Lexus has launched its first all-new RX model to the Australian public since 2003.
Available from March, 2009, the all-new RX will debut a number of new features and innovative thinking for the RX in keeping with Lexus' constant pursuit of perfection mantra.
From its exterior design, to interior features, the all-new RX has been designed with efficiency, safety and comfort top of mind.
The exterior design delivers a very low 0.33 coefficient of drag that, when combined with the all-new six speed gearbox, AWD system and improved engine, delivers a seven per cent improvement in fuel efficiency.
Further efficiencies in the climate control, electrical systems, interior packaging and body construction added to the improved efficiency of the new model.
All efficiency improvements were made without sacrificing occupant comfort and safety.
The RX will feature a raft of new interior functions, headlined by the new Lexus Remote Touch navigation system.
Located on the centre console, the Lexus Remote Touch system is intuitive and reduces occupant eye movement away from the road by up to 30 per cent, while also increasing navigation screen visibility.
RX 350 will gain the most powerful and efficient climate control system to date in an RX model, offering a greater range of cooling and heating capacity than ever before.
Safety was also paramount for all-new RX, so the new model features a reversing camera, wide-view side camera*, parking sensors*, a pre-crash safety system* and an all-new VDIM system, meaning the RX continues to lead on safety.
Lexus Chief Executive John Roca said that the RX is one of Lexus' most identifiable and important models.
"The Lexus RX has been, and continues to be, a pioneer. It is effectively responsible for establishing the luxury SUV vehicle segment."
"The RX is one of the most important vehicles in Lexus' line-up and as such it is a rolling demonstration of our continued pursuit of perfection," said Roca .
"The RX has been completely redesigned with an attention to detail that pushed for efficiency, comfort and safety every step of the way."
"In fact, the RX is the closest we've been to perfection, but we all know that reaching perfection isn't the aim - its constantly searching for and delivering better ways of doing things that sets Lexus and the RX apart ," said Mr Roca.
* Available on selected models.
A WORD FROM THE ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER
When I was asked to assist with developing the all-new RX SUV, I was daunted by the task that lay ahead of us - not because of the size of the project, but more because of what we wanted the next RX to embody.
We knew that previous generations of RX vehicles carved out new markets and paved the way for the whole crossover SUV category, and this got us thinking: what p art should our RX play in the history of the RX Line?
That dilemma generated further questions, which led us to the ultimate goal of developing a vehicle with an originality that sets it ap art from the competition, with the overall mission to forge a new path for the crossover segment.
To achieve this, the majority of the development of the vehicle concentrated on maximising safety, efficiency and comfort, which ensures that the new-generation RX sits at the top of the competition.
Furthermore, new RX signals the transition to the next generation of L-Finesse design language. Its interior and exterior express a sense of advancement that is reflected through the technology on board.
RX also embraces the way in which vehicle and driver interact - via the new Lexus Remote Touch system - delivering an intuitive, simple-to-use navigation system that is unique to Lexus.
I am confident that RX, with its new styling and on-board technology, will exceed existing customer's expectations, but also attract a wider audience to the Lexus brand.
Assistant Chief Engineer Lexus RX 350
RX EXHAUSTIVE TESTING REGIME
Crossing four continents and taking in six countries, new RX has been tested in some of the harshest conditions to ensure that it meets Lexus' strict quality, reliability and durability standards.
During the five years of development, the all-new RX was tested in the harsh dry heat of the US, snow and ice of New Zealand and Northern Japan, and the high speed roads of Europe - including the Nurburgring racing circuit.
Testing allowed engineers to test and further develop air-conditioning, vehicle stability systems, overall vehicle dynamics and refinement in the real world.
Climate testing resulted in a more efficient air-conditioning system that is able to cool the cabin by 1.5 degrees more in 15 minutes, or warm the cabin 3.0 degrees more after 40 minutes, over the previous generation RX.
New Zealand played a critical role in development and tuning of the all-new Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM) - which for new RX has been completely redeveloped to reduce system intrusion.
Safety was a major focus of all-new RX, and a five star safety rating was the development goal.
To ensure this was achieved, Lexus devoted well over $30 million dollars and 233 vehicles solely for the purpose of crash testing and development of vehicle safety.
The result has been a vehicle that has attained five star crash ratings in Euro, NCAP and Japan NCAP testing.
RX PRICING ANSWERS MARKET DEMANDS
For the first time, new RX 350 will debut on the Australian market with three model grades - Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury.
Responding to market conditions and customer demand, Lexus has added a new Prestige model to the vehicle line-up.
RX 350 will be priced from a competitive $81,900* for the Prestige, $88,900* for the Sports, while the line-up will be topped by the Sports Luxury at $97,900 *.
The three model strategy will see Lexus compete directly against rival vehicles, while also offering an enticing package for consumers who wish to step up to a luxury SUV.
"Mid-way through last year we saw an opportunity to build in a third model variant, one that had the majority of the features of the previous Sports Luxury model, while setting it at a lower price point," said Lexus Australia Chief Executive, John Roca.
The new Prestige model gains numerous standard features over the previous-generation RXs including, keyless entry, Bluetooth™ and iPod capabilities, satellite navigation, VDiM and the all-new Lexus Remote Touch navigation system.
"All-new RX 350 continues the model's long held tradition of delivering innovative and practical solutions to driving. Most of all, it represents outstanding value over the previous model," said Roca .
"We anticipate that the new model and pricing structure will entice a number of new customers to the brand, while offering a step up vehicle for existing RX owners.
"Lexus pioneered this category of SUV and the new generation RX continues to push the design boundaries, delivering a vehicle that satisfies what the market and consumers have asked for," said Mr Roca.
*Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras. RRP of Sports Luxury models fitted without Mark Levinson is $94,900.
** Bluetooth is owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Bluetooth™; will only operate with telephones enabled with compatible Bluetooth™; wireless technology (HFP (Hands Free Profile) v1.0 and OPP (Object Push Profile) v1.1 international standards). OPP functionality only works on satellite navigation equipment.
RX LINE HISTORY
The all-new RX continues the long held tradition of leading innovative design in the areas of comfort, efficiency and safety.
Debuted to the world in 1998, the first generation RX - the RX 300 - is widely credited with creating a new category of car-based luxury sport vehicles when it was launched in Japan and the United States .
RX 300 was designed to combine the refinement of a traditional luxury car with the high driving position and versatility of an off-road vehicle.
Although Australia did not receive the first generation RX, the second generation RX 330 debuted in Australia in 2003.
Featuring an all-new athletic exterior design and stiffer platform, the RX 330 offered a new more powerful engine 3.3-litre V6 engine and improved driveline, which delivered a driving experience unlike anything on the market.
RX 330 quickly rose to become Australia's most popular luxury SUV and set the benchmark for refinement, build quality and safety - the most noteworthy being the inclusion of reversing cameras standard - a first for Australia.
In 2006, RX once again set the benchmark for efficiency with the addition of RX 400h hybrid, which utilised a highly efficient 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine mated to electric motors to provide V8 levels of performance, while using the fuel of a much smaller engine.
