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Lexus RX

MK3 RX

Lexus logo1 Mar 2009

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

The RX350 has been a vital model for Lexus, with the second-generation model - the e first to be officially sold in Australia - on occasion notching up nearly half of all Lexus Australia sales, so this third-generation of Lexus’ medium luxury SUV has to be good for the marque to succeed.

The new RX350 has been built on a new platform. Its engine is a revision of the previous model’s, but the transmission, rear suspension, all-wheel drive system and features such as active radar cruise control, proximity card locking and starting system and sophisticated central controller are all new.

Lexus offers three model grades: a new entry-level Prestige, and two upper-spec models continued from the previous model, the Sports and Sports LuxuryThe hybrid version, the RX450h, is due in the second half of 2009.

The RX350’s transverse all-alloy petrol V6 has 204kW of power at 6200rpm and 346Nm of torque at 4700rpm.

THE follow-up for Lexus’ original hybrid SUV arrives in the shape of the second-generation RX450h, which replaced the original RX400h in July 2009.

The petrol-electric RX joins the new RX350 petrol range launched earlier in 2009, and comes powered by the GS450h hybrid sedan’s 183kW/317Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 mated to front and rear electric motors and a continuously variable transmission developing a total of 220kW.

Available in Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury grades priced from $89,900 at launch - $7645 lower than the single RX400h model previously available – the RX450h returns 6.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of just 150g/km, making it the Australia’s most efficient luxury hybrid SUV, despite being based on the bigger new RX and weighing 2040kg.

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