Debuting the new Lexus LX range for the Australian domestic market overnight, we just can’t get over the size of the front grille – of which we are still undecided on from images.
If it wasn’t for the stonking 305kw twin-turbo v6 petrol sitting behind that behemoth of a front end our opinion on the matter would turn south rather quickly, but in a day and age where the size of your front grille says more about your networth than the number of cylinders you have sitting under the bonnet, we simply can’t knock Lexus for sticking to its game plan.
Lexus LX600 Specifications
Engine: 3.5-litre petrol twin-turbo V6
Torque: 650 Nm
Safety: Lexus Safety System+
The New Lexus LX Range
So what have we got here? Well, moving past the front end and into the engine bay you have the choice of two models in the new LX range. The first is the LX500d that shares the same twin-turbo V6 diesel as the new 300 series Landcruiser, and the second, a range-topping LX600 that debuts the twin-turbo V6 petrol in an SUV for the Australian market. It’s worth noting that the V35A-FTS engine shares the same general architecture with the Lexus LS 500 – so it’s not the first time the Aussie market has had a taste.
While its cousin the Toyota Landcruiser 300-series lays the groundwork for the general architecture of the vehicle. One step inside any Lexus counterpart will have you forgetting everything you thought you knew about Toyota. The new LX cockpit creates a deeper dialogue between vehicle and driver with soft leather touchpoints throughout and intuitive displays, gauges and switches that are mostly shared (at least by design) with Toyota. But before you jump the gun and scream “it’s a Teeyoda with an L badge” we suggest turning around and glancing to the second row.
The Four-seat VIP Grade
- 1-metre of legroom achievable.
- 48 degrees of seat recline.
- Sunshades, reading lights, footrest and rear-seat display.
- DC power supply, USB, and headphone jacks.
- “Relax” button makes everything happen.
Lexus has globally expanded the LX model range with a new four-seat VIP grade for the LX 600 and the introduction of F Sport grades. Both of which make perfect logical sense to us – and really distinguish the LX-series from the Landcruiser for the customer.
The VIP grade is distinguished by four independent seats for ultimate comfort, convenience and travel. Keeping the neutral body posture ideology advocated by NASA close to heart, the front passenger seat has been moved forward and can be adjusted up and back to ensure a wide forward view. The seat-recline angle can be controlled up to 48 degrees for ultimate comfort.
Resembling something of an Emirates First Class seating seat, a display screen behind the front passenger seat can be folded down, creating an open and relaxing interior with maximum legroom of 1,000mm – that’s 1-metre in the old money. To achieve this position, simply hit the “relax” mode button on the rear control panel. A footrest behind the front passenger seat can also be deployed for a strain-free posture from head to toe.
Lexus LX F-Sport
F-Sport models gain on-road handling focused features that really separate the vehicle again from the 300-series Landcruiser. We much prefer the F Sport mesh spindle grille over the ‘floating’ style grille of the luxury model and the exclusive black 22-inch forged alloy wheels with bright machined highlights really give the vehicle a cool ‘panda’ effect when specced with white paint.
Inside, the steering wheel and shifter feature perforated leather for a sporty effect and improved grip, while the F Sport emblem is applied throughout to reinforce the image of driving performance. The driver’s seats are firmer to maintain a suitable driving position through lateral movement.
Most importantly, the F-Sport model variants feature front and rear performance shock absorbers, a Torsen 8 limited-slip differential and a rear stabiliser, as well as special tuning of the electric power steering and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). A package that offers far more than simple aesthetic enhancements and really speaks to the brand’s commitment to the offering.
While off-road driving is supported by Multi-Terrain Select, offering optimum control of brakes, driving force and suspension by allowing the driver to choose from six modes – Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock. We’d be bloody surprised if even one LX owner optionally takes their vehicle off-road, although that won’t stop us from trying… a 305kw petrol V6 4WD in the dunes while riding shotgun in the VIP rear seats? Now that would be an experience.
Pricing is still unavailable but if the LandCruiser range – that tops out at $138,790 plus on-road costs for the Sahara ZX – don’t expect to get any change from $200,000.