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VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 18

									                                                                     January 2008


                              THE LEXUS RX 350
    Superior performance for the world’s most successful luxury SUV


KEY POINTS
   New 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with Dual VVT-i
   272bhp (276 DIN hp) and 342Nm of torque
   Best-in-segment acceleration for conventional V6 petrol engines: nought to
    62mph in 7.8 seconds, 25.2mpg combined cycle consumption
   All-round gains in refinement, performance, economy and emissions compared to
    previous RX 300’s 3.0-litre V6
   New control logic for by-wire throttle and automatic transmission gives sharper
    response
   Steering retuned for improved response, sharper feel and extra assistance at
    parking speeds
   Improved noise and vibration measure for quieter performance at all engine
    speeds
   Viscous coupling added to centre differential to provide limited-slip effect,
    improving traction and stability
   New Lexus Multimedia and Navigation pack
         o High-resolution seven-inch Electro Multi vision display screen
         o 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium hi-fi
         o Six-disc in-dash DVD changer
         o DVD video playback function
         o WMA and MP3 files playable from disc
         o Lexus Navigation system with faster route calculation, improved graphics
            and Electronic Traffic Avoidance
         o Bluetooth for hands-free mobile phone operation
         o Lexus Parking Assist Monitor with colour display
         o Voice command function for audio, climate control, communications and
            navigation
         o Rear passenger DVD screens
         o Fitted as standard on RX 350 SE-L, optional on SE model
   Specifications unchanged from RX 300 with RX 350, SE and SE-L versions
    available (SE-L gains rear passenger DVD screens)
   On sale in the UK since April 2006
   On-the-road prices from £32,565 (RX 350)




                                                                                 1
IN BRIEF


INTRODUCTION
Since launch in 2003, the RX 300 has proved a strong performer in the petrol-
powered premium SUV segment, frequently topping the UK sales charts in its class.
The introduction of the new RX 350 provides even stronger performance, with
greater fuel economy and lower emissions, to further strengthen the model’s market
position.


The key change is the introduction of a new 3.5-litre V6 engine that is not only among
the leaders in its class in terms of power and acceleration, but which is also one of
the best in terms of fuel consumption and emissions. Needless to say, the figures
also mark significant advances on the previous 3.0-litre unit deployed in the RX 300.


Introducing a new control logic for the by-wire throttle and the five-speed automatic
transmission improves the driving experience, by enabling sharper response times.


The new RX 350 joins the hybrid power RX 400h to reinforce Lexus’s reputation for
providing the benchmark for all-round quality, performance and engineering
innovation in the premium SUV segment. It also adds impetus to Lexus’s growing
share of the UK market, joining a stream of models launched in the past year that
include the all-new GS and IS saloons and the ground-breaking RX 400h.


The RX 350 shares the same class-leading specifications as the previous RX 300,
with the addition of a new Lexus Multimedia and Navigation pack, with a more
sophisticated 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium hi-fi, now equipped for DVD video
/ audio playback, and an upgraded satellite navigation system that is quicker, offers
clearer maps and responds to voice commands. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-
free phone calls and the Lexus Parking Assist Monitor are also part of the package,
which comes as standard on the RX 350 SE-L, or can be specified as an option on
the SE model.


RX 350 went on sale in April 2006. On-the-road prices are from £32,565 for the
entry-level RX 350.


LEXUS RX – THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL LUXURY SUV




                                                                                        2
More than one million Lexus RX models have been sold worldwide since the original
model was launched in 1997. With the latest version, the RX 350, Lexus achieves
new technological heights for the vehicle, adding even more appeal to what is the
world’s most successful luxury SUV. In the USA the RX is Lexus’s top-selling model
and the leader in its class, outperforming its direct European competitors by a factor
of more than three to one.




