Lexus Next Chapter delivers wide-ranging technology innovation

23 March 2023

For Lexus, the “Next Chapter” is not about telling the same story, but delivering important innovations that strengthen the brand and deliver new rewards for customers. 

That’s particularly the case when it comes to the development of new technologies, systems and features that contribute to stronger performance, more rewarding handling, greater comfort and refinement, higher levels of safety and driver assistance and comprehensive and responsive multimedia functions and connectivity. The complete renewal of Lexus’s mid-size and large luxury SUVs during the past 18 months has seen the all-new NX, RX and all-electric RZ each benefit from these advances. 

Lexus’s first plug-in hybrid electric models 

The NX and RX are the first Lexus models in Europe to offer customers the option of a hybrid electric powertrain. Given that Lexus introduced the hybrid concept to the premium car market 18 years ago, it is perhaps no surprise that its plug-in technology comes with particular advantages. 

The critical benefit that sets it apart from its rivals is that when the battery charge is depleted, the vehicle switches seamlessly to run as a self-charging hybrid. That means emissions and fuel efficiency are greater than in systems where the vehicle simply reverts to running on its internal combustion engine alone. 

More information available here

Lexus’s first turbocharged performance hybrid – the RX 500h 

The RX 500h marks a breakthrough in hybrid electric technology, developed with a focus on giving the RX a stronger performance dimension to extend its appeal to a wider range of customers. It uses a completely new parallel hybrid architecture with a 2.4-lite turbo petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission (in place of the electric CVT system typically used in most Lexus hybrids). Total system output is 366bhp/273kW with 550Nm of torque, giving 0-62mph acceleration in 6.2 seconds. 

More information available here

Direct4 intelligent drive torque control 

Direct4 is Lexus’s new all-wheel drive force control technology, featured on the new RX and RZ models. This intelligent system automatically adjusts the balance of drive force between the front and rear axles, in line with the road conditions and the driver’s inputs. Achieving the best possible balance contributes both to the driving experience and on-board comfort. 

The front/rear drive torque can be varied to any degree between zero and 100 per cent, with adjustments made in milliseconds. The results is excellent vehicle balance and pose, improved traction when accelerating on slippery surfaces, better stability when driving through corners and reassuring braking performance. These qualities ensure delivery of the Lexus Driving Signature, giving the driver comfort, confidence and control at all times. 

More information available here

Lexus e-Axle 

The RZ is the first production model to feature Lexus’s new e-Axle, designed for use in battery electric vehicles. This compact, modular package consists of a motor, gearing and a PCU (Power Control Unit), located between the driven wheels. The RZ uses both front and rear e-Axles, which work in conjunction with the Direct4 all-wheel drive control system (details above) to adjust the vehicle’s posture, traction and power distribution, according to the driving conditions. The e-Axles are quiet, efficient and deliver precise power. 

Their compact dimensions –short front e-Axle and low rear e-Axle – contribute to the car’s packaging, helping gain more room in the cabin and a low load compartment floor, and provide more space to accommodate the EV battery, low down beneath the vehicle floor. 

More information here

One Motion Grip steer-by-wire technology 

The RZ is set to be the first model to use Lexus’s new One Motion Grip steer-by-wire system, planned for market introduction in 2025. Instead of the conventional mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front axle via the steering column, this communicates the driver’s steering inputs to the wheels electronically. The result is instant response and more precise steering control.  

One Motion Grip uses a new-look steering wheel, with a butterfly shape like the controls found in an aircraft cockpit. This design is appropriate as the technology requires less steering effort from the driver, with no need for hand-over-hand turns. This makes for smooth lane-changing on the motorway, a more comfortable drive on winding roads and easier manoeuvring in tight spaces. 

More information here

Lexus Link multimedia system 

The all-new NX marked the introduction of the Lexus Link multimedia platform, subsequently introduced in each new Lexus model since.  

The more powerful package provides much faster response and supports a wider range of functions. These include cloud-based navigation and “Hey Lexus,” an on-board assistant that responds to voice commands. Improved voice command technology allows for more conversational terms to be used; it can also detect whether the driver or front passenger is speaking. 

The car’s data communications module (DCM) allows multimedia software to be updated over-the-air, so the car doesn’t have to be taken to a service centre for upgrades. The same benefit applies to software used by the Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance systems. 

More information here


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Lexus Next Chapter delivers wide-ranging technology innovation


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RZ 450e
RZ development still
RX 500h
NX 450h Plug-in hybrid

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