Six things to know about the new 2022 Lexus LX
Lexus has finally unveiled its all-new 2022 LX: a gargantuan flagship SUV that merges proper off-road capability with new levels of luxury and refinement — not to mention one of the largest radiator grilles we've ever seen on a series production car. All set for local introduction next year, here are six things you should know about it.
1: It's built on Toyota Land Cruiser 300 underpinnings
Yes indeed. Underneath all that flashy sheet metal resides the newly developed body-on-frame GA-F platform that debuted with the launch of the LC300 earlier this year. Allowing for much improved weight distribution, enhanced rigidity and weighing about 200kg less than the platform used in the outgoing model, this cutting-edge chassis will make the 2022 LX perform considerably better both on road and off it. To lower the vehicle's centre of gravity, Lexus also spliced in a much lighter aluminium roof skin.
2: Ready for the rough stuff
Again, as with the Toyota LC300, the 2022 Lexus LX sports an off-road ready suspension architecture that will help tear the teeth from most terrains you are ever likely to encounter. Up front a high-mounted double wishbone set-up features optimised geometry and spring settings, while rebound has been increased by 15mm — a real boon when traversing choppier trails. A trailing-link axle-type layout still serves at the rear of the LX albeit with reworked suspension arms and an improved shock absorber layout that allows for enhanced articulation. Rebound has been increased by 20mm.
Lexus has also thoroughly reworked the vehicle's Active Height Control (AHC) system that essentially allows the ride height of the 2022 LX to be adjusted according to the driving environment. In addition to an expanded range of height positions, a new spring rate switching device fitted to the rear wheels allows for significantly reduced reaction times. Three settings are available while the LX is in motion (Normal, Hi1 and Hi2) while a special Low setting mode allows for much easier passenger ingress and egress while stationary. AHC automatically and optimally adjusts vehicle height depending on the activation of Drive Mode Select or Multi-Terrain Select and the selection status of the transfer case.
The ground obstacle angle (approach angle, departure angle, ramp break angle), maximum stable inclination angle of 44 degrees, climbing ability of 45 degrees and maximum wading depth of 700mm are carried over from the previous model. A variety of different wheel sizes are available to customers including 18-inch, 20-inch and a massive new 22-inch.
3: A choice of two engines
The 2022 LX600 is fitted with Toyota's newly developed 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine producing 305kW and 650Nm worth of torque. The LX500d gets a 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel making 220kW and 700Nm. Both are paired to 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Four-wheel drive is standard as is a low-range transfer case and the renowned Lexus Multi-Terrain Select, which allows the driver to select from six modes — Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock — to support off-road driving according to real-time trail conditions. While in the past this system was previously limited to low-range (L4) operation, it's now been extended to high-range (H4).
Crawl Control is also featured in the 2022 LX: a savvy electronic system that enables the driver to drive at extremely low speeds without accelerating or braking — all you need do is steer. This function is highly capable of freeing the vehicle from being stuck as it's designed to inhibit wheelspin and wheel lock, thus reducing the load on the drivetrain.
4: All-new model grades
From launch the new 2022 LX will be available in four model grades: Base, Off-Road, Executive and F Sport. Exclusive to the Japanese market, the rugged Off-Road derivative is fitted as standard with three locking differentials (front, centre and rear). Smaller 18-inch wheels with higher-profile tyres are fitted to ensure optimal off-road performance.
Built for VIP levels of comfort, the Executive model is equipped with two individual rear seats that not only recline by 48 degrees but also offer up to 1,100mm worth of legroom. Ceiling-mounted AC vents are standard as is a large centre console box providing rear passengers ample storage space, a DC power supply as well as USB and headphone jacks. A new intuitive TFT control panel is also present as is a handy wireless charging pad.
Immediately identifiable by its blacked-out mesh grille the F Sport rides on enormous 22-inch alloy wheels (the largest offered by Lexus right now) and features a Torsen limited-slip rear differential for more dynamic handling. The suspension has been also tweaked with sportier damper settings in order to deliver a firmer and more focused ride.
5: A luxurious new interior with improved tech
Lexus has really gone to town with the cabin of 2022 LX. From tactile surface materials to totally redesigned seat cushions, the Japanese marque has worked tirelessly to make this SUV flagship as plush as possible. It's also upgraded the tech offering with an all-new, two-tier infotainment system embedded in the centre console. Running the very latest Lexus Interface software, the 12.3-inch touchscreen up top deals with entertainment and Apps while the smaller 7.0-inch touchscreen beneath it is dedicated to controlling the vehicle's HVAC and Multi-Terrain Select system. There's also a (partial) digital instrument cluster as well as a (thieves beware) clever new fingerprint-actuated start-button switch.
A 10-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System ships as standard but customers can upgrade to a 25-speaker Mark Levinson 4 Premium Surround Sound System should they so wish.
Forming part of the Lexus Safety System+, a plethora of advanced driver-assistance features are fitted as standard. These include emergency steering assist, lane tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist, Bladescan adaptive high-beam LED headlamps as well as a pre-collision system. Meanwhile the new Multi-Terrain Monitor allows you to see and avoid any dangerous obstacles hidden on the trail beneath you.
6: It's coming to SA soon
The new 2022 Lexus LX will be launched in SA during the first quarter of next year. Pricing and final specifications will be confirmed closer to that time.