In fact, the RX 400h remains, to this day, the only hybrid SUV available to the Australian public.
At the same time, RX 330 received an all-new, more powerful and highly efficient 3.5-litre V6 quad cam engine.
In their time, both RX 350 and 400h have gone on to receive worldwide accolades. In fact, RX has won numerous - and continuously featured as a finalist - in Australia's Best Car awards since its launch in 2003.
THREE-GRADE STRATEGY FOR NEW RX 350
The new-generation Lexus RX 350 has a three-grade model strategy, with two option packs.
All three model grades have an improved 3.5-litre dual VVT-i V6 engine, newly adopted six-speed sequential-shift transmission, new active all-wheel drive, Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM), rear-view camera and ten SRS airbags.
The three model grades are Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury.
The Prestige model has the option of power tilt and slide moonroof.
The Sports model has the additional features of moonroof, shadow chrome 19-inch alloy wheels (instead of 18-inch), Pre-Collision System (PCS) and radar Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
The range-topping Sports Luxury model has the additional exterior features over the Sports model of bright chrome 19-inch alloy wheels, intelligent adaptive headlamps (i-AFS), heated electro-chromatic exterior mirrors with memory, side-view camera, and clearance/reversing sonar.
Inside, RX 350 Sports Luxury has a leather and wood-rim steering wheel with controls for voice recognition, side-view camera and ACC.
It also has a real wood instrument panel and console, semi-Analine leather seat trim, heated and air-cooled driver and passenger front seats, rear guide assist for the reversing screen, ten-way power driver and passenger front seats (with lumbar adjustment and memory), heads-up display and credit card sized key.
Sports Luxury* will also be able to be specified with or without the 15-speaker surround sound Mark Levinson audio system.
All new-generation Lexus RX 350 models have a temporary spare wheel as standard equipment.
A full-sized spare wheel is available on customer request.
*Sports Luxury models without Mark Levinson will feature an RRP of $94,900. Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras.
STYLISH ACCESSORIES FURTHER ENHANCE RX 350
The range of accessories for new Lexus RX 350 has been designed with safety, style and versatility top of mind.
Each accessory is designed, produced and tested alongside RX 350 to ensure complete compatibility and safety.
Nudge bar, side steps, two-bar and a roof rack set have been reshaped to accommodate and enhance RX 350's updated exterior, which is longer, lower and wider.
They complement the vehicle's new lines while simultaneously remaining attentive to Lexus' overarching goal of achieving a five star safety ratings with RX 350.
For example, fitment of the stylish alloy nudge bar enhances the front end of RX 350 without obstructing airbag deployment or crumple zones in the bonnet.
Adding visual impact and a touch of personal style, 19-inch chrome-finished alloy wheels distinguish RX 350 from other SUVs on the road.
RX 350 is also available with a range of Swedish-made Thule roof rack attachments, which add easy and secure versatility as they are designed to transport sporting equipment and luggage for active families.
The ski and snowboard carrier is available in two sizes and locks gently, but firmly, over ski equipment at a height that protects the vehicle's roof paint.
A kayak carrier roof rack attachment is the convenient way to transport bulky watercraft, with an adjustable rubber cradle and strapping forming a secure hold.
Neat and streamlined, Thule luggage pods provide additional luggage capacity - in addition to the generous 446 litres of RX 350 boot space - and are available in two sizes.
The versatility of this SUV is further enhanced with a 1500kg (750kg braked) towbar, perfectly suited for mid-range towing duties.
ALL-NEW RX 350 DESIGNED FOR EFFICIENCY
New-generation Lexus RX 350 has increased efficiency through its engine, driveline and chassis.
RX 350 has more power and significantly more mid-range torque, while delivering a 3.5 per cent increase in fuel efficiency on official ADR 81/02 test cycle*.
New RX 350 has fuel economy of 10.8 litres per 100km, compared with 11.2 litres per 100km for the superseded model.
Its 3.5-litre dual VVT-i engine has been improved throughout to widen the torque curve and better complement the new six-speed sequential shift transmission.
The new engine has 204kW of power at 6200rpm and 346Nm of torque at 4700rpm.
Torque has been increased by up to 15Nm in the main "driving" areas of the torque curve.
RX 350's instrument cluster includes a new Eco indicator to help the driver improve the efficiency of their driving.
Design improvements to RX 350's powertrain included a new transmission casing that lowered the engine output shaft by 16mm, lowering the power plant's centre of gravity.
RX 350's new driveline has pro-active all-wheel drive to save fuel when the vehicle is cruising.
It seamlessly adjusts the front: rear torque split according to anticipated traction requirements.
RX 350 also has the fuel efficiency benefit of newly adopted electrically assisted power steering.
RX 350's chassis has been improved throughout, with improved front suspension, all-new trailing arm-type double-wishbone rear suspension, new brakes, larger diameter wheels and new chassis electronics.
It now has Lexus Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) as standard equipment across the range.
* Fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/02 combined cycle.
LEXUS RX RECEIVES IMPROVED V6 ENGINE
New-generation Lexus RX 350 has an improved 3.5-litre Quad Cam dual VVT-i V6 engine, with increased power, torque and fuel economy, and reduced emissions.
The Lexus 2GR-FE engine's torque curve has been widened to increase drivability and better complement the new six-speed transmission.
The improved engine delivers 90 per cent of its peak torque from 2300rpm to 6100rpm
Maximum torque has been increased by four Newton-meters to 346Nm at 4700rpm, and maximum power by one kilowatt to 204kW at 6200rpm.
Lexus has redesigned the all-alloy 2GR-FE engine to improve engine breathing and fuel economy, and also reduce emissions.
Improvements include re-designed intake surge tank and acoustic-controlled induction system, a re-designed exhaust system, new valves and new camshaft profiles.
The improved engine has slimmer intake valve stems to increase air flow.
Stem diameter has been reduced to 5.5mm.
The camshaft lobe profiles have been changed to increase valve lift (and engine output) and the ignition timing revised to improve fuel economy.
The intake surge tank has been lengthened by 20mm to increase low-to-mid-range torque.
It is matched to a new electrically operated ACIS (Acoustic Controlled Induction System) to enhance intake runner length according to engine operating conditions, and therefore provide maximise torque.
The intake manifold is made of thin-wall cast aluminium and the surge tank from resin to minimise weight.
The ACIS actuator is laser-welded into the surge tank.
RX 350's exhaust manifolds have been redesigned to improve gas flow and thereby improve performance.
The catalysts are mounted on the manifolds to minimise warm-up time, reducing emissions outputs.
The exhaust manifolds are made of stainless steel to improve high-temperature endurance and minimise weight.
Hexagonal ceramic catalysts have been adopted to reduce emissions.
The 2GR-FE engine has 12-hole fuel injectors for ultra-fine fuel atomisation.
The injector tip protrudes slightly into the inlet port to minimise the distance from the injector to the valve, reducing wall wetting for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.
Lexus engineers have added a clutch to the alternator pulley to cancel the inertial forces of the alternator rotor and reduce belt slip, even as the V-belt stretches.
The clutch therefore reduces V-belt friction and improves fuel economy.
