2009 Lexus LX570 – Click above for high-res image gallery While the Lexus LX570 is the flagship SUV in the automaker's lineup, its glory is often overshadowed by the best-selling RX. With proven Land Cruiser bloodlines, and the Tundra's V8 muscle under its hood, the seven-passenger LX competes in the rarefied full-size luxury SUV segment occupied by the Land Rover Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade. What does the Japanese entrant hold over its British and American counterparts? And more importantly, what makes the LX unique in this segment? Find out after the jump... %Gallery-74840% Photos copyright ©2009 Michael Harley / Weblogs, Inc. A near clone to the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser, the first-generation Lexus LX 450 rolled into showrooms in 1996, differentiated by its luxurious passenger cabin, more compliant underpinnings, and Lexus emblems. While it was undeniably a true luxury SUV, its heavy-duty off-road Land Cruiser mechanicals (solid front and rear axles) meant the large-and-in-charge Lexus also offered go-anywhere capabilities with legendary Toyota quality and reliability to back it up. While it is hard to imagine today, there was only one other significant player in the segment back in 1996 – the Land Rover Range Rover. To its legendary British counterpart, the Lexus LX450 was a punch to the gut – even though the LX only offered an inline-six powerplant. Lexus went to bat once more in 1998 with the introduction of the LX 470. Again, a thinly disguised Toyota Land Cruiser, the new LX addressed its power deficiency with a new 4.7-liter V8, suspension inadequacies with an independent front suspension, and a slew of new electronics and amenities designed to push it to the top of its class. The package worked, and the LX 470 graced Lexus showrooms through the 2007 model year. The LX570 isn't targeting traditional hardcore off-road enthusiasts. The current-generation Lexus LX570 debuted at the New York Auto Show in 2008 with a base price of about $75,000. Completely redesigned, the seven-passenger 'ute is fitted with the same wheelbase as its predecessor, but grew in both length and width. Under the front hood is Toyota's familiar 5.7-liter V8 (3UR-FE) shared with the Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia, and Toyota Land Cruiser. With an aluminum block and heads, the quad-cam powerplant is rated at 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque (of which 90% is available at just 2,200 RPM). Power is sent through a new electronically-controlled six-speed automatic transmission with manual gear selection available through its sequential shift mode. Like all late-model Lexus vehicles, the LX570 is laden with technology – creating a busy soup of confusing acronyms. In the case of this massive SUV, the advanced electronic mechanization unquestionably improves the ride comfort, safety, and capabilities, but it comes at the cost of overall vehicle mass (the empty curb weight is... wait for it... 5,995 pounds). Loaded with automation, the LX570 isn't targeting traditional hardcore off-road enthusiasts. A full-time four-wheel drive two-speed transfer case utilizes a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential to send 60% of …
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|Power||383 @ 5600 rpm|
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