11/07/2005 Torrance, CA
Lexus announced today the addition of a front-wheel drive (FWD) RX 400h in addition to the all-wheel drive (AWD) model which has been on sale since April of this year, making the hybrid gas/electric version of America's most popular luxury SUV, the RX 330, now available in both drivetrain configurations.
With a combined system output of 268 horsepower, the RX 400h FWD delivers zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds, better than many V8-powered mid-size luxury SUV competitors, but with fuel efficiency more typical of a 4-cylinder compact sedan.
"Consumers in certain parts of the country, mostly in southern markets, told us they don't need the added handling benefits of all-wheel drive and would be more inclined to consider a front-drive hybrid-powered version of the RX," said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The new RX hybrids offer an even better value and we believe both models will be very well received by our customers."
Both the AWD and new FWD versions incorporate a new, advanced Lexus Hybrid System that combines the 3.3-liter V6 engine found in the Lexus RX 330 with a high-torque electric-drive motor-generator. Both models also come equipped with the industry's most advanced stability control system called Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
The EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating for the front-drive RX 400h is 30 mpg. EPA-estimated highway fuel economy is 28 mpg, and at 33 mpg the city rating for the RX 400h exceeds most V8-equipped luxury SUVs by more than 100 percent. As with the AWD version, the RX 400h FWD carries the EPA's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification.
The new RX 400h FWD will carry a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $44,660. Production began November 1 with vehicles scheduled to arrive at dealership in late December.
In response to consumer feedback on standard equipment levels of the RX 400h AWD, the Lexus DVD navigation system with rear back-up camera will now be offered as optional equipment. As a result, the base MSRP for the 2007 RX 400h AWD is now $46,060, a decrease of $2,350 or 4.9 percent beginning with November production.
Both AWD and FWD models include a standard list of luxury and performance features, including leather interior trim, power-tilt/telescoping steering wheel, roof rack with rails, illuminated entry system, a one-touch open/close moonroof, six-disc CD changer, HID headlamps with the Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), electrically powered air conditioning, 18-inch wheels and an eight-year/100,000-mile battery and hybrid system warranty
Credit: Lexus USA