A rigid aluminium alloy engine mount bracket has been added to further reduce noise and vibration, while minimising weight.
The torque-rod stay has been positioned closer to the anchor point to further reduce NVH across all practical engine speeds.
NEW RX 350 HAS SIX-SPEED SEQUENTIAL TRANSMISSION
Lexus' new-generation RX 350 has a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with artificial intelligence and a sequential-style manual gear select shift.
It replaces the previous RX 350's five-speed transmission.
In addition to its increased efficiency, the new transmission allowed the RX 350 design engineers to lower the engine output shaft centre by 16mm - thereby lowering the powertrain's centre of gravity, and increasing vehicle agility and driveability.
The new six-speed Lexus U660F transmission is six kilograms lighter and 19mm shorter in axial length than the five-speed transmission it replaces.
It features improved technology for the torque converter, planetary gear set, solenoid, bearing and clutch piston.
Greater use of aluminium for the larger components and a new asymmetrical differential case contribute to weight reduction.
The new differential case, for example, is 27 per cent lighter than the differential case in the superseded transmission.
The U660F transmission has an ultra-flat torque converter to reduce transmission length and weight.
The new torque converter design is 23 per cent flatter and 12mm shorter than the previous model's torque converter.
The combination of RX 350's dual VVT-i V6 engine, electronic throttle, six-speed transmission and advanced ECT software is designed to optimise drivability, acceleration feel, shift quality and fuel economy.
The U660F's electronic control software has new fuel-saving features, including increased range of low-speed torque-converter lock-up control and flexible lock-up control.
It has flex lock-up from second gear to sixth gear, and deceleration lock-up in fifth and sixth gears.
The torque converter has a low-speed lock-up damper to ensure smooth low-speed engagement.
The deceleration lock-up feature promotes an increased engine fuel-cut area, and therefore improves fuel economy.
It operates in concert with deceleration downshift control software to prevent the engine speed from exceeding the fuel-cut control operating range for as long as possible.
It ensures the transmission selects the appropriate gear - according to the speed with which the accelerator pedal is released - to prevent unnecessary up-shifts and thereby match the driver's intention.
This allows the transmission to bypass the need for unnecessary downshifts when re-accelerating, and provides smoother acceleration.
Lexus Artificial Intelligence (AI) shift control is a transmission algorithm designed to manage the shift regime according to road conditions and driver intention.
It uses data on throttle opening angle, vehicle speed and engine speed, brake signal and accelerator pedal operation.
The transmission ECU uses this information to provide three functions: basic shift control pattern, road condition support control and driver intention support control.
The AI shift can adjust the shift pattern to suit different drivers and provide engine braking for hill descents. It also reduces 'gear hunting' when going uphill.
The uphill/downhill shift control judges if the vehicle is climbing or descending based on inputs such as throttle opening and vehicle speed.
It prohibits unnecessary up-shifting if the vehicle is ascending steeply and automatically downshifts when the vehicle is descending steeply, to take advantage of engine braking.
Road condition support control (intelligent transmission software) gives RX 350 smooth-shifting performance in automatic mode, particularly on hilly roads.
Driver intention support control judges the driver's intention based on accelerator usage and vehicle condition, to provide gear shift patterns that suit individual driving styles.
RX 350's sequential style shift has an S-mode gate shift lever.
A gear-position indicator is included in the combination meter.
Lexus' development targets for the U660F transmission were improved dynamic performance, optimum fuel economy, light weight, optimum package efficiency, smoother gear shifting, increased responsiveness and low noise.
It has ratios of: first, 3.300; second, 1.900; third, 1.420; fourth, 1.000; fifth, 0.713; sixth, 0.608, and a reverse gearing of 4.148.
The new transmission is matched to a 4.398:1 final drive ratio.
ACTIVE TORQUE CONTROL AWD FOR NEW RX 350
New-generation RX 350 is the first Lexus vehicle in Australia with on-demand all-wheel drive for optimal driver control and improved fuel economy.
Lexus Active Torque Control all-wheel drive is designed to maximise traction and cornering stability, as well as saving fuel.
It is a compact, lightweight, high-performance all-wheel drive system that controls torque distribution between the front and rear axles by using an electromagnetic coupling in the rear differential housing.
The electronically controlled active all-wheel drive system operates in concert with RX 350's Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM).
The system saves engine power - and therefore fuel - by only driving the front wheels when the vehicle is cruising.
It switches automatically to all-wheel drive when needed, for example; initial acceleration, or if a loss of front wheel traction is anticipated.
The system also disengages drive to the rear wheels under braking to maximise the effectiveness of ABS braking and the VDIM's vehicle stability control features.
The driver can also manually override the system at speeds up to 40km/h by pushing the "AWD LOCK" button to achieve maximum all-wheel grip.
It can vary the torque split in the range from 50:50 to 100:0.
ELECTRONICS SMOOTH THE WAY FOR ACTIVE ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Lexus RX 350's new on-demand all-wheel drive system combines advanced chassis electronics and an electro-magnetic clutch.
The system controls the front-to-rear torque split based on information on the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering wheel angle, throttle position, accelerator pedal angle, engine revolutions and the relative speeds of the four wheels.
The new Lexus all-wheel drive system's Electronic Control Unit (ECU) networks with other key on-board ECUs, using the high-speed Control Area Network (CAN).
This constantly monitors vehicle traction using information from the ABS system wheel speed sensors, yaw-rate and G-force sensor, engine ECU, steering wheel angle sensor, brake system and all-wheel drive lock switch.
The proactive all-wheel drive system controls the percentage of torque delivered to the rear wheels by varying the electric amperage to the electro-magnetic solenoid in the electric control coupling. The solenoid in turn controls a wet multi-plate clutch.
In addition to the LOCK function, the system has an AUTO mode for maximum take-off acceleration performance and smoother cornering.
When activated, AUTO mode increases torque distribution to the rear wheels.
It also reduces torque flow to the rear wheels during tight cornering (to prevent the tight-corner braking phenomenon*) and when the vehicle is maintaining a cruising speed.
RX 350's Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) can use the active all-wheel drive system to control the front-to-rear rear torque split if operating conditions so require.
For example, sudden acceleration of any vehicle during cornering can cause a driven wheel to start spinning, which in turn could cause the front or rear wheels to skid, resulting in a loss of control.
If the all-wheel drive ECU detects a front wheel skid while under acceleration, it automatically distributes more torque to the rear wheels.
In the event of a rear wheel skidding under acceleration, the system reduces torque distribution to the rear wheels allowing the skid to be more easily corrected.
* Tight-corner braking phenomenon can occur when an all-wheel drive vehicle is cornering at low speed. A difference in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels can cause the vehicle to lurch and decelerate.
NEW RX CHASSIS IMPROVES HANDLING
Lexus has redesigned and recalibrated RX 350's chassis and suspension for increased agility, road holding and stability, coupled with a lower cabin floor.
The chief engineer wanted new-generation RX 350's chassis dynamics to reward driver involvement.