The Lexus RX is the originator of the luxury SUV as we know it today, a reputation
founded on its aerodynamically class-leading styling (the lowest drag coefficient in its
class), excellent dynamic performance and a comprehensive range of advanced and
innovative technical features. Counted among the latter are air suspension; neural
network air conditioning that mimics the working of the human brain in controlling
cabin temperature; the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) that improves night-time
illumination through bends, class leading satellite navigation system and an
electrically operated tailgate. Active and passive safety are of the highest standards,
including the first driver’s knee airbag to be offered in the segment.


NEW 3.5-LITRE V6 ENGINE
The Lexus RX 350 offers greater driving pleasure with class-leading performance
from its new, state-of-the-art 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. The 24-valve aluminium block
unit is the first in its segment to adopt Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing –
intelligent), an optimised low pressure loss, variable intake and exhaust valve-timing
system.


The engine also benefits from hydraulic valve compensators for roller rocker valve
operation, and an electrically-activated Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS),
which varies the level of air induction by automatically adjusting the length of the
intake pipe according to engine speed.


The result is smooth operation and excellent efficiency, delivering high performance
with low fuel consumption and emissions levels. The V6 is among the most powerful
and economical of all conventional V6 petrol engines in the premium SUV market. It
develops 272bhp (276 DIN hp) at 6,200rpm and 342Nm of torque at 4,700rpm, giving
nought to 62mph acceleration in 7.8 seconds – better than any other petrol six-
cylinder model in its class. The top speed is electronically limited to 124mph.




                                                                                      3
These figures do not conceal a penalty in fuel consumption. On the combined cycle,
the new RX 350 can achieve 25.2mpg, eight per cent better than the previous RX
300 and ahead of all its V6 class rivals.


IMPROVED DRIVETRAIN
The new V6 engine is matched to the same five-speed automatic transmission as the
previous RX 300, but performance and economy have been improved thanks to the
adoption of new shift control logic. Moving the gear lever in S mode activates a
manual five-speed sequential shift system that provides better engine braking,
precise control and greater driver involvement.


The permanent four-wheel drive system has a new centre differential with a viscous
coupling, giving a limited-slip capability.
This aids smooth delivery of the extra power available (35 per cent greater than the
RX 300) and, allied to the retuned Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction
Control (TRC) systems, gives better traction and stability in all driving conditions.


SHARPER STEERING
The steering of the new Lexus RX 350 has also been reconfigured to give a more
direct and positive feel. Additional assistance at low speeds makes parking
manoeuvres easier, complementing the vehicle’s best-in-class 5.7m turning circle.


REDUCED NOISE AND VIBRATION
Particular attention has been paid to reducing noise and vibration levels, ensuring
that, although the RX 350 is substantially more powerful than its predecessor, it is
quieter at all engine speeds.


Measures to achieve this include a new bonnet insulator, dashboard silencer,
improvements to the exhaust system and a new acoustic windscreen is used, with a
special inner film that reduces noise levels in the cabin by up to 3dB.


LEXUS MULTIMEDIA AND NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The RX 350 offers owners a combined multimedia and satellite navigation package
that delivers new high levels of technical innovation, flexibility and ease of use.


Fitted as standard to the RX 350 SE-L and offered as an extra-cost option on the RX
350 SE, the package includes an improved 11-speaker Mark Levinson hi-fi system


                                                                                        4
with a seven-channel 210-Watt digital DSP amplifier. It will play CDs, audio and video
DVDs and MP3 and WMA files stored on disc. Movies and music videos on DVDs
can be enjoyed on the central Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display screen on the
centre console.


The navigation system provides route calculation 65 per cent quicker before and is
equipped with a voice command system that can also be used to activate several
navigation, audio, climate and telephone functions. Bluetooth connectivity is also
included, for hands-free use of mobile telephones.


To complete the package, the Lexus Parking Assist Monitor makes reverse
manoeuvres simple and safe, automatically providing a real-time colour image on the
EMV screen of the area immediately behind the vehicle when reverse gear is
selected. The images can also be overlaid with guidelines for extra help when easing
into a parking space.




