Lexus’s flagship SUV – the updated 2015 Lexus LX 570 – will go on sale in Japan on September 14. More importantly, Lexus Malaysia is expected to introduce the LX 570 – a first for Lexus Malaysia - later this year.
Previously, the LX 570 (and its predecessor the LX 470) was only available via grey importers. Although it may be a rare sight in Peninsular Malaysia, the Lexus LX and its sister-car the Land Cruiser 200 are hugely popular in East Malaysia.
Don’t expect it to be cheap. At the point of writing this, there are 141 Lexus LX 570 models on sale at Carlist.my, with some dealers asking RM800,000 for a two-year old example.
The Lexus LX 570 competes against Land Rover’s Range Rover, which starts from RM920,649 (excluding GST). Unlike the two-row seats Range Rover, the three-row seats Lexus seats up to eight adults.
What is it?
The Lexus LX 570 is a very different breed of luxury SUVs and should not be compared against the more urban-focused BMW X5 or Audi Q7.
Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 200, the ladder-frame chassis, permanent four-wheel drive with a locking centre differential Lexus is closer to the Range Rover, and to a certain extent, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen – luxury SUVs with very heavy emphasis on off-road prowess.
What’s new from before?
This new model packs a new 8-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous model’s six-speed unit, and spots a new front-end design with new headlamps, new interior trimmings and ambient lighting, and a new Drive Mode Select feature which allows driver’s to customise the car’s engine, transmission adaptive suspension’s settings – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ modes are available.
Safety features have also been expanded to include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Convenience features include Heads-up Display, Lexus Climate Concierge, which unifies climate control for front and second-row seats, as well automatically detecting the presence of a passenger at the front or second-row seats to switch the air-conditioning on/off. An Easy Access automatically adjusts vehicle height during ingress and egress.
Of course, specifications will differ from country to country and some of the features mentioned here might not be available for Lexus Malaysia.
Engine and Transmission?
Power comes a 5.7-litre 3UR-FE V8 petrol engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 383 hp at 5,600 rpm and 546 Nm at 3,600 rpm. Ninety percent of the torque is available from 2,000 rpm.
Off-road capability is beefed up by a permanent four-wheel drive, Torsen limited-slip centre locking differential that splits torque 40:60 front to rear under normal driving conditions.
The Active Traction Control system (A-TRAC) works on all four wheels, and can be optimised to work on different terrain by using the Multi-Terrain Select system - Rock, Rock and Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock, and Mud and Sand modes are available.
The transmission’s driver-selectable low range provides low-speed crawling capability for handling steep off-road hills and uneven terrain. Low-range capability gets support from Crawl Control with Turn Assist, Hill-start Assist Control and Variable Gear Ratio Steering.
Video feed from the Multi-terrain Monitors’ four cameras allows the driver to check the road conditions in six blind spot areas around the vehicle. There’s also an under-floor view that allows the driver to check both conditions under the vehicle and tire positions, granting the driver an almost X-Ray vision-like capability to look through the car’s bonnet and cabin floor.
What About Safety?
In some markets, the LX 570 comes with 10 airbags, including a curtain airbag that covers all three rows. Also included are Active Front Headrests, and Lexus Safety System + which combines Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Again, specifications will differ from country to country.
Lexus Malaysia is expected to make an official announcement on the matter very soon.