New RX 350 has a new, stronger body, a lower centre of gravity and a larger footprint on the road, which contributes to a 13 per cent improvement in stability during emergency lane-change tests.
The new body is longer, wider and lower than previous RX 350.
The wheelbase has been increased by 25mm, while retaining the 5.7m minimum turning radius of the superseded model.
RX 350's front track has been increased by 55mm and the rear track by 65mm.
In addition, Lexus has redesigned the transmission casing to lower the engine output shaft by 16mm, and therefore lowered the centre of gravity of the powertrain.
RX 350 has an all-new trailing-arm type double-wishbone rear suspension, as well as redesigned front suspension, new electric power-assisted steering, new brakes, a new all-wheel drive system and all-new chassis electronics.
The new body provides a stable platform for the suspension, in addition to its noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), passive safety and vehicle durability benefits.
NEW RX DEVELOPMENT FOCUSES ON SUSPENSION
In a first for the RX 350 line, new-generation RX 350 has trailing-arm double-wishbone independent rear suspension, improving agility, controllability and stability, coupled with increased package efficiency.
The new suspension design allows the coil springs and dampers to be positioned under the floor for increased luggage room.
The rear floor has been lowered 30mm to ensure easier loading.
Relocating the suspension control hardware has also increased the usable width of the luggage area by 150mm.
Special attention was paid to the position of the suspension arms and the mounting angle of the dampers to maximise luggage space, while achieving the desired handling characteristics and meeting Lexus durability targets.
The chassis engineering, evaluation and manufacturing divisions all contributed to the development process.
The evaluation division conducted more than 30 separate tuning sessions to meet agility and stability targets.
The manufacturing division devised a new installation method for the damper units, which are angled forward and slightly outwards.
Lexus RX 350's MacPherson strut-type independent front suspension has been redesigned for improved manoeuvrability, stability, roll posture, cornering performance and ride comfort.
Lexus has improved RX 350's front suspension in seven areas, beginning with the design and calibration of the front springs.
The springs are inversely wound to compress in opposite directions, therefore cancelling the torsional forces produced when each spring is compressed. This eliminates the effect of front suspension compression on steering.
The spring rates have been revised to improve manoeuvrability, stability and ride comfort.
New hub bearings have been adopted to increase durability and rigidity.
The lower ball joint has been redesigned to increase durability.
Revised suspension geometry and damper characteristics have improved agility and ride comfort.
The front lower arm has also been redesigned to optimise suspension geometry.
The front stabiliser bar diameter has been increased to improve agility and roll posture.
New-generation RX 350 has a ball joint-mounted stabiliser bar that attaches directly to the strut body to minimise uncontrolled body roll.
In addition, new-generation RX 350's front struts have an in-built rebound spring to provide a flatter ride during cornering.
The rebound spring restrains elongation of the entire suspension unit during rebound, eliminating harsh top-out.
In normal driving, when the suspension stroke is small, the main coil spring controls suspension movement to provide a comfortable ride.
However, during cornering, the inner wheels are subject to more rebound, so the rebound coil spring and the main coil spring combine to reduce elongation and improve manoeuvrability and stability.
The dampers have multi-leaf-type linear control piston valves that enable the damper to generate more linear response to directional changes.
This improves body control, road holding and steering feel.
The multi-leaf piston valves allow for optimum tuning of the damper curves at low piston speeds for better body control, and at medium-to-high piston speeds for increased ability to absorb road shocks.
New-generation RX 350 has sealed low-pressure gas-filled dampers front and rear.
The nitrogen gas in the dampers minimises cavitation of the damper fluid.
In addition to its improved suspension geometry, new-generation RX 350 has Nachlauf steering geometry - where in the kingpin axis is located ahead of the axle centre - to optimise straight-line stability and steering feel.
New-generation RX 350's trailing arm-type double wishbone rear suspension is all new.
It was designed for increased grip, reduced harshness, a more linear posture under braking, as well as providing a linear toe curve to stabilise vehicle dynamics and a stable roll posture.
Lexus attention to detail includes aerodynamic covers on the lower number two arms to improve handling stability and fuel economy.
Rear suspension features include:
* a high location for the trailing arm bushing to improve the anti-link/squat ratio
* a large trailing arm bushing to optimise ride comfort and provide the appropriate level of load input compliance
* forward-angled dampers to improve resistance to bump steer
* optimised inverted-V number one lower arm placement to take advantage of compliance steer properties
* longitudinal number two lower arm placement, and a large span between the number one and number two arms, to optimise compliance steer and steering rigidity
RX 350's rear suspension arms are pressed from high-tensile steel for maximum rigidity versus weight.
The upper arm has oversized seat-type bushings on the suspension member side and pillow-ball bushings on the axle side to improve rigidity.
RX 350's rear suspension also has highly rigid hub carriers and axle-hub bearings to increase handling stability. The new axle bearings also contribute to improved fuel economy.
The upper and lower coil-spring seat angles and the bound stopper have been designed to increase ride comfort and control stability.
The springs have upper and lower insulators to isolate the cabin from vibrations.
RX 350's gas-filled rear dampers have newly adopted high-flow pistons and multi-leaf linear control valves to maximise both ride comfort and control stability.
The stabiliser bar is ball-joint mounted to lower arm to minimise uncontrolled body roll.
NEW RX HAS IMPROVED STEERING SYSTEM
Lexus' new-generation RX 350 has road speed-sensitive Electric Power-assisted Steering (EPS), for improved agility and linearity.
Adopting EPS has allowed Lexus engineers to lower RX 350's steering ratio from 16.3 to 14.8:1.
Lexus estimates it provides a fuel economy saving of approximately three per cent.
In addition, the new steering system reduces steering flutter by 30 per cent and steering drift by 40 per cent.
Adopting electric power assistance also allows the use of steering support cooperation with the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
In addition, RX 350 now has power tilt and telescopic adjustments for the steering column, along with a settings memory.
Lexus has integrated the electric motor, reduction gear and torque sensor into the steering column for more compact and integrated construction.
The steering system includes a new constant ball-slide intermediate shaft to improve steering rigidity.
The constant slide function allows the intermediate shaft to actively change its length, according to steering angle inputs, for a smooth steering feel.
EPS saves energy in high-speed and straight-line driving as virtually no electric current is required.
The energy requirement increases with wheel turning angle, particularly at low road speeds.
While hydraulic power steering requires continuous operation of the hydraulic pump, EPS has the additional environmental benefit of eliminating the need for hydraulic oil (and a hydraulic oil reservoir) in the steering system.
EPS also reduces noise.
The key components in Lexus EPS are a torque sensor in the steering box to detect steering effort, and a controller to calculate torque assistance according to that effort.
The controller then drives the brushless, direct current motor based on the output value from the torque sensor and the motor rotation angle sensor.
All RX 350 models have an electric steering lock, linked to the Smart Entry and Smart Start systems.
RX 350 HAS INCREASED BRAKING PERFORMANCE
Lexus' new RX 350 has increased braking performance, brake feel and fade-resistance.
RX 350's brake system also includes integration of the ABS into the newly adopted Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system.
The brake system also has Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Lexus Brake Assist (BA).