LEXUS RX 350 AND THE UK MARKET
Pricing
Full price and insurance group details are given in the table below.
MODEL                                           OTR PRICE              INSURANCE
                                                                         GROUP
RX 350                                            £32,565                  16E
RX 350 SE                                         £36,715                  16E
RX 350 SE Multimedia                              £39,665                  16E
RX 350 SE-L                                       £43,180                  17E

Cost of ownership
The RX 350 requires servicing every 10,000 miles (Health and Safety Check) with
major servicing required at 20,000 mile intervals. In line with all other Lexus models,
it is sold with a three-year / 60,000-mile warranty with three-year paint and 12-year
anti-perforation warranties.


The engine uses longer life components for ease of servicing. These include air filter
replacement at 40,000 miles, spark plug replacement at 60,000 miles and coolant
replenishment at 100,000 miles.




                                                                                     5
IN DETAIL


DRIVING DYNAMICS
   New 3.5-litre V6, one of the most powerful and economical six-cylinder petrol
    engines in the premium SUV segment
   272bhp (276 DIN hp) at 6,200 rpm and 342Nm of torque at 4,700rpm
   Nought to 62mph in 7.8 seconds, fastest of all six-cylinder luxury SUVs
   Combined cycle fuel consumption 25.2mpg, an eight per cent improvement on the
    previous three-litre V6
   New control logic for the by-wire throttle and five-speed automatic gearbox delivers
    quicker response
   Viscous coupling in the centre differential provides a limited-slip effect for improved
    stability and traction
   Retuned steering for more direct and responsive feel

New 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine
The key element in the new Lexus RX 350 is its new and innovative aluminium-block
petrol engine, which achieves the feat of being both one of the most powerful, yet the
most economical six-cylinder petrol unit in the premium SUV segment.


It is a 24-valve, 3,456cc chain-driven DOHC V6, equipped with Dual VVT-i (Variable
Valve Timing – intelligent), hydraulic valve compensators, and an electrically activated
variable Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS). This advanced technical package
enables the engine to achieve an exceptional combination of high performance and low
fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.


It is the first engine in its segment to adopt Dual VVT-i, a low pressure loss, variable
intake and exhaust timing system that can control intake and exhaust camshafts through
angles of up to 40 and 35 degrees respectively. This allows a greater intake/exhaust
valve overlap, benefiting both low-end and high-end torque, as well as making a
significant contribution to reducing exhaust emissions.


The chain-driven valve system uses roller rocker arms and the resulting marked
reduction in friction between the camshaft and sliding components – 15 per cent at
2,000rpm – improves the engine’s fuel efficiency. The diameter of both the intake and
exhaust valves has been increased to improve efficiency; high load valve springs and a
concave camshaft profile increase valve lift to boost output; and a ceramic check-ball



                                                                                              6
valve compensator ensures the system requires no valve clearance adjustment over the
lifetime of the vehicle.


Refining the engine’s air intake flow was a priority for engineers at the Lexus
Development Centre in Japan, and they have succeeded in giving the V6 the highest air
intake volume among all six-cylinder power plants.
Adjusting the shape of the intake manifold and the diameter of the cylinder head intake
port, together with a larger valve diameter and wider cam action, has improved both
output and torque. And revisions to the air cleaner and duct profiles have reduced intake
pressure loss.


Another first-in-segment feature is the introduction of the high-speed, electrically
activated ACIS, which varies air induction by automatically adjusting the length of the
intake pipe according to engine speed. This helps optimise the fuel/air mixture to further
boost torque at all engine speeds. The system actuator is bonded to the resin-made
surge tank using an advanced laser welding process.


The engine uses centrifugal cast iron cylinder liners with ‘spiny’ outer walls to improve
bonding to the cylinder block, increase radiation performance, reduce piston temperature
and suppress cylinder bore deformation. Pent-roof, slant-squish combustion chambers
combine with a shallow piston cavity and centrally located, high-ignition, long-reach
iridium spark plugs for excellent combustion and anti-knocking performance.


