The History Of Lexus Lx570
The Lexus LX is a full-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) sold by Lexus since 1996. Three generations of the Lexus LX have been produced, all based heavily on Toyota's long-running 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 through 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 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 LX ranks as Lexus' largest and most expensive luxury utility vehicle, sized above the GX and RX series of SUVs.
The LX 450 was released in 1996 (1997 in Canada) as Lexus' first entry into the SUV market. The LX 450 was almost entirely based on the sixth generation 80 series Toyota Land Cruiser. Differences between the LX 450 and the Land Cruiser lay in a restyled, more luxurious interior and softer suspension settings. The LX 450 was powered by a 4.5 liter, twin-cam, four-valve inline-6 engine which produced 212horsepower (158kW) and 275ft·lbf (373N·m) of torque. Onboard amenities included leather seats and seating capacity for up to seven passengers. The three available options consisted of a console-mounted 6-disc CD changer, front and rear locking differentials, and a power moonroof. At the time of its 1996 debut, the LX 450 was listed in the U.S. with a manufacturer's suggested base price of $47,995.
Targeted against luxury SUV competitors such as Land Rover/ Range Rover, the LX 450 sold over 5,000 units in 1996 and over 9,000 units in 1997. The LX 450 was brought to market as a rebadged model (in contrast with other Lexus efforts which were independently or divergently developed from Toyota vehicles) during the U.S.-Japan trade war of the mid-1990s. At the time, the U.S. government threatened to place 100% tariffs on all Japanese luxury import cars; by producing a luxury SUV, Lexus would have a model exempt from the tax. Ultimately however, a gentlemen's agreement was reached and the threatened tariffs did not materialize.
The LX 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 5,000lb (2,300kg). 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.
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 second generation LX 470 debuted in 1998. The second generation model shared the same floor plan and most body panels with the Toyota Land Cruiser (100 series), and differed in its front optics and a more luxurious interior. Exterior design differences included a quad-light forward fascia with larger grille, and different wheels. The LX 470 featured a 4.7-liter, four-cam V8 engine with four valves per cylinder. This engine was later upgraded to produce 268 horsepower (initially 230, then 235) and 328ft·lbf (445N·m) of torque.
Standard features differed over the model years, however newer models included an 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, DVD-based navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, and backup camera. A rear seat DVD entertainment system was available. The LX 470 was the only Lexus SUV to offer Lexus Night Vision, an infrared camera safety system, as an option. The night vision technology projected enhanced images on the windshield, enhancing forward visibility during dark or nighttime conditions (the infrared camera picked up light from objects beyond the range of the low-beam headlights).
The Lexus LX 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 its Best to Hold Value Award in 1998, 1999, and 2000. In 2005, J.D. Power named the LX 470 the most reliable luxury SUV over a three year period in its Vehicle Dependability Study.
For the 2003 model year, the Lexus LX 470 received an interior refresh, new grille, redesigned wheel rims and a 5-speed gearbox (an upgrade from the previous 4-speed automatic gearbox). For 2006, the engine's output was upgraded (33 hp increase to 268 hp). The engine provided VVT-i (variable valve timing). New LED rear taillamps, a new grille and redesigned wheel spokes were added. For 2007, the final model year for the LX 470, Lexus produced 400 "Limited Edition" models with Black Onyx paint, stone leather interior, and specialized badging and scuff plates. Base price for the 2007 LX 470 was $67,395.
On April 4, 2007, Lexus debuted the 2008 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 LX 570 features an all-new 3UR-FE engine which is the most powerful engine ever developed by Toyota (and also used in the new Tundra). Total engine output is 383horsepower (286kW) and 403ft·lbf (546N·m) of torque. The more powerful engine gives the LX an increased towing capacity of up to 8,500 pounds. The new engine is tied to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission.
Compared to its predecessor, the LX 570 is four inches (102 mm) longer overall and one inch wider, while retaining the same wheelbase length. The LX 570 features a four-wheel electro-hydraulic suspension with Active Height Control, which can raise or lower the vehicle by two inches. Other performance features include a crawl control system and multi-terrain anti-lock braking system.
The LX 570's updated 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 Mark Levinson surround sound stereo system with hard drive memory storage, and Lexus Intuitive Park Assist, a sonar parking assist feature. New systems include cameras mounted on the sides of the vehicle's chassis to help the driver view "blind spots," Bubinga wood trim (a form of African rosewood also used in private aircraft and high-quality instruments), a cooler for storage of cold drinks, sliding rear seats, power third row seats, and a 9-inch (230mm) DVD rear-seat entertainment system. XM satellite radio with NavTraffic is standard.
The LX 570 also features the updated Lexus fifth generation navigation system with a high-resolution VGA display. Lexus' keyless SmartAccess with push-button start is standard along with 10 airbags, and an ultra-thin "smart card" key and the Lexus Pre-Collision System are available. Active Front Headrests are featured (also known as Pre-Crash Intelligent Headrests), debuting this Lexus safety feature for the first time on an SUV in the U.S.
The new LX is sold in Japan, Brunei, Australia, China and North America by Lexus, and in these regions Toyota also sells the related Land Cruiser. The LX is not available in the rest of the world or in Europe, where the Toyota LandCruiser 200 is sold.
Production and sales data for the Lexus LX are as follows. Production figures are not available for 2006 onward. Sourced from manufacturer production information, along with sales data.
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