In addition, the brake system cooperates with the new proactive all-wheel drive system.
It disengages drive to the rear wheels under braking to maximise the effectiveness of ABS braking and the VDIM's vehicle stability control features.
RX 350's new VDIM system includes a VSC+ function to provide cooperative steering control when braking on split-mu surfaces.
For example, on a road surface with differing degrees of grip on either side of the vehicle, sudden braking will cause the vehicle to pull towards the side with the higher friction coefficient.
VDIM can optimise the efficiency of the EBD feature while simultaneously activating the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system to automatically regulate the steering angle and counteract the disparate left and right-side braking forces.
These coordinated actions minimise the driver steering input necessary to maintain straight-line braking.
New RX 350 also has increased braking power front and rear.
Front brake rotor dimensions have been increased from 319mm x 28mm to 328mm x 28mm, and remain ventilated.
Twin-piston front calipers have replaced single-piston calipers.
At the rear, 309mm x 10mm solid rotors have replaced 288 x 10mm solid rotors.
A new, lighter, more compact brake actuator has been adopted.
Brake feel has been improved by increasing the effective brake radius (distance from the hub centre to the brake pad centre), optimising the brake pads and optimising the brake pedal ratio.
RX 350 HAS ECO INTELLIGENCE
Lexus' new RX 350 has an indicator system to help the driver optimise achieve fuel efficiency.
It is designed to help achieve the most fuel-efficient acceleration.
The Eco Driving Indicator displays driving status based on vehicle speed, accelerator pedal angle, shift-lever position, engine speed, shift range, Eco mode and Snow mode (if in use).
It guides the driver via an Eco Driving Indicator light and the Eco Driving Indicator Zone Display to how best achieve maximum vehicle efficiency in all driving conditions.
The system gathers information from the engine ECU and communicates via the vehicle's high-speed Control Area Network (CAN).
The Eco Driving Indicator Light operation can be cancelled if not required, by using the meter customisation function.
RX DEBUTS SECOND GENERATION L-FINESSE DESIGN
All-new RX 350 is the first Lexus SUV to be completely designed using the Lexus L-Finesse design philosophy. It is also the first to display the second generation of L-Finesse.
The second iteration of L-Finesse is characterised by a sharper design appearance, yet continues to hold true to the design ideals combining "leading edge" design with "elegance", hence L-Finesse.
RX was also designed to achieve seemly opposing ideals of "robust, tough stance" with "nobility and intelligence"
The all-new design achieves this by taking full advantage of new RX's lower wider stance.
The front grille has design DNA present in all Lexus sedan variants, with a distinctive chrome surround and edges that blend seamlessly into the headlight and bonnet.
Headlights flow outwards from the bumper and join into the flared wheel arches, which flow into sculpted front and rear doors.
Design detail along the lower portion of the doors draws attention to the flared guards, emphasising the all new wheel and tyre package.
RX also features a distinct crease line running from the upper edge of the headlights, across the side of the vehicle, through to the tail lights and the joining crease line running along the C pillar.
The crease line is accentuated by headlights that appear three-dimensional in shape with three distinct separations for low and high beam, along with the indicators.
Tail lights have been designed for both aesthetics and function and are divided horizontally for stop and reversing lights, and vertically for turning lamps.
Exterior design is further accentuated by the use of chrome on the grill, window and lower door surrounds; while side mirror-mounted turn indicators continue the flow of styling lines outwards from the grille.
In a first for RX, the Sports and Sports Luxury vehicles will feature seven spoke 19-inch wheels, while Prestige models will feature five spoke 18-inch wheels, both with space-saver spares.
New RX 350 will be available in a choice of nine exterior colours, including four new colours -Blue Pearl, White Pearl, Sapphire and Metallic Silver - while other colours include Graphite, Onyx (black) and Metallic Beige, Vermillion (Red).
RX 350 HAS INTELLIGENT HEADLAMP SYSTEM
New-generation RX 350 is equipped with the latest High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, with intelligent Adaptive Front lighting System (i-AFS) to improve vision around corners.
It was designed to operate with RX 350's automatic headlamp beam level control, to enhance visibility at intersections and while cornering.
The i-AFS system on RX 350 now operates on high and low beam.
RX 350's new headlamps use HID technology for high and low beam, with a projector "gate" to provide low beam.
This new-generation system has a wider range of movement and more intuitive features than previous Lexus AFS systems.
It can be switched off via the multi-information display if the driver chooses.
Lexus i-AFS operates when the steering angle is 7.5 degrees or more, and the vehicle's speed 10km/h and i-AFS is switched on.
In left-hand corners it can swivel the left-hand headlamp up to 10 degrees to the left, while the right-hand headlamp is fixed.
In right-hand corners, i-AFS can swivel the right-hand headlamp up to 15 degrees to the right, while the left-hand headlamp remains fixed.
When entering a corner i-AFS software estimates where the vehicle will be in three seconds based on the vehicle speed and the steering angle, and adjusts the lateral aim of the headlamps to suit.
ALL NEW WHEELS AND TYRES ADD RX APPEAL
Complimenting the all-new RX 350's exterior design is a new wheel and tyre package.
For the first time on any Lexus SUV, 19 inch wheels will be offered - enhancing the already muscular stance of the RX 350.
All Prestige models will come standard with five spoke 18x7.5-inch aluminium alloy wheels, shod in 235/60R18 Bridgestone tyres.
Standard on Sports and Sports Luxury is a seven spoke 19x7.5-inch aluminium alloy wheel, featuring radial spokes that are designed to convey a spiral effect.
All 19-inch rims feature Bridgestone 235/55R19 tyres.
To extract the maximum space and performance efficiency from the all-new RX a space-saver spare wheel has been adopted as standard, however a full-size spare can be fitted at the customer's request.
RX FEATURES AERODYNAMIC DESIGN
All-new RX has been designed to achieve class-leading co-efficient of drag figures and minimal noise intrusion into the cabin.
The key features are the new exterior and undertray designs, which contribute to the low aerodynamic drag figure of 0.33Cd.
The new undertray has also been designed to produce a venturi effect to assist with downforce and promote even airflow into, and away from, underneath the vehicle.
Further reduction in wind disturbances have been achieved via the adoption of an all-new windscreen-mounting system that reduces the step between glass and body panels.
Adding to the smooth airflow over the vehicle is the new mounting point for the rear windscreen wiper, which is now concealed in the spoiler along the upper edge of the rear screen.
Acoustic glass has been fitted to reduce wind noise over the front of the vehicle, while new door and glass sealing further reduce wind noise and penetration into the cabin.
Additional wind noise reductions have been achieved by increasing the distance between side mirrors and the window, while an all-new windscreen cowl and mounting system reduces transmission of vibration into the cabin.
Road noise has also been greatly reduced through the use of felt-coated inner wheel guard liners and strategically placed vibration-damping coatings.
RX INTERIOR DESIGN
All-new RX features a completely new cabin design, penned under the L-Finesse design philosophy.
Commanding the attention of all occupants is a crossover cockpit theme that is divided clearly into two zones: the "display" and the "operation".
