Home Cars & Bikes Lexus introduces RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid to South Africa

Lexus introduces RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid to South Africa

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Lexus unveils its latest offering in the South African market: the RX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid. Adding to its RX lineup, Lexus aims to provide a blend of efficiency, performance, and luxury.

To its credit, Lexus was the first luxury brand to introduce a hybrid in what we can call the BMW X5 class. With the plug-in RX 450h+, Lexus finally takes another step forward. For now, the RX 450h+ represents the apex of Lexus’s commitment to electrification. That is, until the smaller, fully-electric Lexus RZ arrives.

The Lexus RX range comprises of the RX 350h (R1 452 600), RX 350 F Sport (R1 574 100) RX 450h+ (R1 645 600), and the RX 500h F Sport (R1 740 300). The 350h and 500h are traditional hybrids, meaning they have very small batteries that cannot be topped up at charge points, making them much less fuel-efficient than plug-ins.

Efficiency and performance

Under its sheet metal, the all-wheel-drive RX 450h+ houses a powertrain combining a 18,1 kWh lithium-ion battery, a 2,5-litre four-cylinder engine, dual electric motors, and a CVT transmission. With a combined system output of 227kW, the RX 450h+ achieves notable performance. Lexus is secretive about the RX 450h+’s maximum torque output, but it’s good enough for a zero to 100 km/h sprint of just 6,5 seconds.

As for fuel efficiency, Lexus claims an official consumption figure of 1,3 litres per 100km in town and country driving, and emissions of just 29g of CO² per kilometer.

Driving experience

The RX 450h+ offers an estimated electric driving range of 66,5 km, ideal for daily commutes. Transitioning seamlessly between electric and hybrid modes, the vehicle ensures optimal efficiency even after the battery charge is depleted, Lexus says.

Selectable driving modes allow drivers to customise their driving experience, striking a balance between electric propulsion and petrol-powered performance, according to the manufacturer.

Crafted for luxury and safety

The RX 450h+ presents a stellar range of luxury features, including premium interior appointments, such as a 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and panoramic glass roof.

Standard safety features such as the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, ten airbags, and adaptive “matrix” headlights offer peace of mind for occupants, enhancing overall driving confidence.

Unlike the other versions of the RX, the 450h+ has a tyre-repair kit instead of a space-saver spare like the other RX model derivatives. This makes run-flat tyres an option to consider.

Price and rivals

The RX 450h+ is priced at R1 629 300, which makes it the most affordable plug-in hybrid in its class when considering purchase prices. Not only that, but it’s so highly specced that a customer buying one of the Lexus’s rivals would have to fork out an additional R150 000 (most likely more) to bring it up to the same level.

So, the RX 450h+ is something of a bargain, relatively speaking. Note that the Volvo XC90 T8 “Ultimate Bright” offers two additional seats over its rivals, so it has seven in total.

See the brief comparison below.

CarElectric-only range0-100 km/h sprintPrice (without options)
Lexus 450h+66 km6,5 secondsR1 645 600
Volvo XC90 T8 “Ultimate Bright”77 km5,3 secondsR1 713 000
BMW X5 xDrive50e M Sport94-110 km4,8 secondsR1 927 000

Conclusion

The introduction of the Lexus RX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid marks a milestone in Lexus’s journey towards sustainable mobility. With its blend of efficiency, performance, and luxury, the RX 450h+ offers a compelling choice for consumers seeking a reliable, premium SUV experience with a reduced environmental footprint.

Colours and warranty

The RX 450h+ is offered in nine exterior colour options: White Quartz, Sonic Titanium, Morello Red, Graphite Black, Opulent Blue, Terrane Khaki, Sonic Chrome, Sonic Iridium, and Sonic Copper. 

The car comes with a 7-year/105 000km warranty and full maintenance plan, along with an additional 8-year/195 000km warranty for the hybrid battery.

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