Gas flow through the stainless steel exhaust system has been adjusted to reduce
pressure loss between the manifold and silencer, enhancing engine performance. The
exhaust manifold has ultra-thin-plate ceramic catalytic converters to further improve
performance, significantly reduce warm-up time and thus reduce emissions.


Moreover, the by-wire control logic for the throttle valve has been reconfigured, so the
ECU now elicits a prompter engine response to any given throttle pedal angle.


Within a very compact design, extensive measures have been taken to reduce engine
weight and minimise noise and vibration. The new V6 has a die-cast aluminium cylinder
block, lightweight pistons, a thin-wall aluminium cast intake manifold and a surge tank
made of resin. The overall engine assembly has been made lighter and more compact
by installing the water pump, oil filter and oil pump within the chain cover.

                                                                                        7
Lower noise and vibration levels across the entire power band are achieved through a
combination of measures, including the balance weight of the high-tensile forged
crankshaft, lightweight pistons, roller rocker valve activation and urethane foam acoustic
damping to both the engine and chain covers.


The ultra-smooth V6 generates 272bhp (276 DIN hp) at 6,200rpm and 342Nm of torque
at 4,700rpm, representing respective increases of 35 and 21 per cent over the
performance of the previous RX 300. This gives the RX 350 nought to 62mph
acceleration in 7.8 seconds, the quickest of any six-cylinder luxury SUV. Top speed is
electronically limited to 124mph.


At the same time, specific fuel consumption (measured in grammes per kilowatt hour –
g/kWh) marks an average four per cent improvement over the performance of the RX
300 across the entire rev range. Combined cycle consumption is better by eight per cent
at 25.2mpg, making it the most economical among all conventional six-cylinder petrol
engines in the premium SUV segment.


Five-speed automatic transmission
The Lexus RX 350’s five-speed automatic transmission has new shift control logic for
improved performance and fuel economy.


Downshifts, for example from fourth to second gear, have been significantly improved.
By predicting the level of engine torque developed at any given moment through a
reading of engine status, the transmission ECU can effect a fourth to second gear
downshift simultaneously with the engine ECU’s adjustment of the by-wire throttle angle,
so obviating the need for a slower, two-stage operation. Downshift times are reduced by
0.2 seconds at 37mph, giving smoother performance and sharper throttle response.


A further new control logic, Shift Phase Controller, has been adopted for situations
requiring, for example, a rapid second-to-third-to-second gear change sequence, as
might occur during an interrupted kick-down. Through simultaneous control of clutches
and torque management, this logic promotes much smoother gear changes and reduces
shift times by about 0.8 seconds at 50mph, further improving the vehicle’s rapid
response to throttle inputs.


                                                                                        8
Moving the gearshift lever into ‘S’ mode activates a five-speed sequential gear range
selection system: the driver moves the lever forwards for upshifts and backwards for
downshifts, with selected range displayed by the gear indicator in the instrument
binnacle. This enhances engine braking performance, gives more precise control and
thus delivers greater driving involvement.


Permanent four-wheel-drive
The RX 350’s full-time four-wheel drive with 50:50 front-rear torque split features a new
centre differential with a viscous coupling. The limited-slip function inherent in this
system not only aids smooth delivery of the greater torque generated by the new 3.5-litre
V6, but also, allied to the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), improves traction and stability
in all driving conditions.


When, for example, wheelspin is detected at the front of the vehicle, the viscous
coupling will lock, passing more torque to the rear axle in order to counteract the usual
differential effect.


The centre differential greatly improves the efficiency of the four-wheel drive system’s
response to momentary loss of traction, while the action of all three differentials is further
complemented by the ability of the proven Traction Control (TRC) system to reduce
individual wheel speed whenever any loss of traction is detected.


The VSC and TRC systems have been retuned in order to respond to the 21 per cent
increase in engine torque. In addition, communication between the engine ECU and the
brake control ECU is made via a CAN multiplex network 100 times faster than the
previous connection, enabling better interaction between the VSC and the engine.


