After a fairly significant gap between it and the new Toyota Land Cruiser’s reveal, Lexus has finally unveiled the off-roading icon’s more premium equivalent; the LX 600.
The evolutionary styling changes pair the core tweaks from the Land Cruiser to a raft of Lexus requisites. These include a chunky ‘spindle’ grille, familiar L-shaped headlight signatures, a more sculpted bonnet, and more. All up, the new LX 600 is a cleaner, less fussy looker than the last.
It’s also about 200kg lighter, too, thanks to that all-new platform underneath and things like using aluminium for the doors. At launch Lexus has confirmed two engines; a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 producing 301kW/649Nm (thoroughly outgunning the old V8), and a 3.3-litre V6 turbodiesel producing 227kW/700Nm. New Zealand is slated to only get the latter.
As you’d maybe hope, the LX 600 distances itself from the Land Cruiser inside. Along with a more premium array of materials, it gets a completely different dashboard layout. Instead of the one primary touchscreen, the Lexi gets two stacked on top of each other; a 12.3-inch primary and a 7.0-inch secondary.
The top screen features most of the main toys, like the audio control interface, satnav, and the camera. The bottom screen, meanwhile, is where you adjust climate control settings and vehicle settings. It’s also where the LX 600 will display vehicle status updates.
“Displaying the camera image on the upper screen while simultaneously displaying the real-time vehicle status on the lower screen, allows the driver to monitor off-road driving conditions more safely without switching the display,” says Lexus.
It’s all fairly high tech. Lexus says the system supports over-the-air updates, allows the creation of multiple user profiles, uses fingerprint authentication in its push-button start, and its navigation system is cloud based. There’s also a screen available for rear passengers in the highest trims, although this has yet to be confirmed as an option for the New Zealand market.
Perhaps the biggest change with these infotainment system is the removal of Lexus’ much hated ‘mousepad-style’ infotainment navigation interface, which has drawn ire from many a motoring journo over the years. Here, the systems are simple touchscreens.
Of course, even with the 22-inch wheels and the sweeping bodykit, the LX 600 is also intended to be fairly capable off-road. And Lexus is certainly talking the talk when it comes to the changes it’s made.
Up front it gets high-mounted double-wishbones with coil springs, and out back it gets a four-link system. Lexus claims the rebound stroke (how much of a jarring compression is absorbed by the suspension) has been increased by 20mm, and that it’s changed the layout of the shocks for better vertical movement in the wheels.
Adaptive variable suspension, crawl control, a four-camera Multi Terrain Monitor, new electric power steering and electrically controlled brakes, and an active height control system all feature; the latter automatically modulating your ride-height when you switch between off-road modes. According to Lexus, all these changes aren’t so much about making the LX 600 more tough off-road, but more so about enabling better on-road manners without compromising off-road performance.
“As the flagship SUV of the Lexus brand the new LX is a significant model in our range,” says Andrew Davis, Lexus New Zealand General Manager.
“The new LX has a striking new exterior design, a new vehicle platform and has a full update of driver and vehicle technology. The new platform also enables us to launch an all-new powertrain for LX as we continue to focus on the right powertrains for all customer needs.”
“It is not often that you get to launch new vehicles like LX, so we are really excited to bring it to the New Zealand market. Lexus New Zealand is also focused on reducing the CO2 emissions across our whole fleet and the new LX is no different, with an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the previous model.”
While local pricing and range has yet to be confirmed, it can’t be far away given that the new Lexus is scheduled to land in early 2022.