Both zones have dedicated functions, with the "operation zone" housing the all-new Lexus Remote Touch navigation system, gear shifter and driver-operable switch gear.
The "display zone" has been designed to provide information to the occupants and features the multi-information screen, combination meter and head-up display (HUD).
The combination meter features the speedometer, tachometer and other vehicle functions, and makes use of a new Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) for instrument illumination.
In the "operation zone", drivers will now be able to operate a greater range of vehicle functions from the steering wheel via a multi-information switch, while cruise control, radio and telephone switchgear also remain on the steering wheel.
The multi-information switch can be used to activate a variety of functions, including transmission modes, the trip computer and the all-new ECO feature.
On Sports Luxury grade, it also operates the parking sensors and i-AFS.
Providing a link between the "display" and "operation" zones is the newly design centre cluster, featuring a distinctly sculpted design.
The centre cluster houses stereo and climate control systems, while adding to the modern look of the cabin.
Sitting above the centre cluster and recessed into the dash is an eight-inch multi information display screen.
The screen display is one of two components that make up Lexus' all-new Remote Touch navigation system.
The screen's recessed position allows for greater viewing clarity in ambient light, and combined with the new Lexus Remote Touch navigation system does away with unsightly fingerprints on the display screen.
Running down from the centre cluster and clearly dividing the cabin in two is a large centre console that houses storage space and the all-new Lexus Remote Touch system.
Lexus Remote Touch has been designed to simplify the interaction between driver and vehicle functions and is shaped to offer the ideal combination of ergonomics, grip and functionality.
Housing both the "operational" and "display" zone is an L-Finesse-inspired dashboard, which wraps around front occupants and leads seamlessly into the door trims.
All areas of the interior have been designed to maximise occupant comfort. Larger armrests, seats designed with arm movement in mind and increased rear head room were all achieved through considered design.
Complementing the overall design is a combination of three interior colour options including grey, black and a newly developed ivory, all matched to dark and light walnut wood trims.
*Parking sensors are designed as a driver assist device only and should not be used as a subsitute for skilled driving and safe parking practices. The driver should watch the area into which the vehicle is to be reversed, react appropriately and ensure compliance with all road rules.
RX DEBUTS LEXUS REMOTE TOUCH
Lexus' breakthrough Lexus Remote Touch navigation system debuts on new RX.
Lexus Remote Touch has been designed to simplify the way in which occupants can access and enact vehicle functionality, while increasing display screen visibility.
Visibility has been improved with the higher-mounted screen resulting in a 30 per cent reduction in eye movement over the previous model RX.
Traditionally, Lexus touch screen systems did not offer maximum visibility due to the limited distances screens could be placed from occupants. Screens also became obscured due to finger marks.
Lexus engineers knew that while a remote navigation device would solve their visibility issue, it also presented them with many useability and functionality issues.
The development issue lead engineers to develop six prototypes that underwent numerous useability and focus groups studies to devise a system that was intuitive, easy to use and - most of all - easy to adapt to.
The resulting 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.
On the operation end, the ergonomically designed Lexus Remote Touch device features a mouse, menu and map buttons, along with a side-mounted display and dual enter switches to assist driver or passenger operations.
Unlike rival offerings, which offer no user feedback, the Lexus Remote Touch system features a twin axis force feedback ergonomic mouse that allows users to easily identify and select the desired function on the multi-information display.
Furthermore, audible beeps are used to signal various functions.
Should a user fail to enact a function a different beep will be heard.
Lexus engineers also wanted to ensure that current Lexus customers could easily navigate the new system.
To achieve this, the current graphic user interface was retained and true to Lexus, no function was to be more than three clicks from the main menu screen.
The Lexus Remote Touch system is also completely customisable and allows occupants to set the desired level of force feedback, pointer shape, size and beep sound, pending personal preference.
RX PUTS DRIVERS IN CONTROL
All-new RX 350 will debut a number of user-customisable features.
Lexus RX customers are now able to customise various functions including:
* Feedback levels from the Lexus Remote Touch navigation system
* Display height for Head Up Display (HUD)
* ECO indicator display
* Door unlock and lock sequence
* Exterior light sequence on approach
* Auto headlight on levels
In addition, RS 350 has three memory settings for the driver's seat and steering column, and a range of settings on the programmable smart card.
These functions allow occupants to tailor their driving environment to their desired needs.
Once programmed, drivers can match their desired settings to a dedicated key, ensuring that each time they enter the vehicle it is set up to their desired requirements.
RX RECEIVES POWERFUL CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
All-new Lexus RX 350 was designed with occupant comfort top of mind.
Taking into account the larger cabin volume, Lexus engineers were determined to offer a vehicle that could cool, or warm, the cabin quicker than previous systems.
To achieve this, several improvements and new technologies have been introduced to the RX Line, including a newly developed air conditioning unit, compressor, flow sensor, oil separator, as well as an improved heat exchanger.
When combined, the new and improved components result in an increased cooling range of 1.5 degrees on the cool down and three degrees on the heat side over the previous generation RX.
At the he art of the system is an all-new compact air conditioning unit that is almost 200 grams lighter than the previous unit, features a high performance heat exchanger, as well as being able to expel up to 30m 3 more air per hour over the outgoing RX vehicle.
The air conditioning unit is complemented by an all-new electric compressor and integrated humidity sensor, which reduces the need for air conditioning operation depending on conditions. The unit also assists in delivering a one per cent improvement in fuel efficiency due to reduced engine loads.
Further efficiency gains were achieved by employing an all-new flow sensor, which works in conjunction with the engine management system to deliver the appropriate level of refrigerant to the system based on cooling requirements.
Large improvements in cooling performance were also achieved through the development of a new oil separator - which ensures that oil does not enter the air conditioning cycle - reducing strain on air conditioning components and resulting in a four per cent improvement in air conditioning efficiency.
The heating function is also greatly improved through the adoption of a newly designed heat exchanger.
Featuring an aluminium core, the system is able to rapidly heat air for greater heating performance over the previous model.
To ensure that the system does all of this as quietly as possible, the whole system has been designed with rubber dampers and resin brackets, ensuring that even the smallest vibration or noise is removed from the system.
In fact, the system outlets have also been designed to aid airflow and reduce noise while in operation, and allow an airflow adjustment of 25 degrees movement, both up and down, for optimal passenger comfort.
The system also features a pollen filter and automatic recirculation functions to protect against harmful emissions such as nitrous oxide from surrounding vehicles entering the cabin.
RX GETS SOUND RIGHT FROM THE START
Lexus RX vehicles will features two levels of audio systems, designed from the outset to deliver the best audio performance of any luxury SUV.
Prestige and Sports model RX 350s will feature a 12-speaker Lexus premium sound system.
Sports Luxury RX 350 vehicles will feature Lexus' signature Mark Levinson premium surround sound system with 15 speakers, delivering 7.1 channel Dolby digital playback as an optional feature.
Speaker placement in both systems has been designed to minimise the amount of tuning required after installation.
Higher mounted front tweeters, and new rear door tweeters, channel sound towards occupants, resulting in a crisper sound throughout the operation range.
