"The RX 350 is faster, more fuel efficient and quieter than ever before, while retaining the sleek styling, elegance and uncompromising value that have made its predecessors the undisputed segment leader for seven years in a row," said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "These improvements reflect the attention to detail that has helped to make Lexus the overall luxury vehicle market leader."
Powerful Technology for New V6
The RX 350 adopts a 3.5-liter V6 engine featuring all-aluminum construction and dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) that helps optimize torque for quick and powerful response at all speeds. This advanced engine produces 270 horsepower and 251 lb.-ft. of torque, up 47 hp and 13-lb.-ft. from the 2006 RX 330.
The improved performance enables the RX 350 to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds for the FWD model and 7.4 seconds for the AWD model, substantially quicker for both models over their respective predecessors.
The new performance of the RX 350 is comparable to the output of some competitive V8 engines while still providing a fuel-economy rating among the best in class for nonhybrids. Its five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission receives enhanced tuning for more refined drivability as well as improved fuel efficiency. EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating for the RX 350 is 22 mpg (20 mpg city/25 mpg highway) for the FWD model and 21 mpg (19 mpg city/24 mpg highway) for the AWD. Even with its significant power increase, the RX 350 maintains the previous model's ULEV II emissions certification.
The highly sophisticated engine uses electronically controlled sequential fuel injection, which optimizes the fuel mixture and creates a precise burn, higher output and lower emissions to aid drivability. In addition, an electronic throttle control presides over several systems to maintain superior control of power flow. This system, Electronic Throttle Control with intelligence (ETC-i), helps manage idle speed, cruise control, Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The result is a substantial improvement in engine efficiency with increased power and improved fuel economy.
Comfortable Luxury, Smooth Ride, Refined Interior
The original RX set the benchmark for smooth, quiet ride quality thanks to a rigid body structure, vibration-canceling engine mounts, sound-absorption materials and refined aerodynamic details. For 2007, the RX 350 further minimizes cabin noise resulting from the powertrain, road and wind with the addition of an acoustic glass windshield along with additional sound insulation placed in the door panels, instrument panel and floor mats.
The quieter interior provides an even better listening environment for a new standard premium, satellite-ready, eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio player with in-dash six-CD autochanger. The audio system is compatible with MP3/WPA-formatted CDs and includes Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), Radio Data System (RDS) and a digital signal processor. Commonly used audio functions are accessible via steering wheel-mounted controls.
For true audiophiles, a Mark Levinson Premium Audio System is optionally available. This 11-speaker system features an in-dash six-disc DVD/CD autochanger, DVD-audio and DVD-video playback as well as remarkable sound clarity at all volumes (with 210 watts at 0.1% THD, 20-20,000 Hz). The available factory-installed, rear-seat DVD entertainment system also receives an upgrade. The fold-away video screen increases in size to 9-inches from the previous 7-inch screen for improved viewing.
For 2007, the fifth-generation navigation system is optionally available on the RX 350 and includes voice-recognition that will allow the driver to input a desired destination by voice command while driving.
Like other Lexus navigation systems, the new fifth-generation system will be offered in conjunction with a rear back-up camera to supplement the driver's visibility of the area behind the vehicle. The camera will provide the driver a view of what the camera lens can detect behind the vehicle, automatically projecting a color image on the navigation system's seven-inch VGA screen when the reverse gear is engaged.
Visual support in the Lexus fifth-generation navigation system is greatly enhanced. The central-display screen will offer better resolution with 800 x 480 pixels as compared to the previous 400 x 240 and will display graphics in 32,000 colors compared to the 256 colors in the previous model. Not only will maps and roads look sharper and include 3D shadow effects, all details appearing on the screen will be crisper and cleaner. The result: a richer-looking display that will be more visually appealing and easier to view at a glance.
The new navigation system will add Spanish to the already offered English and French text display options. The user can select the language preference at system start-up.
Advanced All-Wheel Drive
The AWD RX 350 model is improved with the addition of a viscous limited-slip center differential, which enhances drivability in all types of driving conditions. The full-time AWD system provides a constant 50/50 front-to-rear power split. If slippage occurs, the viscous differential directs torque to the wheels with the most traction.
For 2007, a direct-type Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) system replaces the previous indirect system and alerts the driver via a warning light on the instrument panel if a significant drop in tire pressure is detected in any of the tires.
Produced in Kyushu, Japan, and Cambridge in southern Ontario, Canada, the RX 350 will go on sale February 24, 2006. The new RX 350 FWD model will carry a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $37,400 while the AWD model's MSRP will be $38,800, a $1,030 increase on each as compared to the 2006 models.
Credit: Lexus USA