Huge chromed grille makes the vehicle look like a giant electric shaver. Picture: SUPPLIED
Huge chromed grille makes the vehicle look like a giant electric shaver. Picture: SUPPLIED

Cometh the hour, cometh the grille.

The new-generation Lexus LX has been launched as the SUV flagship of Toyota’s luxury brand, and it sports a gargantuan chromed spindle grille that makes the vehicle look like a giant electric shaver.

Scheduled to reach SA in the first quarter of 2022, the luxury off-roader is available in a standard guise, a four-seat VIP grade or an F Sport model with sharper handling and a less shocking  mesh grille in black.

Redesigned from the ground up, the fourth-generation LX is built on the same new GA-F platform as the recently-unveiled Toyota Land Cruiser 300, with 20% more rigidity to provide improved vehicle stability and ride comfort.

It retains the traditional body-on-frame structure but has shed around 200kg to improve handling and fuel economy.

The F Sport has sharper handling and a black grille. Picture: SUPPLIED
The F Sport has sharper handling and a black grille. Picture: SUPPLIED

Active Height Control (AHC) suspension allows the ride height to be adjusted according to the driving environment and comes with an expanded range of ride height positions. The springs can be softened for a comfortable ride or stiffened for better curve-hugging prowess.

As before the LX has independent front suspension and a solid rear axle, the latter contributing to the all-wheel-drive vehicle’s very capable all-terrain ability. Its off-road abilities are further enhanced by a low range transfer case, Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) with six modes, Crawl Control, a Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) and a world-first Back Underfloor View which displays the area beneath the rear part of the vehicle.

The generous ground obstacle angles (approach angle, departure angle and ramp break angle) and 700mm wading ability are the same as the previous model.

Beyond the LX’s aluminium doors is a plush new cabin with uprated comfort and technology. The dual display instrument panel has a 12.3-inch upper screen and seven-inch lower screen with a variety of views and instrumentation. Lexus’ first fingerprint-authentication push-start switch reduces the risk of theft. A 25-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system is also available.

The VIP grade lays on first-class comfort with four reclining seats. Picture: SUPPLIED
The VIP grade lays on first-class comfort with four reclining seats. Picture: SUPPLIED

Advanced safety includes a pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

The new LX will be available with two new engines that pack more power than the outgoing versions. The LX600 is hustled along by a 3.5l V6 twin-turbo petrol engine with outputs of 305kW and 650Nm, and the LX500d has a 3.3l V6 diesel twin-turbo wielding 225kW and 700Nm. Both are paired to a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

The newly added VIP grade offers limousine-like comfort two individual rear seats that recline by 48°, rear entertainment system and up to 1m of rear legroom — including a footrest — behind the front passenger seat when you press the “relax” mode button.

The more dynamically focused F Sport has a limited-slip differential and tuned suspension for enhanced cornering traction. Along with its black grille it wears exclusive black 22-inch forged alloy wheels — the largest yet offered by Lexus.

Local prices and specifications will be confirmed closer to launch.

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