2010 Lexus RX 350 & RX 450h debut in USA
Lexus unveiled the all-new 2010 RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. The RX supposedly pioneered the car-based luxury SUV segment when it launched in 1998 for he American market. The new model continues that old formula almost exactly.
The 2010 Lexus RX 350 will be powered by an improved 275 hp 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a sequential-shift 6-speed automatic gearbox. The all-wheel-drive version will feature an Active Torque Control AWD system that optimizes torque depending on driving conditions, resulting in improved efficiency and performance. The Americans also get a front-wheel-drive basic version.
The 2010 Lexus RX 450h is powered by a 295 hp hybrid 3.5-litre V6, and features a front-wheel hybrid drive or an electronically driven, part-time all-wheel-drive hybrid drive system, which supplies the rear wheels with the optimal amount of torque as conditions demand. Unlike mechanical AWD systems that reduce fuel efficiency via added weight and friction, the RX 450h’s rear-mounted electric motor-generator allows all four wheels to perform regenerative braking, charging the hybrid battery more effectively.
Both RX models feature a redesigned double-wishbone rear suspension. The new design allows for five percent more cargo volume and easier loading. The front McPherson strut suspension geometry was optimized. We believe it continues to be comfort-biased.
The five-seater RX models possess a number of Lexus-first technologies, such as an available hard-disk navigation system with an all-new “Remote Touch” controller. Positioned on the centre console, Remote Touch is used as a computer mouse. While RX will feature voice recognition as standard, the new navigation system will also include a new casual language voice-recognition system that acknowledges conversational commands. Standard XM® satellite-radio capability as well as XM NavTraffic and new NavWeather features are available.
Standard 18-inch aluminium-alloy wheels are an inch larger than before, with optional 19-inch aluminium-alloy wheels available. The RX 450h hybrid will have its own unique styling features, including an exclusive grille, hybrid badging including blue-trimmed Lexus logos, unique front bumper, a special 19-inch optional wheel design, blue-tinted headlamps and tail-lights, and optional LED headlights.
The new RX is available with a selection of luxury and sport option packages, which include features like Lexus’ exclusive Mark Levinson® Surround Sound system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, dynamic radar cruise control, and a Sports Package featuring a sport-tuned suspension. Also offered is a wide-angle side view monitor with a camera located under the passenger side-view mirror.
Safety features include the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system that integrates Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS, Hill Assist Control and Traction Control. The available Pre-Collision System (PCS) relies on millimeter-wave radar technology to recognize a possible frontal collision and primes the brake assist and retracts the driver’s and front passenger’s seat-belt in anticipation of the crash. An intelligent Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) is available with HID headlights. An optional new automatic high-beam system detects light from oncoming vehicles, preceding vehicles or ambient sources and automatically switches from high to low beams. Passive safety features include a class-leading 10 standard airbags and front-seat active headrests.
The all-new 2010 Lexus RX will go on sale next February in the United States, while the GCC-spec version will hit Dubai streets later in the year, most likely after the summer.