New-generation Lexus NX and Lexus LX utility vehicles arrive.
Fully electric Lexus RZ revealed.
Handling enhancements across most of the car lineup.
It’s business as usual for Lexus as it manages production through the microchip shortage, like just about every other manufacturer. New products are rolling out, with fully electric models on the way as well.
In fact, by 2025, Lexus will introduce several new models equipped with either plug-in hybrid, fully electric or even hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. In addition, Lexus plans to sell only EVs in North America by 2030. For now, here’s what to expect from the Lexus brand in 2022.
The first fully electrified model to hit North America will be the Lexus RZ. We’ll get more details on the introductory RZ 450e soon, but it should share its platform with the recently unveiled Toyota bZ4X.
Fully redesigned for the 2022 model year, the Lexus NX is the brand’s second best-selling model in North America, and it’s now available with several powertrains. The base NX 250 gets a naturally aspirated 2.5L four with 203 horsepower, while the NX 350 features a 275-horsepower, turbo 2.4L inline-four. The NX 350h is fitted with a 2.5L four and two electric motors for a total output of 239 horsepower, delivering combined city/highway 39 mpg or 6.0 L/100 km. A new PHEV NX 450h+ variant develops 304 horsepower and boasts 84 mpge or 2.8 Le/100 km, along with an EV-only range of 37 miles or 61 km. The new Lexus NX also receives the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite of advanced systems, while F SPORT packages will be optional on the NX 350 and NX 450h+. The 2022 NX will be built in Cambridge, Ontario.
The full-size Lexus LX has been fully redesigned for 2022. It rides on a new platform, is about 440 pounds lighter than the outgoing generation and ditches the old 5.7L V8 for a new twin-turbo 3.5L V6, which develops 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The new smaller, but more powerful engine is matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and as before, a 4WD system includes all the goodies to go off-roading. The revised suspension includes a height control feature and adaptive variable dampers, while electric power steering and wheel choices ranging from 18 to 22 inches are new as well. For the first time, an F SPORT package is offered. The LX’s cockpit gets two superposed screens for the all-new infotainment system.
The subcompact Lexus UX is once again available as the UX 200 with a 169-horsepower 2.0L four, and as the hybrid and all-wheel-drive UX 250h with a combined output of 181 horsepower. The 2022 model year brings paint colour changes, while body-colour fender flares are now available as well.
For 2022, the midsize Lexus RX sees the return of the new limited-run Black Line edition in the United States, available in two paint colours with black 20-inch alloy wheels, black grille and mirror caps, black open-pore wood interior trim and light-grey seat stitching. Meanwhile in Canada, a limited-run Moonlight Edition is available with the same interior and exterior design touches as the Black Line edition, but also includes a portable telescope and a custom tea set. Other changes for the new model year include paint colour changes and the availability of fog lamps as a standalone option. The RX 350, in FWD and AWD guise in the U.S., features a 3.5L V6 with 295 horsepower, while the all-wheel-drive RX 450h boasts a combined 308 hp with its hybrid powertrain. The slightly longer, three-row RX 350L and RX 450hL variants offer room for up to seven passengers.
The Lexus GX rolls into 2022 with a new limited-run Black Line Special Edition. It’s available in a few paint colours and also features unique glossy black 18-inch wheels and lower-body trim, a black headliner and a two-tone interior with Matte Black Ash wood accenting. Otherwise, the GX 460 receives a new 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alex integration, while Intuitive Parking Assist, navigation as well as power-folding and heated mirrors are now standard across the board. The body-on-frame GX 460 relies on a 4.6L V8 engine that develops 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque, in addition to a four-wheel drive system, good for a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds or 2,947 kilograms.
Redesigned for 2021, the Lexus IS sedan gets some more changes for 2022. The IS with rear-wheel drive is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four developing 241 horsepower, while the AWD variant moves up to a 3.5L V6 with 260 hp. The IS 350 with RWD or AWD also relies on the V6 engine, but with an output of 311 horsepower, and the IS’ suspension has been returned for sportier driving dynamics. A new Memory Package and am optional power rear sunshade are found on the IS 350 F SPORT, while a Premium Package has been added to the IS 300, and the latter’s Comfort Package gets additional features as well. The racy Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance arrives with a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8 that develops 472 horsepower, good for a 0-to-60 mph dash in 4.4 seconds.
The luxury brand also shared some images of a Lexus Electric Sedan Concept, which looks like a future EV replacement for the IS sedan.
Meanwhile, the Lexus ES gets some mild styling revisions with standard LED headlights, standard dynamic auto beam levelling, new grille patterns, new alloy wheels and new Graphite paint. The ES 250 AWD is equipped with a 2.5L inline-four that develops 203 horsepower, while the ES 350 is equipped with a 302-hp 3.5L V6 and the ES 300h includes a hybrid system consisting of a 2.5L four and an electric motor for a combined output of 215 horsepower. Changes to the rear suspension are said to enhance handling, ride comfort and torsional rigidity, while the braking system has been improved and the brake pedal is slightly larger, too. The Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite is now standard. In the U.S., a Dynamic Handling package is now available on non-hybrid F SPORT models, and a new ES 300h F SPORT appears.
The full-size Lexus LS gets some mild changes in the U.S. for 2022, after mid-cycle revisions last year. The LS 500 is equipped with a 416-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.5L V6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The LS 500h’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 3.5L V6 and two electric motors for a combined output of 354 hp. In the United States, the 2,400-watt, 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is now available on base LS variants in the United States, while the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite is now standard across the board—though oddly enough, the Canadian-spec LS keeps the LSS+ 2.0 package.
The brand offers coupe models, one of which is the compact Lexus RC. The RC 300 RWD (not available in Canada) is equipped with a 241-horesepower turbo 2.0L four, the RC 300 AWD gets a 260-hp 3.5L V6, and the RC 350 RWD/AWD variants relies on a 311-horsepower V6. There are no significant changes for 2022.
The high-performance Lexus RC F is equipped with a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8 that develops 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque, connected to a rear-wheel drivetrain. The Fuji Speedway Edition is back in the U.S. for 2022 with an allocation of 50 units, and it features Brembo Carbon Ceramic brakes, a titanium exhaust and carbon fibre aerodynamic add-ons, along with a weight reduction allowing for a 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of 3.96 seconds. In Canada, its equivalent is called the RC F Track Edition 2.0.
The full-size Lexus LC coupe lineup consists of the LC 500 which gets a 5.0L V8 with 471 horsepower, while the LC 500h features a hybrid powertrain with a combined output of 354 hp. For 2022, the LC receives suspension tweaks to enhance handling characteristics, while a new LC 500 Bespoke Build allows buyers to customize their car to their personal taste. Meanwhile, the available Sport package in the U.S. gets new 21-inch alloy wheels, and the Cadmium Orange paint that was added to the U.S. market is now available in Canada as well, in addition to a new Manhattanhenge interior colour.
The Lexus LC Convertible is offered in a single LC 500 trim level with a 471-horsepower 5.0L V8 engine. The LC boasts a power-folding soft top that can be lowered in about 15 seconds and raised in 16, and can be operated while the car is moving at speeds of up to 31 mph or 50 km/h. The LC Convertible gets the coupe’s suspension enhancements and the LC 500 Bespoke Build program, while in Canada, the Cadmium Orange paint is now offered.