U.S.-built Lexus TX three-row SUV could replace the RX L [Update]

Update: ‘A car for the Gen Y American Family’ and ‘Release Date’ sections updated.

By next year, the fourth-generation Lexus RX and the RX L will reach the end of their lifespan. While the RX gets a successor with familiar traits, a new Lexus TX series may arrive as the successor to the RX L.

Name

Reports indicate that the next-gen urban mid-size SUV from Lexus would be a separate product, not an RX extension. Toyota filed a trademark application for the name TX in 2009. Then, in 2020, it applied for ‘TX350’ and ‘TX500h’ trademarks, which indicated that it’s considering launching a model called TX in two variants with those names. On March 16, 2022, a new trademark application for another potential variant called TX550h+ further solidified the speculation, with the plug-in hybrid as the top-of-the-line model.

The trademark applications may not confirm, but they clearly indicate that the company plans to launch a TX three-row SUV in place of the RX L. It also looks like the North American Lexus TX units will roll out of a U.S. factory, not the Japanese plant in Kyushu that manufactures the RX L for the world.

A car for the Gen Y American Family

On April 28, 2021, Toyota announced plans to make two all-new, three-row SUVs at the Princeton plant in the State of Indiana, USA, and that one of them would be a Lexus. Obviously, the company wasn’t talking about the new generation Lexus GX. It was clearly referring to a next-gen Lexus RX L or an RX L successor, stating that this will be a model “designed with the active Gen Y American Family in mind.”

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, said: “The two new products we’re going to introduce, the one Toyota product and the one Lexus product, will be electrified vehicles.” Lexus dealers have asked for a large three-row SUV positioned above the RX for years now, one that’s more appealing to American customers than the body-on-frame GX.

While Toyota has not confirmed, a report from Automotive News claims that the TX will be based on a Toyota Grand Highlander, the rumored name of the second three-row SUV allocated to the Princeton plant. Like the RX L, the Lexus TX should come in gasoline and hybrid variants. Toyota had confirmed a hybrid powertrain for the upcoming mid-size luxury SUV, saying that this model will “join a diverse, electrified portfolio” in the announcement in April 2021.

Design

Lexus has released no information about the design of the upcoming three-row SUV. However, TopElectricSUV.com reader and Instagram user sugardesign_1 envisions it with design cues from the 2022 Lexus NX. The photograph is the story’s featured image.

The overall look is remarkably different from that of the current model, though it may not seem from the front. The proportions and size are visibly different from the outgoing model. Thanks to a large rear quarter glass and a flatter roof, the profile offers a proper three-row SUV appearance. The wheelbase of the rendered model is longer than that of the RX L (109.8 in.). The Lexus spindle is more upright and has new vertical inserts, the hood is higher and flatter, and the headlamps are straighter and feature a striking cluster.

Features

The Lexus TX should feature an interior design that communicates a more premium positioning compared to the RX, and feature more space. It will likely sit on the TNGA-K platform or simply ‘GA-K’ at Lexus, leading to a stiffer unibody structure, smoother and quieter ride, lower center of gravity, and many other improvements over the current SUV. As for the features, Toyota’s press announcement said that “customers can expect a semi-automated driving system” that allows the driver to park and unpack the SUV from outside, a digital key that owners can share with other people, and seating for up to eight occupants.

The Lexus TX would borrow the Lexus Interface multimedia system from the NX. The North American-developed infotainment system is available with touchscreens measuring 8- to 14-inches.

Lexus Interface infotainment system
The new Lexus three-row SUV would feature the Lexus Interface infotainment system. Image Source: Lexus

The top-end Lexus Interface infotainment system comes with an anti-glare 14-inch HD touchscreen that allows operating it simply like a smartphone. Hey Lexus voice assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Apple Music and Amazon Music streaming, dual-Bluetooth pairing, cloud navigation, and OTA updates are some of its key features. Plus, there are plenty of connected vehicle solutions, including remote vehicle start.

Electrified powertrains

The Lexus TX may come in no less than three variants: TX350, TX500h, and TX550h+. The TX350 could be the base variant that employs a conventional gasoline engine with zero electrification. The TX500h could be the hybrid variant slotted above it, and the TX550h+ could be the range-topping plug-in hybrid, offering sufficient pure-electric driving range to cover daily commutes.

Production

Shortly after the announcement in April 2021, Hollander said that Lexus awarding the Indiana plant a new SUV proves the brand’s confidence in the operations:

It’s really the pinnacle to be a Lexus plant. There’s very few Lexus plants outside of Japan. We’re very proud to be one of them now. And it’s really a big feather in our cap, and it is a testament to the workforce that we have here, it’s a testament to the support we get from the community, and it’s a big deal. And we can’t really emphasize that enough how big of a deal that it is. So, if you become a Lexus plant, you know that really sets you apart into the next level as a manufacturing company within the Toyota network in the Toyota world. So, it shows that TMC has a lot of faith in us, in our ability to achieve this level of quality that we must achieve to be a successful Lexus producer, and that we’re up for the challenge. We’re excited about it, and we’re gonna knock it out of the park!

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing

Release Date

According to the report from Automotive News, the Toyota Grand Highlander will arrive at dealers in mid-2023 and the Lexus TX will arrive approximately half a year later. Hollander had suggested in April 2021 that sending the two SUVs into production at the Princeton plant will take a while:

It is a very intense challenge, there will be major retooling throughout the entire operation, and we’ll have a close collaboration and partnership with our equipment manufacturers, our regional production engineering team and our team here, our engineering and maintenance team, and production team here to really bring this thing to life. It will take a couple of years to really get everything ready to go for the development of this product. It’s a huge undertaking and we’ll be spending a lot of weekends and shutdown time really getting the plant ready.

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing

With the launch of the Lexus TX, the brand would strengthen its presence in North America, and to some extent, even the Middle East. This model would be a testament to Lexus’ continued efforts to offer tailor-made regional solutions. Lexus President Koji Sato has said that the company will have more opportunities to satisfy the needs of customers in North America, Europe, and Asia independently in the future, as per a report from MotorTrend. Responding to the varied needs of different markets with tailor-made products could be an expensive but rewarding move.

Lexus TX FAQs

What is the Lexus TX release date?

The Lexus TX three-row SUV should be launched in late 2023, made in Princeton, Indiana.

What will be Lexus TX price?

The base TX is projected to be priced around $55,000.

What will be the Lexus TX alternatives?

Lexus TX rivals would include the Acura MDX, Cadillac XT6, and the 2022 Volvo XC90.

Featured Image Source: Instagram/sugardesign_1