Improved steering feel
Further improvements have been made to the steering through reprogramming of the
system’s ECU and redefinition of the power steering pump operation.


The aim was to achieve a more direct and responsive feel, consistent with the stronger
dynamics of the new 3.5-litre V6 engine.




                                                                                            9
Low-speed parking manoeuvres have been made easier by providing additional steering
assistance. The tightest turning radius in its class – 5.7 metres – helps make the RX 350
one of the easiest luxury SUVs to drive around town.


NOISE AND VIBRATION
   Noise intrusion into the cabin reduced by new engine technology and additional
    soundproofing material
   Further reduction in noise and vibration from the exhaust and transmission
   Acoustic windscreen
   RX 350 with air suspension has lowest drag coefficient (Cd) of any luxury SUV –
    0.33

Improved noise and vibration performance
Although substantially more powerful than its predecessor, the new Lexus RX 350 sets
class-leading standards in reducing noise and vibration levels.


In addition to the reduction achieved through details in the design of the new 3.5-litre
engine, the adoption of a new bonnet insulator and dashboard silencer significantly cuts
the amount of engine noise and vibration reaching the cabin.


Further benefits are gained from a variable back-pressure exhaust system. A valve is
built into the main silencer, which itself is located under the centre of the vehicle. At low
engine revs the valve closes, generating extra back-pressure and reducing exhaust
noise, while at high revs it opens to allow freer passage of exhaust gases and improve
engine performance.


Adding damping materials to the exhaust manifold heat insulator and a dynamic damper
to the exhaust pipe itself further suppresses unwanted exhaust noise. Transmission
noise has been reduced by adding a more effective insulator to the transmission tunnel
and a sound-absorbent intermediate transmission shaft seal.


Marked improvements in wind and engine noise levels have been achieved by fitting a
new acoustic windscreen. This has an inner film with high noise damping characteristics,
giving a reduction in cabin noise of up to 3dB when driving. The front floor carpeting has
also been developed to give better insulation against road noise.




                                                                                          10
Class-leading aerodynamics
The Lexus RX was tested at wind speeds of up to 124mph in the Maibara wind tunnel,
the facility used to perfect Japan’s famous Shinkansen Bullet Train. This enabled Lexus
engineers to develop bodywork with class-leading aerodynamics, with a particular
emphasis on eradicating wind noise. When fitted with air suspension, the RX 350’s Cd
falls to 0.33, the lowest figure among all luxury SUVs.


A key quality of the Maibara tunnel is the extremely low level of background noise. It is
also equipped with a high-speed belt, which permits a faithful simulation of the complex
airflow around the wheelarches of a moving vehicle.


To promote both straight line stability and fuel economy, careful consideration was given
to the convergence of airflow at the rear of the RX. An integral rear roof spoiler is fitted
as standard to improve the Cd value, and tyre fairings front and rear control airflow
through the wheelarches. These fairings and numerous other aerodynamic underbody
elements reduce wind noise and improve stability.


COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
   High level of standard equipment on RX 350 including electric seats, photochromic
    rear view and door mirrors and Multi-zone automatic air conditioning
   SE models add electric seats with memory, heating functions, eight way electric
    adjustment for passenger seat and power rear door
   SE-L adds new Lexus Multimedia and Navigation System, combining Mark Levinson
    premium audio system with integrated DVD video playback capability, new-
    generation Lexus Navigation and Parking Assist Monitor
   Electro Multi Vision (EMV) VGA LCD touch-screen with voice command facility
   Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone compatibility
   Fitted as standard on RX 350 SE-L and available as an option on SE models

Lexus Multimedia and Navigation System
The Lexus Multimedia and Navigation System, fitted as standard on SE-L versions of the
new RX 350, features an upgraded 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system
with integrated DVD video playback capability, plus the latest Lexus Navigation
technology with Bluetooth telephone connectivity and the Lexus Parking Assist Monitor.


