Lexus has today unveiled the next-generation of its RX SUV models at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
The new models are the double overhead cam (DOHC) V6 RX 350 and a hybrid RX 450h.
The two models have been redesigned and restyled.
Both models will go on sale in Australia -RX 350 will be available in the first quarter of 2009 and RX 450h mid-year.
The RX range has been fitted with redesigned engines and suspension, and features significant safety improvements.
Lexus claims benchmark improvements in innovation, safety, performance, comfort and efficiency.
In a Lexus first, the RX 450h is powered by a new, highly efficient 3.5-litre V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, replacing the 3.3 litre V6 in the current RX 400h.
Total power output from the engine and electric motor is expected to be 220kW*, 20kW more than the current model.
The RX 350's petrol V6 engine has also been improved, developing 204kW*.
It is mated to an electronically controlled, sequential-shift six-speed transmission, replacing the five-speed automatic of the previous model.
Lexus has made major improvements in its Lexus Hybrid Drive System.
An exhaust heat recovery system reduces engine warm up time, allowing the petrol motor to be switched off earlier, more often and for longer periods to improve fuel economy and emission control
A cooled exhaust gas recirculation system reduces engine pumping losses to improve economy.
RX 350 and RX 450h feature different all-wheel drive (AWD) systems.
RX 450h uses an AWD Hybrid Drive System which supplies the rear wheels with optimum torque.
The RX 450h's rear mounted electric motor generator allows all four wheel wheels to perform regenerative braking, charging the hybrid battery more effectively.
RX 350 features an Active Torque Control system, which optimises torque depending on driving conditions.
New double wishbone rear suspension is a feature of both models - increasing agility and stability.
The design also allows for an increase in cargo space of 22 litres, while allowing for even easier loading.
The front-end's MacPherson strut geometry has been revised.
The new body styling claims improvements in comfort, manoeuvrability and fuel economy.
A new undertray design contributes to a class -leading aerodynamic drag figure of 0.32Cd.
Lexus has made big advances in cabin ergonomics and operator safety systems.
A newly designed wide-angle side view monitor system has a camera located under the passenger-side rear view mirror^ on selected models.
The driver can check areas by simply selecting a button on the steering wheel.
The navigation system is a next-generation improvement.
A world-first white organic LED multi-informational display ensures exceptional readability from a wide angle.
Selected RX models will feature new heads-up display which reduces the need for excessive eye movement.
A new Lexus Remote Touch navigation controller and a steering wheel-mounted multi-informational switch improve driver on-road attentiveness.
The Lexus Remote Touch navigation system is described as a breakthrough in improving interaction between the driver and the vehicle and uses adjustable "Haptic" feedback to assist the driver with selecting the appropriate function.
All models carry ten standard SRS airbags, including the Lexus exclusive twin-chamber front passenger airbag, and driver and front passenger knee air bags.
Vehicles in the RX range will be available with Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM), Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS).
RX 350 is fitted with 18-inch aluminium-alloy wheels, while 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels will also be available on certain models.
RX450h will have its own styling features, including optional 19-inch wheels, an exclusive grille and front bumper, blue-trimmed Lexus hybrid logos, blue tinted tail lamps and AFS LED headlamps.
Selected new models will feature exclusive Mark Levinson Surround Sound and dynamic radar cruise control.
Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca said the new RX range would build on the range's strong technology reputation.
"The RX was the first vehicle to offer reversing cameras as standard in Australia, and the RX 400h was the first hybrid SUV anywhere in the world," Mr Roca said.
"The all-new RX debuts a range of innovations to simplify the driver's and passenger's interaction with the vehicle, and improve safety.
"Whether it is the Lexus Remote Touch system, or the all-new hybrid driveline, the next-generation RX leads the luxury SUV market on innovation, efficiency, comfort and safety."
Leave a comment