What's the news?
Lexus has revealed a much-anticipated seven-seat version of the RX SUV, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new model, shown as an RX 350-L in LA and for which Lexus' US dealers, in particular, have apparently been badgering the company, will actually come in either seven or six-seat guises, with an extra row of fold-away chairs in the boot, and the choice of a bench seat, or two individual chairs, in the middle row.
Lexus says that the extra seats have been "designed to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row" and that those third-row occupants will get both cup holders and air conditioning controls. The passengers benefit from an extra 100mm of overall length, all of which has been added behind as rear overhang. The tailgate now also sits at a more upright angle to give better headroom, while the new seats are set below the line of the middle row, so as to offer adequate room for feet and knees.
The third row will have a power folding function, and Lexus says that it has been designed to accept child car safety seats, although it hasn't given any details on any extra rear-impact protection. The hybrid powertrain remains unchanged, with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine augmented by two electric motors and a stack of batteries.
The new seven-seat RX will come to Ireland, but not until the second half of next year, and no prices have yet been released.
Lexus also showed off a new LX 570 SUV at the LA show, but that's a US-market-only model. Oddly, while the RX is getting extra seats, the LX 570 is actually getting a version that drops two of its seven seats to become an ultra-luxurious five-seater.