All three systems are operated via a seven-inch Electro Multi Vision (EMV) VGA LCD
display screen in the centre console. The touch-sensitive screen is designed to be as
easy and instinctive to use all Lexus controls: it is flanked by a range of main menu
buttons and it takes no more than three steps to effect any command. Each button

                                                                                         11
opens a different function menu, which can then be adjusted simply by using the touch
screen.


The satellite navigation, audio and hands-free telephone systems can also be controlled
by voice command, in English, French or German.


Mark Levinson premium audio system with DVD video playback
The RX 350’s new Mark Levinson sound system features a six-disc in-dash DVD
changer and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. It has been upgraded to
provide disc playback of WMA and MP3 digital music files and it also enables DVD
music videos and movies to be shown on the EMV screen.


Superb sound reproduction is guaranteed, not only through the quality of the Mark
Levinson system, but also thanks to the excellent acoustic qualities of RX 350’s cabin:
the interior is well insulated, with very low levels of ambient noise, and the built-in rigidity
of a number of components helps avoid unwelcome resonance.


The audio package features a seven-channel DSP amplifier with an all-digital signal path
and both Dolby Digital 2.1 and Digital Theatre Systems (DTS) 2.1 capabilities. The 11
speakers, including front centre and coaxial rear centre speakers, are each custom
engineered for their particular acoustic characteristics and position in the vehicle.


The system will play CD, DVD audio / video discs and MP3 and WMA files stored on CD
or DVD.


Lexus Navigation System
The new-generation Lexus Navigation System has a much-improved display with VGA
(Video Graphics Array) 800 x 480-pixel resolution, with a 32,000-colour range, compared
to 256 for the previous system.


The appearance of the navigation maps has been aligned with the colours and graphics
used on printed maps, to help make the images instantly familiar to the user. Key points
of interest (POI) are now shown as 3D graphics.


The speed of calculation is also faster by 65 per cent compared to the previous system,
and graphic draw performance is three times more rapid.

                                                                                             12
Several features of the navigation system (and audio, climate control and telephone
functions) can be operated using voice commands, in English, French or German. In
addition, voice guidance is available in 10 languages. The system is one of very few on
the market that combines the advantages of touch screen and voice command
operation.


It also provides a search function that lets the user find the nearest point of interest by
using voice recognition, plus a route tracing feature and detailed lane guidance in
several major European cities (Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Glasgow, London,
Manchester and Munich). There is also a new estimated time of arrival feature which
predicts the time for completion of a programmed route.


Other functions are carried over from the previous system, including Electronic Traffic
Avoidance (ETA), which provides updated route guidance, monitoring live traffic data
feeds to alert the driver of potential hold-ups ahead and, if desired, programme an
alternative route.


Bluetooth connectivity
A Bluetooth telephone system is integrated into the new Lexus Navigation System,
enabling the user to make and receive mobile phone calls hands-free by using the
touch-screen controls, switches on the steering wheel, or voice commands. The system
can store up to 1,000 numbers from the owner’s mobile phone.


Lexus Parking Assist Monitor
The RX 350’s Multimedia and Navigation system also includes the Lexus Parking Assist
Monitor, the first parking aid of its kind in the premium SUV sector when originally
launched on the RX 300 in 2003.


The system uses a miniature video camera mounted in the rear number plate surround,
which feeds a real-time full-colour view of the area behind the vehicle to the EMV screen
on the dashboard, whenever reverse gear is selected. Manoeuvring can be made even
easier by means of screen-generated guidelines which show the prospective path of the
vehicle, based on the current steering angle.


SAFETY: A CLEAR LEADER IN THE SUV SEGMENT

                                                                                        13
The RX 350 a class leader in safety, setting standards by combining a vast range of
innovative technologies into an integrated approach embracing structural, active and
passive safety.


Uppermost are the excellent driving dynamics, further aided by Vehicle Stability Control
(VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Brake Assist System (BAS) technology.




Passive safety
Standard equipment includes multi-stage driver and front passenger airbags, which work
in conjunction with impact absorbing structures in the front end of the vehicle and the
pretensioner-equipped seat belts to reduce shocks to the head, chest and legs in the
event of a frontal collision.


