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Detroit show: Lexus lobs lither LX

Gargantuan: Lexus will launch the facelifted LX570 luxury off-roader in Australia in March.

Facelifted Lexus LX570 emerges in Detroit just two months ahead of Australian sales

13 Jan 2012

HOT on the heels of the facelifted Toyota 200 Series LandCruiser on which it is based, Lexus has staged the global debut of its new-look LX570 at the Detroit motor show, just two months before it hits Australian showrooms.

Brandishing a fresh front end now featuring LED daytime-running lights and the latest evolution of the brand’s ‘L Finesse’ design language – as seen on the redesigned GS large sedan range that arrives here around the same time – the Japanese premium brand’s upgraded full-size SUV also brings extra features and new internet technologies.

It features redesigned headlights flanking a new ‘spindle’ grille and a front bumper with larger foglight bezels, plus new 20-inch alloy wheels, new LED tail-lights, restyled rear bumper and powered upper rear tailgate.

The flagship Lexus off-roader will for 2012 – at least in North America – come with the ability to connect a smartphone to Facebook and book restaurants, buy movie tickets and listen to internet radio.

Added to the LX570’s eight-seat interior is an automatic driver’s seat and steering wheel that allow for easier entry and exit, optimised front-seat air-conditioning, an updated instrument panel with new colour display, and an optional pair of video screens for second-row passengers, who will be able to watch DVDs on one screen while playing video games on the other.

31 center imageOther new features in the US model include the option of a luxury pack comprising keyless entry/starting, a cool box, leather-trimmed upholstery with contrast stitching, heated steering wheel, wood-trimmed door-switch panels, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated outboard second-row seats.

In the US, the 2013 LX570 cabin also gains mahogany wood trim, while Parchment replaces Cashmere as an interior leather trim colour and two new exterior colours are now available - Medium Nebula Gray Pearl and Satin Cashmere Metallic, replacing Twilight Gray Metallic and Golden Almond Metallic.

There is still no diesel power for the biggest Lexus SUV, but the freshened LX’s 5.7-litre petrol V8 gains an extra 15kW of power and 20Nm of torque, bringing outputs to about 285 kW at 5600rpm and 550Nm at 5600rpm – up from 3200rpm, but Lexus says 90 per cent of torque is available from just 2200rpm.

A six-speed automatic transmission remains standard but, like the upgraded LandCruiser due on sale here around the same time, the 2012 LX570 features an updated Crawl Control system, a tighter off-road turning circle by automatically braking the inside wheel to aid turn-in, and a revised off-road control system comprising a Range Rover-style dial selector with various off-road modes.

The changes mark a major midlife makeover for the third-generation LX released in Australia in April 2008.

Sales of the outgoing LX, which is currently priced from $149,414, were down almost a quarter last year, with 123 examples sold.

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