To its arsenal of safety technology, the LX 470 adds a new direct-type tire pressure monitoring system that can help detect a severe loss in air pressure in one or more tires, a condition that could potentially lead to loss of control. In addition, the 11-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audio System becomes standard on the 2006 LX 470.
For 2006, the LX 470's exterior styling is updated with LED tail lamps, redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels with a graphite finish and three new body colors added to the palette.
"With premium luxury, outstanding safety features and superior off-pavement capability, the LX 470 continues to exceed the high expectations of its owners," said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "We're certain that the enhancements for 2006 will help the LX 470 continue to set the standard for premium luxury in its segment."
Equipping the 4.7-liter V8 engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) has increased output from 235 to 275 horsepower. The addition of VVT-i eliminates the traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower by helping the engine perform as if it had a larger displacement, yet without the extra fuel consumption of a larger engine. Peak torque rises by 320 lb-ft. to 332 lb-ft. Its five-speed automatic transmission provides seamless shift quality, and shift logic holds gears on inclines for power and on descents for increased engine braking ï¿½ especially helpful when towing. The LX 470 also meets Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV-II) certification.
The LX 470 luxury sport utility vehicle combines true premium luxury with the capability of handling the most demanding driving environments. Especially for customers who experience the harshest weather and road conditions, the LX 470 is an ideal luxury vehicle. The high capability level does not come at the sacrifice of on-pavement handling response or Lexus' trademark smooth ride comfort.
Advanced Safety Technology
The 2006 LX 470 exemplifies the Lexus brand's leadership in advanced safety technology. The large array of safety systems in the LX 470 include front seat-mounted side airbags and front seat/second row side curtain airbags. The standard navigation system integrates a rear backup camera. The camera gives 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 LCD screen when the reverse gear is engaged.
The LX 470 is one of the few vehicles available today with the advanced optional Night View System, which uses near-infrared technology designed to help enhance nighttime driving visibility. Near-infrared beams from two lamps in the front bumper project objects ahead back to a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) camera mounted inside the vehicle at the top of the windshield. A dedicated computer processes the resulting natural-looking images, which are then projected onto the lower section of the windshield within the driver's field of vision, resulting in a picture similar to that on a black and white television.
Lexus + Mark Levinson: Two World Standards in Modern Luxury
Like Lexus, Mark Levinson is an international brand that is a leader in its industry. First established in the 1970s, the Mark Levinson brand has long been associated with true state-of-the-art technology and performance in the area of home audio systems. Lexus has had an exclusive partnership with Mark Levinson for high-performance mobile audio since 2001.
The Mark Levinson Premium Audio System in the LX 470 is built around a discrete amplifier design with 240-watts continuous average power, all channels driven, at .01 percent total harmonic distortion (20-20,000 Hz). Such specifications compete with some of the best home audio systems to provide exceptional sound quality in the LX 470. The 11-speaker system includes a rear cargo area subwoofer that helps produce bass response that sounds "live" from both audio CDs and DVDs (the rear seat entertainment system for DVDs is optional).
Rugged Construction with Advanced Steering and Suspension Systems
Rugged body-on-frame construction, height-adjustable hydropneumatic-assisted suspension and computer-controlled shock absorber damping provide the versatile LX 470 with both the smooth, composed ride expected of a Lexus and off-road capability at the top of its segment. Double wishbone independent front suspension employs torsion bar springs for long wheel travel. Standard 18 x 8-inch alloy wheels are equipped with 275/60R18 mud and snow-rated tires.
The Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) system can vary the rack-and-pinion steering ratio to improve maneuverability at low speeds and preserve control at highway speeds. The overall steering ratio varies from 12.4-to-1 to 18.0-to-1. In slow, tight maneuvering (under 6 mph), the system provides 2.4 turns lock-to-lock. A computer-controlled actuator on the intermediate steering shaft increases the driver's steering angle at low vehicle speeds, quickening the steering ratio. At higher speeds, the mechanism rotates slightly in the opposite direction of steering input to decrease the total steering angle, resulting in a "slower" steering ratio desirable for a more controlled handling response. In addition, tooth spacing on the gears of the rack becomes wider toward the end, reducing steering effort at higher steering angles.
The VGRS system's operation is transparent to the driver. To help enhance safety, VGRS selects a higher steering ratio if the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system is activated. This helps to prevent too large of a steering angle if the driver is attempting to avoid an obstacle. The 39.1-ft. turning circle is commendable for a large luxury vehicle.
