and the other half coming from new consumers attracted to the availability of the third row.
http://www.autonews.com/article/20171129/OEM03/171129705/lexus-rxl-los-angeles-future?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

A 30% RX L / 70% RX split? I think RX L's take rate will be higher than that. In fact, I think RX L will eventually outsell RX.

Car and Driver's Greg Fink breaks down the RX L vs RX cargo space numbers:

With all three rows of seats upright, there’s just seven cubic feet of luggage space behind the third row. Fold down the third row, and that volume increases to 23 cubic feet, which betters the standard-length model by five cubes. With all seats folded, the bigger RX has 58 cubic feet of cargo space, versus 56 in the regular RX.
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/2018-lexus-rx350l-rx450hl-the-extra-long-rx-has-room-for-seven-news

Motor Trend's Zach Gale reports some bad jokes and further sales projections:

“I’ve gotta say it,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager for Lexus, at the RX L’s debut, “that’s one L of a vehicle.”

Amusing eye-roll-worthy jokes aside, the new three-row 2018 Lexus RX L is an important vehicle for the brand, with the potential to match sales of the larger GX three-row SUV by itself. A Lexus representative tells us the RX L could add 30,000 sales to the RX’s already impressive annual sales.
http://www.motortrend.com/news/lexus-calls-three-row-2018-rx-l-one-l-vehicle/
 

zeusus

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30k additional projected sales on top of RX? Wow, that would be completely worth it.
 

ssun30

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But at the cost of GX I guess. I'm more convinced that recent GX booms is due to the absence of RX-L not demand for premium offroaders. The dealers might be desparately holding on to their customers by keeping more GX in stock and try to convince a purchase before the RX-L becomes available. Now there must be lots of happy faces at Lexus dealers.
 

spwolf

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But at the cost of GX I guess. I'm more convinced that recent GX booms is due to the absence of RX-L not demand for premium offroaders. The dealers might be desparately holding on to their customers by keeping more GX in stock and try to convince a purchase before the RX-L becomes available. Now there must be lots of happy faces at Lexus dealers.
It is not China :)

Us dealers don't buy cars in Stock to inflate sales, average Gx selling price is 10k more than RXL, it is different type of buyer.

Sales are reported here when customer buys vehicle not the dealer. So if there is low stock of Gx, it means there are not on lots but sold.
 
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Gecko

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I realized why I like the RX L more than the standard RX: I always felt that the grill of the standard RX was too big in comparison to the rest of the vehicle. The extra heft of the RX L seems to make all of the pieces work better together... it looks more balanced, IMO.
 

krew

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Here's the recording of the LA press conference, also taken from the Lexus.com website:

 
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Ian Schmidt

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Us dealers don't buy cars in Stock to inflate sales, average Gx selling price is 10k more than RXL, it is different type of buyer.
Oh, yeah. Having finally gotten to drive a GX for a couple of days, I think I can authoritatively state that there's gonna be no such thing as cross-shopping RX L and GX. GX is the full body-on-frame experience, and is, frankly, the least Lexus-like Lexus vehicle. The center stack is from the 3LS (!) but made with much cheaper materials, and the overall driving experience I would rate as "get a Grand Cherokee instead".
 

mikeavelli

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I just saw the 30k sales a year in addition to what the RX sells now. That would mean the RX damn near outsells any luxury brand not the Germans....if this holds true...

This is going to be a big test for the GX and conquest sales. I doubt the rear is as roomy as the competition but the interior alone destroys them.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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WardsAuto's Christie Schweinsberg's most recent Lexus-centric article focuses primarily on the upcoming UX, but also contains this passage about RX L:

Lexus dealers were the force behind getting a 3-row version of Lexus’ popular midsize RX CUV to market...

Bracken sees the 3-row RX as stemming the flow of Lexus owners to other luxury marques that have such a vehicle.

“We’ve certainly lost business to our competitors that have a 3-row (CUV) in that segment and we obviously are trying to re-interest them in us…Every year that went by it was making it more and more difficult to bring some of those lost folks back to us,” he says of why Lexus, after years of discussing a 3-row RX, finally had to pull the trigger.

Having said that, Bracken expects some RX L sales to be incremental, not entirely 2-row RX owners trading up to the new 3-row model.

He estimates U.S. RX sales will hit 115,000 next year, up from 100,000 this year, with the RX L accounting for 30,000 2018 deliveries. Half of those 30,000 are expected to be sales to customers new to the model or brand.
http://wardsauto.com/industry/lexus-studying-ux-small-cuv-us
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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...if the rearmost side window in the RX L (between the C and D pillars) is that shallow in the production RX L, the poor 3rd-row passengers will be subject to some major claustrophobia...
This photo from the Japanese language version of the Lexus Global Newsroom somewhat confirms this:

 
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