All other speakers have been placed in symmetry across the cabin to ensure perfect cross-channel sound, while the subwoofer comp art ment features an ingenious and efficient L-shaped design that achieves the required volume without intruding into boot space.
Both systems feature an in-dash six-stack CD player capable of DVD, MP3, WMA and CD-R/RW playback, and for the first time in RX, there is an auxiliary (AUX) jack allowing for playback of portable music players such as iPods.
The design of the centre console also allows AUX cables to be hidden discreetly within the centre console, maintaining the clean design of the interior.
NEW RX EASY TO ENTER AND EXIT
All-new Lexus RX 350 will feature Lexus' unique Smart Entry and Card Key system - a first for RX.
The Smart Entry system on RX also debuts an all-new touch activation pad design, which requires only the slightest touch on either the top, or bottom, of the door handles to unlock and lock the vehicle's doors.
The new Smart Entry design replaces the tradition black touch button mounted on the door handle, resulting in a cleaner design.
The entry system Card Key also measures just 3.35mm thick.
Smart Card has an area of 83mm x 53mm, making it four per cent smaller than a standard credit card.
Smart Card also includes a conveniently concealed conventional metal key, which provides access to the car in the rare event of a system failure.
When the Smart Card is between 0.7 and 1.0 metres from the locked door, the key communicates with a transmitter built into the door handle and matches ID codes.
All-new RX vehicles also feature Lexus signature power tailgate, which has been redesigned to offer greater jam protection, and now features separate lock and unlock switches, replacing the previous model's single button.
Furthermore, when unlocked the vehicle will automatically move the driver seat reward by either 50mm or 35mm - pending driver preference - to aid entry and egress from the vehicle.
RX DESIGNED WITH PRACTICALITY IN MIND
All-new RX 350 has been designed to offer the maximum amount of useable storage space through efficient design.
The front of the vehicle is characterised by the large centre console, which features a dedicated stowage area for the owner's manual, yet still offers a further 21 litres of stowage capacity.
The centre console also features two 12 volt power outlets and one AUX input for portable music devices.
All cords can be stowed out of sight and can be fed through to a dedicated stowage tray that sits atop the centre console.
The front also features two central and dash-mounted cup holders, along with larger door-mounted cup holders for 750ml bottles, along with larger map pockets
The centre console has the added advantage of offering a large floor stowage comp art ment in the front and frees up further space in the glove box by allowing for stowage of the owner's manual.
In the rear, occupants can leave books, maps and other items in the back of the seat or door pockets, while provisions for 750ml bottles are also available.
The flat-folding rear seats also give way to greater cargo volume, while the new suspension design frees up a further 150mm of space in the rear.
The seat splits 40/20/40 for maximum versatility. However, engineers designed a new quick-release system for the rear seats.
The quick-release system consists of two levers, one on either side of the vehicle, inside the rear door.
Further stowage areas, for wet or dirty items, are also provided under the cargo area's floor. The cargo area can also be completely covered by a standard split parcel blind.
RX 350 HAS LEADING SAFETY PACKAGE
New Lexus RX 350 has a comprehensive package of advanced active and passive safety features.
It is the first Lexus with a Head-Up Display (HUD) and the first Lexus SUV with rear-seat side SRS airbags and rear-seat pre-tensioning seatbelts.
All models have new Lexus pro-active all-wheel-drive, ten SRS airbags and Lexus Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) safety active safety technology.
In addition, the new RX 350 has a larger footprint on the road, lower centre of gravity, a new larger brake package, improved road holding including all new rear suspension, road-speed sensitive electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), rear guide assist with camera and High Intensity Discharge headlamps.
RX 350's passive safety equipment includes an improved two-stage driver's SRS airbag, a newly adopted twin-chamber front passenger's SRS airbag and full-length side curtain-shield airbags.
The new RX 350 also has newly adopted active front-seat head restraints and rear-outboard seat pretensioning seatbelts with force limiters.
The RX 350 Sports and Sports Luxury models have millimeter wave-length radar Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the Lexus Pre-Collision System (PCS).
The Sports Luxury model has HUD, side camera and swivelling headlamps (intelligent Adaptive Front lighting System).
RX LINE ACTIVE SAFETY
The new RX 350 has a comprehensive active safety package, with Lexus Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) on all models.
The VDIM package seamlessly combines vehicle stability control with cooperative steering function (VSC+), Traction Control (TRC), ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Lexus Brake Assist.
All three RX 350 model grades have on-demand all-wheel drive, a larger footprint on the road, a lower centre of gravity, a larger brake package and improved road holding, including all-new rear suspension, road-speed sensitive electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering, rear guide assist with camera, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated electro chromatic exterior mirrors, Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) instruments and front and rear fog lamps.
RX 350's proactive all-wheel drive system disengages drive to the rear wheels under braking to maximise the effectiveness of ABS braking and the VDIM's vehicle stability control features.
The driver can manually override the active all-wheel drive system at speeds up to 40km/h with the AWD LOCK button to achieve maximum traction.
Lexus RX 350 Sports has the added active safety features over and above Prestige grade of radar Active Cruise Control (ACC) and the Lexus Pre-Collision System (PCS).
It also has 19-inch diameter wheels with lower aspect ratio tyres, in lieu of 18-inch wheels.
Top-of-the-range RX 350 Sports Luxury has intelligent adaptive HID headlamps on high and low beam.
The Lexus i-AFS (intelligent Adaptive Front-lamp System) offers improved night vision in corners and at intersections.
All RX 350 models receive Back Monitor (rear view camera) with rear guide assist (line display) and audio controls on the steering wheel.
Sports Luxury further adds to the package with Head-Up Display (HUD), Wide View side monitor, and clearance and parking sonar.
The steering wheel has controls for audio, multi-information, telephone voice recognition and vehicle-to-vehicle distance change for the Active Cruise Control*.
* On Sports and Sports Luxury models only.
RX LINE PASSIVE SAFETY
Lexus has raised the bar on passive safety in new-generation RX 350, with a raft of new features and the most extensive crash-testing program ever for a Lexus SUV.
Lexus invested $US30million in RX passive safety development, with a record 233 crash tests.
It has been tested in 64km/h offset frontal collisions, as well as United States 55mph offset moving deformable barriers (which require a survival space and no fuel leak to pass) and a 50km/h SUV side impact test.
New-generation RX 350 has ten SRS airbags - including first-in-class dual SRS front-seat knee airbags and new rear-seat SRS side (torso) airbags.
New-generation RX 350 also has an improved two-stage driver's SRS airbag, a newly adopted twin-chamber front passenger's SRS airbag and full-length side curtain-shield airbags.
The new-generation RX 350 also has newly adopted active front-seat head restraints and rear-outboard seat pre-tensioning seatbelts with force limiters.
Sports and Sports Luxury models feature the Lexus Pre-Crash seatbelt (PSB) system as part of the overall Pre-Crash Safety System.
The PSB pre-tensions the front seat and rear outboard seat seatbelts if the PCS radar sensor determines a crash is unavoidable.
