Lexus RX three-row spotted testing ahead of Tokyo debut

We had reported earlier that the Lexus RX with three-row seats is under consideration. Currently offered only as a five-seater, the seven-seater RX has been awaited for years now, especially in the American market. Now the three-row version of the RX was caught testing in Sothern California.

Lexus has tried to hide the test mule under heavy camouflage. However, the barely visible front appears to be the same as the current model. The major changes can be seen at the back. The roof is now flatter and the tailgate seems upright. The overhang is now larger to accommodate the third row. And as predicted earlier, the wheelbase remains unchanged. With the same wheelbase, the space for the third-row passenger won’t be promising. Even the visibility will be compromised given the heavy D-pillar of the crossover.

The three-row RX was rumoured to be called the TX, to rival against the likes of the Acura MDX and Volvo XC90 amongst other sever-seater crossovers. However, the RX moniker will remain with an ‘L’ suffix to signify the extended body style. Apart from an added row and some extra space, the three-row RX would be mechanically identical to the existing model. The standard powertrain would be carried forward. Expect both standard 350 and hybrid 450 models to be available as standard.

So the engine would be a 3.5-liter V6 with 295bhp and 363Nm of torque. The eight-speed automatic would channel power to either the front or both axles, depending on options. The 450h hybrid variant will continue with the 3.5-liter V6 with a total output of 308 hp.

The three-row RX is expected to make its debut at the next month’s Tokyo Motor Show. Sales would commence only in 2018. Lexus might bring the RX L in India as well owing to the growing demands of practical crossovers in the country.

Lexus has been rumoured to be developing a seven-seater RX for a couple of years now. They also admitted to missing out the opportunity of developing a three-row crossover instead of the RC Coupe. The Japanese carmaker is mulling over selling 70,000 units in terms of yearly sales. A seven-seater crossover would have helped with these numbers apart from bridging the gaps that exist between the current product line-up.