Perhaps the biggest question about the possibility of a three-row Lexus RX is also the most basic: What’s taking so long? Because since its debut nearly 20 years ago, the RX has been a smash hit for the Japanese brand, and it’s widely credited with creating the entire luxury crossover market. So given how incredibly hot that segment is, we’ve been expecting to see a seven-passenger version for ages, and it looks like the time has finally come.
Our friends at Motor Authority ran some spy shots of what appears to be a three-row RX testing in Japan, and current intel suggests we’ll see the production version debut at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October. And like we’ve said, it can’t come soon enough. In fact, back when the company was rolling out its RC and RC F back in 2014, there was lots of chatter from U.S. dealers, who were far less excited about the sports coupes than they were a possible seven seater offering.
At the time, the relatively high curb weight of the RC lead to lots of speculation that a convertible version was in the pipeline, because the stout chassis would allow engineers to lose the lid with relative ease. Of course, that hasn’t happened yet, and dealer’s desire for an extended RX was thought to be one of the contributing factors.
Given what a cash cow the RX has been for Lexus — it’s by far the most popular model in its stable — we expect the company to come into the segment with guns blazing, which should make competitors like Audi and Volvo nervous. The current buzz is that the model will be called the RX L, and will be available in both standard and hybrid versions, though the wheelbase won’t change.
We’re likely to have more info before the doors open in Tokyo, so stay tuned for updates. And if you’ve been pining for an RX, but need that third-row? it might be time to schedule a trip to your AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer.