Lexus LX 570 (J200)
|Assembly||Japan: Tahara, Aichi|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size SUV (LX 450)
Full-size SUV (LX 470/570)
|Body style||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine / full-time 4WD|
|Related||Toyota Land Cruiser|
The Lexus LX is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) sold by Lexus since 1996. Three generations of the Lexus LX have been produced, all based heavily on the long-running Toyota Land Cruiser series of SUVs. The first generation LX 450 debuted in 1996 as Lexus' first entry into the SUV market. Its successor, the LX 470, premiered in 1998 and was produced until 2006. The latest third generation Lexus LX 570 debuted at the New York International Auto Show in April 2007 as a complete redesign for the 2008 model year. The LX 570 is not offered to the Japanese market, but is sold by Lexus in Russia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Middle East, and North America; in those regions, the related Land Cruiser is also sold by Toyota. The LX is not available in the rest of the world, where the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 is sold.
The latest two generations of the Lexus LX have featured a V8 engine powertrain, a welded steel unibody shell combined with a full-size steel ladder frame (body on frame construction), and the capacity to seat eight passengers (LX 470 and LX 570). The first generation LX 450, classified as a mid-size SUV, featured an inline-6 engine and capacity for seven passengers. The second generation LX 470 shared exterior styling with the Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus, sold in Japan. The LX ranks as Lexus' largest and most expensive luxury sport utility vehicle, sized above the GX and RX series of SUVs. It was Lexus' most expensive offering until the LS 600h.
First generation (J80)
|Also called||Toyota Land Cruiser 80|
|Production||November 1995 – December 1997|
|Engine||4.5 L 1FZ-FE I6|
|Transmission||4-speed A343F automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,850 mm (112.2 in)|
|Length||4,821 mm (189.8 in)|
|Width||1,930 mm (76.0 in)|
|Height||1,869 mm (73.6 in)|
Rapidly developed in the mid-1990s as a result of threatening US trade sanctions on Japanese luxury cars, the LX 450 started production in November 1995 and was released to the US in January 1996 as a 1996 model; Canada received the LX from 1997. The LX 450 was Lexus's first entry into the SUV market and was almost entirely based on the sixth generation Toyota Land Cruiser (J80). Differences between the LX 450 and the Land Cruiser lay in a restyled, more luxurious interior and softer suspension settings. The first LX 450 rolled off the production line in December 1995.
The LX 450 was powered by a 4.5 liter, twin-cam, four-valve inline-six engine which produced 160 kW (215 hp) and 373 N·m (275 lb·ft) of torque. Both front and rear axles were solid. Externally, the LX 450 was largely identical to the J80 series Land Cruiser, with the exception of the grille, side body cladding, and wheels. Side running boards allowed step-up access into the vehicle's cabin. The vehicle was also fitted with additional sound-absorbing insulation.
Onboard amenities included leather seats and seating capacity for up to seven passengers in three rows of seating. The third row seat was accessed by tilting the second row bench seat forward. The third row itself could be folded to the side for more cargo area, and the second row seat could fold down for further space. The vehicle also came pre-wired for the Lexus remote telephone system, and was equipped with a remote entry key system. The three available options consisted of a console-mounted 6-disc CD changer, electronic front and rear locking differentials, and a power moonroof. At the time of its 1996 debut, the LX 450 was listed in the US with a manufacturer's suggested base price of $47,995. This was approximately a $7,000 price premium over the Land Cruiser, which had a base price of $40,678 for 1996.
Targeted against luxury SUV competitors such as Range Rover, the LX 450 sold over 5,000 units in 1996 and over 9,000 units in 1997. At its launch, the LX 450 sold out its initial production allocation, resulting in a two-month wait list; surpassing initial expectations which had called for 4,000 units sold that year. The LX 450 was brought to market as US buyers showed greater interest in large SUVs; these vehicles had grown popular because of their high driver's vantage point and truck-like characteristics. Lexus customer research also revealed that one in six owners were purchasing large SUVs to add to their garages. An additional factor was the US-Japan trade war of the mid-1990s. At the time, the US government threatened to place 100 percent tariffs on all Japanese luxury import cars, but not including SUVs. The LX 450 was produced as a rebadged model (in contrast with other Lexus efforts which were independently or divergently developed from Toyota vehicles), giving Lexus a model that was exempt from the tax. Ultimately however, a gentlemen's agreement was reached and the threatened tariffs did not materialize.
The LX 450 replaced the Toyota Land Cruiser in the Canadian market starting after 1996, reducing internal competition (big expensive SUVs have traditionally faced a difficult market in Canada) and avoiding the issue of selling a rebadged model (except for GM, Ford and Chrysler, rebadged models in Canada have not met with success). For a 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) vehicle, the LX 450 was regarded by some critics as underpowered, leading to the shortening of its model cycle (despite sales increases) and replacement with a V8-powered successor.
Second generation (J100)
2002–2005 Lexus LX 470 (US)
|Also called||Toyota Land Cruiser (J100)
Toyota Land Cruiser Cygnus (J100)
|Engine||4.7 L '2UZ-FE V8|
|Transmission||4-speed A343F automatic
5-speed A750F automatic
|Wheelbase||2,850 mm (112.2 in)|
|Length||4,890 mm (192.5 in)|
|Width||1,941 mm (76.4 in)|
|Height||1,849 mm (72.8 in)|
In the mid-1990s, work started on a Lexus variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser (J100) which became the Lexus LX (J100). The final design by Hiroya Kitazumi was approved in 1995, with updates by Kitazumi approved in 2001 and 2004. Testing was conducted from the mid-1990s till late 1997. In December 1997, the second generation LX 470 debuted at Los Angeles Auto Show, later going on sale in the second quarter of 1998. The second generation model shared the same floor plan and most body panels with the equivalent Land Cruiser, and differed in its front appearance and a more luxurious interior. Exterior design differences included a quad-headlamp forward fascia with larger grille, and different wheels. The LX 470 was powered by a LEV-certified 4.7-liter V8 engine, which initially produced 172 kW (230 hp) and was later upgraded to produce 175 kW (235 hp), then 200 kW (268 hp). The final torque value was 445 N·m (328 lb·ft). The LX 470 was rated to tow 2,900 kg (6,500 lb).
The front gained an independent suspension arrangement and the optional electronic locking front and rear differentials were dropped. Suspension features included Adjustable Height Control (AHC) and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). The AHC hydraulic suspension could raise the vehicle for off-roading, but return to a normal driving height reducing the center of gravity and wind resistance. The lowest setting for when the vehicle was stopped allowed for easier entry, exit and loading. AVS alters shock absorber firmness in under 2.5 milliseconds at each wheel individually selecting from a range of 64 settings depending on road conditions and driver input such as steering-wheel activity, braking and acceleration. The AVS system used a switch for the driver's preferences including "normal", "comfort" and "sport" modes.
A DVD-based navigation system, Nakamichi stereo with in-dash six-disc CD changer, electrochromic power folding side mirrors, and a smog sensor for the HVAC system were offered. For 2000 models, Vehicle Stability Control and brake assist were made standard.
The optional Night View feature, an infrared camera safety system, was offered as an option in 2002. This was the world's first active automotive night vision system and projected information on the windshield using a head-up display; the driver could vary brightness using a dimmer knob. Additionally, the 2003 LX 470 came equipped with a Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) system. The previous steering system's ratio was fixed at 19.8-to-1. The revised model could vary steering ratios from 12.4-to-1 to 18.0-to-1 depending on driving conditions, allowing the driver to apply less steering input to maneuver in tight places such as parking lots. However, by changing the steering's ratio on the highway, minor adjustments made by the driver would not create excessive vehicular movement.
During 2002 for the 2003 model year, Lexus introduced minor tweaks to the interior and exterior which included larger standard 18" wheels, replaced the previous 4-speed automatic with a 5-speed automatic, and bumped power up from 172 kW (230 hp) to 175 kW (235 hp). This updated engine now met CARB ULEV-II emission standards. For safety Lexus added front row side torso airbags and side curtain airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution and rain-sensing windshield wipers as standard equipment. An 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system and a DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System (RSES) were made optional. Other major new features included Lexus Link, an emergency service similar to GM's Onstar, in North America.
In 2005 for the 2006 model year, another refresher took place including the addition of LED tail lamps to replace the previous units. Lexus also added VVT-i to the engine and further increased its power to 205 kilowatts (275 hp). During 2006, for the final model year, 2007, Lexus produced 400 "Limited Edition" LX 470s with Black Onyx paint, stone leather interior, and specialized badging and scuff plates.
Third generation (J200)
First-facelift Lexus LX 570 (URJ201R; Australia)
|Also called||Toyota Land Cruiser (J200)|
|Engine||5.7 L 3UR-FE V8
4.7 L 2UZ-FE V8
4.6 L 1UR-FE V8
|Transmission||6-speed AB60F automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,850 mm (112.2 in)|
|Length||5,005 mm (197.0 in)|
|Width||1,970 mm (77.6 in)|
|Height||1,865 mm (73.4 in)|
|Curb weight||2,685–2,750 kg (5,919–6,063 lb)|
On April 4, 2007, Lexus debuted the 2008 model year LX 570 at the New York International Auto Show. The LX 570 was a complete redesign of the LX, and the first version of Lexus' largest SUV to premiere before its expected Land Cruiser counterpart. The design by Shinichi Hiranaka was approved in 2004, who also did the design update approved in 2010 The LX 570 features a new UL EV-II certified 5.7 L 3UR-FE V8 engine. Total engine output is rated at 286 kW (383 hp) and 546 N·m (403 lb·ft) of torque. The more powerful engine helps give the LX an increased towing capacity of up to 3,900 kg (8,500 lb). The engine is tied to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission with an all-new 4WD system which uses an electronic Torsen center differential. Development began on both the Land Cruiser (J200) and Lexus LX equivalent in 2002. The final design was approved in 2004, with testing being conducted into early 2007 on development prototypes and late 2007 on pre-production models. The final design patent for the J200 series Lexus LX, was filed on March 30, 2007. Its major competitors are the Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX, Cadillac Escalade, and Lincoln Navigator.
Compared to its predecessor, the LX 570 is 102 mm (4 in) longer overall and 25 mm (1 in) wider, while retaining the same wheelbase length. The latest LX loses the plastic lower body side cladding leaving the paint exposed. A third of the frame's body mass is made from high-tensile steel, along with the entire B-pillar, and all three crossmembers which are made from hydroformed steel. Like the Toyota Tundra the tow hitch is integrated into the frame. The front suspension now uses double wishbones replacing the previous torsion beam which offers 230 mm (9 in) of suspension travel while the rear continues to use a multi-link suspension with a solid rear axle for strength and durability. According to its manufacturer, the LX platform has logged 240,000 test kilometers through subtropical forests, the Australian Outback, and various American deserts.
The LX 570 comes standard with 20 inch-wheels, a four-wheel electro-hydraulic suspension with an updated six-setting Active Height Control (AHC) system that can raise the vehicle by 75 mm (3 in) or lower it by 50 mm (2 in) from its normal ride height using a knob located in the center console. The front suspension's air bag spring rates are also variable but not continuously like a fully active suspension arrangement. The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides more immediate damper firmness adjustments which are diagonally cross-linked linked through a mechanical system using hydraulic fluid similar to the 4Runner's X-REAS system.
Other performance features include a Crawl Control (more advanced version of Downhill Assist Control) system which will negotiate off-road obstacles in both forward and reverse at low speeds by automatically providing throttle and braking inputs for less experienced off-road drivers, an interior lever allows the driver to reduce speed as the vehicle travels. A multi-terrain anti-lock braking system allows for shorter stopping distances on surfaces such as sand or gravel. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards on hills or slippery surfaces.
The LX 570's interior design includes a number of the amenities, standard and optional, featured in the 2007 LS 460, such as semi-aniline leather seats, four-zone climate control, a 19-speaker 450 Watt Mark Levinson surround sound stereo system with hard drive memory storage, a hard-drive based navigation system, XM satellite radio with NavTraffic is standard, a two-piece power liftgate/tailgate and Lexus Intuitive Park Assist, a sonar parking assist feature. Other features include Bubinga wood trim (a form of African rosewood also used in private aircraft and high-quality instruments), a center console cooler for storage of cold drinks, power sliding rear seats, power third row seats, and a 230 millimetres (9 in) DVD rear-seat entertainment system.
The LX 570 also features the updated Lexus fifth generation hard drive based navigation system with an 8 inch high-resolution VGA display. Lexus' keyless SmartAccess with an ultra-thin "smart card" key is standard along with 10 airbags including knee airbags for driver and front passenger as well as second row side torso airbags, the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) is standard, while the Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control systems are available options. Active front headrests are featured, debuting this Lexus safety feature for the first time on an SUV in the U.S. A new Wide-view Front and Side Monitor system uses a camera mounted on the grill giving a 180 degree view in front and another camera mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle's side mirror helps eliminate blind spots on the side at low speeds useful in parking lots or off-road adventures. The previous Night View system was discontinued.
In 2010 for the 2011 model year, Lexus introduced a mild facelift for the LX. This involved the fitment of a new front bumper, and for the sports models, the application of stick-on bodykit to the front and rear bumpers. The new front bumper gave the effect of the new Lexus "spindle" grille without actually redesigning any of the major bodywork components.
A second more substantial facelift arrived in 2012 for the 2013 model year. This can be characterized by the new grille, bumpers, headlamps, tail lamps lenses and miscellaneous trim changes such as new wheel designs.
|LX 470||2UZ-FE V8 4663 cc||271 hp (202 kW) @ 5400 rpm||410 Nm (302 lb-ft) @ 3400 rpm||Hong Kong only||2007–2012|
|LX 460||1UR-FE V8 4608 cc||313 hp (234 kW) @ 5500 rpm||460 Nm (339 lb-ft) @ 3400 rpm||Hong Kong only||2012–|
|LX 570||3UR-FE V8 5663 cc||362 hp (270 kW) @ 5600 rpm||530 Nm (390 lb-ft) @ 3200 rpm||GCC, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Chile, South Africa||2007–|
|LX 570||3UR-FE V8 5663 cc||383 hp (286 kW) @ 5600 rpm||546 Nm (403 lb-ft) @ 3600 rpm||United States, Canada||2007–|
- The LX 450 was the top-ranked full-size sport utility vehicle in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey, with the lowest number of problems experienced by new owners during the first three months of ownership.
- The LX 470 was named by J.D. Power and Associates as the best luxury SUV in initial quality in 2000, 2002, and 2004.
- Kelley Blue Book gave the LX 470 its Best to Hold Value Award in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
- In a 2000 Edmunds.com comparison with four other premium SUVs, the LX 470 took first place.
- In a 2003 Edmunds.com comparison, the LX 470's Mark Levinson audio system and navigation system were the highest rated in their respective categories.
- In 2005, J.D. Power named the LX 470 the most reliable luxury SUV over a three-year period in its Vehicle Dependability Study.
- In 2009, the LX 570 received J.D. Power's top score among all vehicles in its Initial Quality Study.
Sales data for the Lexus LX are as follows, sourced from manufacturer yearly data.
|Generation||Model(s)||Calendar year||Total sales (U.S.)|
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