Lexus confirms three-row model to join lineup in 2017 or 2018

The Lexus RX will receive a third-row model in 2017 or early 2018, executives of the automaker confirmed today.

  1. Someone once said if you wait for something long enough, you are bound to get it – or something to that effect. For Lexus dealers, the waiting game will be concluded successfully by early 2018. At that time, the luxury Toyota division plans to deliver a three-row offering to round out its popular RX crossover lineup.

Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken, speaking at this week’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), confirmed plans to put a three-row version of its hot-selling RX lineup on sale. Bracken confirmed that dealers have been waiting for the three-row version to fill out to RX lineup. “That’s not early enough. They would love to have it now. But, I think they’re quite relieved that they know it’s coming,” the Lexus executive said.

The new model will retain the RX nameplate. “We’ll embrace the rX name,” Bracken continued. “It will be something very close to what we have now with a minor variation.” A three-row Lexus RX gives the automaker a formidable presence at the top end of the luxury crossover field, where RX is already the dominant nameplate. Sales of RX have passed the 100,000 mark in each of the last three years.

The expanded crossover line will carry the RX name to take advantage of its name recognition. Lexus recently filed a U.S. trademark application for RX 350L and RX 450hL. Both models indicate the type of powerplant; the L is the V-6 while the hL uses a hybrid powertrain. Styling will be nearly the same as the current models. “We put so much energy into the styling you see now that we didn’t want to compromise even with the third row,” Bracken emphases, despite the engineering challenges the three-seat RX presented. Pricing details are not available yet.

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