The PSB also activates when the braking control unit determines the driver is performing emergency braking, or that there is a high possibility of loss of vehicle stability.
New-generation RX 350's package of passive safety features is enclosed within a highly rigid cabin for optimum occupant protection.
The new cabin was designed for minimal distortion by using a rigid frame structure, improved rigidity of the frame joints and integrated outer panels.
New-generation RX 350's passive safety features also include adjustable upper anchorages for optimum seatbelt fit and an impact-absorbing steering column.
In addition, Lexus has redesigned new-generation RX 350 to improve pedestrian safety.
The new body design includes special features to reduce the chance of injury to pedestrians.
These design features include a new impact-absorbing bonnet with a longitudinal frame, an increased crush stroke and an optimsed bonnet lock reinforcement to maximise pedestrian protection, while ensuring dent resistance and quiet closing.
The guards have been redesigned with an impact-absorbing bracket structure.
The heights of the guard, the guard protector and the guard brackets have been optimised to create an energy absorbing structure.
The guard brackets and radiator support upper bracket have newly adopted bend points, creating an optimal impact-absorbing structure.
Active Front-Seat Head Restraints:
New-generation RX 350 has active front-seat head restraints to improve occupant protection in a rear-end collision.
The WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) active front-seat head restraint system has an absorber at the base of the seat backrest, linked by cable to an upper unit, which in turn activates the head restraint.
In a rear-end collision, the occupant's body weight acts on the absorber pad.
The energy is transferred via the cable to the upper unit and the upper unit moves the whole head restraint closer to the occupant's head to reduce injury to the neck.
RX 350 HAS HILL-START ASSIST CONTROL
New RX 350 has Lexus' latest-generation Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) for smooth take offs on hills.
HAC is an automatic function that prevents the vehicle rolling down hill when starting from a stop in the interval when the driver's foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal.
It is particularly helpful on low-traction surfaces or when driving off road.
The new-generation system has two key advantages over the superseded system.
Control begins based on driver's intention - rather than when the vehicle begins to roll - and it operates in both forward and reverse.
The HAC system has the advantages of reducing fatigue and requiring less accelerator pedal input, thereby reducing potential wheel-spin on slippery surfaces.
It is activated by applying more pressure to the brake pedal after the vehicle has stopped, and is released when the accelerator pedal is depressed.
There are five steps in HAC operation:
- stop on a hill
- increase brake pedal pressure after stopping
- a buzzer will sound to show HAC is engaged
- release brake pedal (the HAC system maintains brake pressure)
- depress the accelerator pedal (the HAC system automatically releases brake pressure).
WORLD CLASS EXTERIOR VISION FOR RX 350
New Lexus RX 350 has world-class exterior vision technology, including high- and low-beam High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and cameras*.
All RX 350 models have Lexus Rear Guide assist with camera.
Top of the range Sports Luxury grade has the added features of intelligent Adaptive Front lighting System (i-AFS) and side cameras.
All RX 350 models have Bi-HID four-bulb headlamps, for improved light distribution performance.
The new high-beam in the Bi-HID lamps has an increased area penetration on the road surface, with particular attention to the width of the illuminated area.
The RX 350 Bi-HID headlamps operate for both low- and high-beam. A projector-type "shade" creates the low-beam effect and moves clear of the light beam for high-beam.
In addition, RX 350 has separate halogen-type high-beam bulbs.
The high-beam lamps are colour-matched to the Bi-HID lamps for more consistent illumination.
The newly adopted i-AFS on Sports Luxury grade swivels the Bi-HID bulb, so it provides the "lighting around corners" effect on both low- and high-beam.
The new-generation i-AFS system has a wider range of lamp movement and more intuitive features than previous Lexus AFS systems.
The system provides both headlamp-swiveling and auto-leveling, based on information from the vehicle speed sensors, vehicle height sensors and steering angle sensor.
i-AFS can be turned off via the multi-information display if not required.
All RX 350 models have illuminated entry, including courtesy lamps under the exterior mirrors.
RX 350 Sports has two additional features - heated electro-chromatic exterior mirrors and a wide-angle side camera.
In combination, the side and rear cameras offer the most comprehensive view of a vehicle's exterior, giving drivers the ability to check hard-to-view areas by simply pressing a button on the dashboard**.
The passenger side camera provides a complete side view of the vehicle - from tail light to headlight.
Its images on the EMV screen assist the driver to confirm there are no objects around the vehicle**.
The wide-view monitor operates at speeds up to 12km/h and automatically engages at speeds below 10km/h when automatic mode is enabled.
RX 350's exterior vision features also include rain-sensing windscreen wipers and electro-chromatic interior rear vision mirror.
*Available on selected models.
**Camera is designed as a driver assist device only and should not be used as a substitute for skilled driving practices.
NEW RX 350 FEATURES HEAD-UP DISPLAY
New Lexus RX 350 Sports Luxury model has the enhanced visibility feature of Head-Up Display (HUD).
It is the first Lexus model in Australia with this feature, which allows drivers to spend more time focused on the road.
The Lexus system has an advanced display, with a wider range of contents than conventional HUD systems.
The display contents include: vehicle speed, simplified navigation arrows, audio CD and radio, and PCS brake warning.
The navigation display provides a distance countdown to the next turn as this system is more intuitive than displaying a street name which must be found and compared with the actual names on the street signs.
The audio displays are momentary, before reverting to the previous display - and can be turned on or off.
The HUD is provided as a tool to clearly display information.
The display can be raised or lowered, and the luminance adjusted to suit the driver.
Lexus adopted a white dot matrix display with an exclusively designed font to create a sense of unity with the instrument lighting.
The HUD has been optically engineered to achieve a maximum display luminance of 6000cd/m 2 - to maintain clear visibility even on snow-covered roads.
Lexus tested the prototype system on snow-covered roads in Hokkaido to establish the correct HUD colouring for a constantly changing background.
RX 350 DESIGNED FOR OCCUPANT SAFETY
Lexus' new RX 350 has top-class occupant safety, beginning with its optimised body structure.
Forty two per cent of RX 350's new body is high-tensile strength steel sheet, to optimise body rigidity and collision protection while meeting strict weight targets.
The A-pillars have been designed with two sets of overlapping sections.
The inner reinforcement has been extended to the rear of the lower inner A-pillar reinforcement.
These features increase the buckling strength and load sustainability when buckled, thereby lessening deformation of the body around the front pillars.
RX 350's optimised body structure also includes a reinforced centre pillar with an internal section of ultra-high tensile steel sheet (100kg class).
The pillars have a second internal layer of high-tensile steel sheet, to ensure optimum pillar strength.
High-tensile strength sheet steel is also used for the rocker panel reinforcement and roof rail reinforcement.
In addition, RX 350 has high-strength steel sheet doors, anti-intrusion beams and bonnet.
There are three floor reinforcement structures.
The roof header has been reinforced and there is a roof reinforcement panel that joins the roof side rail at the top of the centre pillars.
The passive safety package has ten SRS airbags as standard equipment, including newly introduced rear-seat side airbags as well as full-length side curtain-shield airbags.
It also has active front-seat head restraints.
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