Rumours out of Japan have stated a high-performance variant of Lexus’s new three-row SUV is in the works
Lexus is reportedly working on developing a high-performance variant of the inbound three-row TX SUV, known as the TX500h.
Japanese outlet Magazine X has reported key details on the upcoming TX after a prototype was spotted in Japan shortly after arriving from North America where the SUV is due to be made.
Sitting on the same GA-K platform as the new-generation RX, the TX is said to be slightly larger in all dimensions, with the three-row SUV measuring 5030mm long (+140mm), 1935mm wide (+15mm) and 1725mm high (+30mm).
The report also notes that the TX will be sold in fellow right-hand-drive market Japan, increasing the chances that the new three-row SUV will come to Australia.
Magazine X also reports there will be at least two powertrains available at launch, known as the TX350 and the high-performance TX500h.
Both will share the same 205kW/430Nm 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine found in the RX, with the TX350 coupling the engine to an eight-speed automatic that can be paired with either a front- or mechanical all-wheel-drive setup.
As with the RX, the TX will also feature a ‘500h’ grade available only in the most aggressive F Sport trim.
The TX500h will add an electric motor on the rear axle and feature a six-speed automatic transmission though, curiously, outputs appears to be down compared to the RX500h, with the report indicating 265kW/549Nm figures compared to 273kW/551Nm despite the TX’s larger dimensions.
It’s likely that this drivetrain will not be the flagship option, with patent filings previously referring to a TX550h+, which will likely be a potent 2.4-litre turbocharged plug-in hybrid option, similar to the NX 450h+.
In addition to this, it’s almost certain that Lexus will offer a non-performance-oriented hybrid version of the TX, as seen with the new-generation NX and RX models.
Speculation as to the existence of the TX was confirmed to Chasing Cars by Lexus Australia managing director John Pappas earlier in 2022, after Twitter account Cars in Pixels published a patent image of the vehicle registered by Lexus parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).
Pappas indicated at the time that right-hand drive production remained a possibility and that Lexus Australia was exploring various seven-seat SUV options for the local market, beyond the rugged, Toyota Land Cruiser-based LX model.
Chasing Cars understands the TX is set to be built in the United States alongside a forthcoming Toyota Grand Kluger model that would share the TX’s GA-K transverse modular platform and engine lineup.
The camouflaged prototype seen traversing the streets of Japan, as well as the leaked patent image, seems to confirm the TX will feature a more boxy appearance than the TX – indicating a design middle ground between the five-seat SUV and the seven-seat Toyota Land Cruiser-based LX SUV.
A sharp roofline, boxy rear end and a high bonnet line suggest that Lexus is aiming to make an SUV that will prioritize interior space – a key sticking point of the LX SUV, which is based on a ladder frame chassis.
Clarification – 3/12/22: the text of this article was updated to better reflect previous updates about the rumoured Lexus TX model.
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