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system provides four positions to control the shock absorber damping force. Position "2" will suit most driving conditions and will automatically select the appropriate suspension damping that driving conditions demand. The driver can manually select Position "1" to provide a softer response on bumpy roads. Positions "3" and "4" provide increasingly greater levels of control for driving a heavily loaded vehicle, driving at higher speeds on paved roads or driving on unpaved roads.
When the driver shifts the two-speed transfer case into "Low" for traversing difficult off-pavement terrain, the AVS system automatically selects the suitable damping setting.
The LX 470 provides a minimum ground clearance of 9.8 inches. Hydraulic Adjustable Height Control (AHC) allows the driver to raise the vehicle to negotiate particularly rough off-road terrain, and to lower it for easy entry and exit. A height control switch and light indicate current suspension height and will recommend optimal height as road conditions change. If set in "high" mode, the suspension will automatically lower when the LX 470 exceeds 18.6 mph, which is a more-than-adequate speed for rigorous off-road conditions. Switching to high mode also increases the angle of approach from 30 to 32 degrees and the angle of departure from 23 to 26 degrees to help the LX 470 "step over" obstacles. The vehicle will go into "extra high" mode if it is in low range and traveling over rough terrain, with the height rising automatically by 1.2 inches at the front and approximately 1.8 inches in the rear.
Arsenal of Dynamic-Control Technology
The LX 470 uses a full-time four-wheel drive system with a center differential that distributes the power 50/50 front-to-rear. The system is always engaged and requires no intervention by the driver, except to shift into low-range for driving on steep off-pavement inclines. The system is equally adept at handling the rigors of slippery winter weather or deep mud or snow. Using the sensors and actuators of the standard four-channel, four-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), traction control (TRAC) uses both brake and throttle intervention to help control wheel spin.
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) allocates brake force between the front and rear wheels to help provide added control under hard braking. The ABS operates even in low-range, adjusting its level of control in response to changes in road slope. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system applies increased braking power until pedal pressure is released. The standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system helps keep the vehicle on its intended course by detecting front-wheel and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control either condition using torque intervention and/or individual wheel braking to correct any discrepancy.
The new direct-type tire pressure monitoring system can detect if a tire is significantly under-inflated and alert the driver with an indicator light on the instrument panel to a condition that could potentially lead to uneven tire wear or a loss of control.
Technology That Enhances Luxury With Convenience
The LX 470 employs advanced electronics to enhance on-board entertainment and convenience, but without adding to driver distraction. Standard comfort features in the LX 470 include steering wheel audio controls and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The standard DVD-based navigation system includes voice command for ease of use while driving.
The standard navigation system uses a DVD changer/player located in the center console, and the system's seven-inch display screen can show DVD movies when the transmission selector is in the "Park" position and the parking brake is set.
An in-demand convenience feature is Bluetoothï¿½ wireless technology for the standard DVD navigation system. When combined with a compatible Bluetoothï¿½-equipped cell phone, this global wireless technology standard allows the driver to transfer personal phone books to the navigation system and make hands-free phone calls through the navigation system's touch-screen control panel.
Customers can place a hands-free call in different ways depending on preference. To help avoid driver distraction, the one-touch dial feature is the only dialing function accessible when the vehicle is in motion. The system can store up to 18 one-touch dial numbers. Some Bluetoothï¿½ functions are disabled when the vehicle is in motion. The driver can use steering wheel controls to answer and end calls as well as adjust call volume.
The optional Rear Seat Entertainment System (RSES) plays DVDs over a 6.5-inch wide-format overhead screen that deploys from the headliner ahead of the second seat row. The DVD player is mounted in the right rear quarter panel and the system includes two sets of wireless headphones and a remote control.
Owners can have a Lexus dealer set customized preferences for several of the vehicle's electronic conveniences with programmable Lexus Personalized Settings (LPS).
The LX 470 comes standard with a security system that incorporates an immobilizer into the key card, includes shifter-linked door locking, and uses a free-wheel key cylinder in the doors. This feature protects against someone using the wrong key or trying to break the lock by inserting a screwdriver or other tool into the cylinder by not allowing the door to open.
Every new Lexus vehicle comes with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage.
The 2006 LX 470 will be available at the end of May with an MSRP of $66,995, an increase of $1,770 or 2.7% over the 2005 model.
Credit: Lexus USA