The front airbag system is linked to a seat position sensor, crash severity sensor and the
seatbelt buckle switch (which detects whether or not the belt is fastened). Using
information from these sources, it judges the best inflation level for each airbag
according to the immediate circumstances.


The provision of a driver’s knee airbag in the RX 350 – a first for the segment –
significantly reduces the risk of injuries to the legs, deploying from the lower part of the
instrument panel at the same time as the front airbag. It is primarily designed to reduce
injury from contact with steering column and lower dashboard structures, but has also
been found to reduce head and chest injuries by reducing displacement of the pelvis and
rotation of the torso in a major impact.


Further protection is provided by an energy absorbing mechanism in the steering
column. Energy-absorbing plates and brackets also reduce impact forces delivered to
the steering wheel. To complement this feature, the RX 350 is also equipped with a
collapsible pedal system.


Curtain Shield airbags provide front and outer rear seat passengers with extra head
protection, inflating from the top of the door frames, effectively creating a pneumatic
‘curtain’ over the window area.




                                                                                         14
This side protection is further enhanced by the world’s first use of extra-large Thorax-
Abdomen-Pelvis (TAP) Side Airbags. These have a capacity of 16 litres, at least six litres
more than conventional side airbags, which means they can reduce the risk of chest and
abdomen injuries by spreading impact forces over a wider area of the body. In spite of
their size, the TAP Airbags are mounted in the seats rather than on doors, so they
remain in the ideal position however far back or forward the seat is positioned. In total,
the Lexus RX 350 is equipped with nine airbags as standard.


The airbags work in conjunction with three-point electronically sensing pretensioned
seatbelts, fitted to both the front and rear seats. The rear seat is designed with built-in
Seat Belt Comfort Guides to ensure the correct positioning of the seatbelts for children
or smaller passengers. An ISOFIX bar for securing child seats has been provided behind
the rear seat cushion. In addition, three CRS anchor brackets for securing child seats
are provided on the rear seat backrests.


Seats in the RX 350 have been designed to WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) principles.
The design incorporates innovations in headrests and seat backs that decrease neck
motion in a rear end collision.
By reducing the motion between head and torso, the seats have been shown to
significantly lessen the incidence of whiplash injury.


The ‘intelligent’ electronic seat belt pretensioners and force limiters allow full freedom of
movement under normal circumstances, but instantly restrain the body in an impact.
Triggered by the ignition signal from the airbag sensor, the seatbelt pretensioner
activates simultaneously with the front airbags. At the start of the collision, if the tension
of the seatbelt reaches a predetermined level, the force limiter is activated to reduce the
force exerted on the occupant.


The overall structural strength of the RX 350 also plays a significant part in protecting its
occupants. Reinforcements have been added to the inner and outer rocker panels, front
pillars, and roof side rails in order to minimise cabin deformation during a frontal
collision. Impact energy from a side collision directed to the cabin area is dispersed
throughout the body via the central pillar, reinforcements, side impact protection beams
and floor cross members.


Active safety

                                                                                           15
The impact absorbing structure and passive safety equipment in the RX 350 are really
designed as a final resort. Of perhaps greater importance are the comprehensive active
safety package and the use of design, technology and driving dynamics to avoid
accidents happening in the first place.


All RX 350 models feature as standard Electronic traction control (TRC), a multi-channel
anti-lock braking system (ABS), with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake
Assist System (BAS) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), all of which add to the
vehicle’s dynamic handling characteristics.


At night or in bad weather the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) fitted to SE and SE-
L versions substantially improves visibility when cornering by directing the front headlight
low beam towards the inside of a curve. AFS is equipped with an electronic controller
which calculates the optimum degree of light swivel in line with vehicle speed and
steering angle. It is also combined with High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with an
automatic levelling system and headlamp cleaners.


An automatic rain sensing windscreen wiper system and a spray windscreen wash
system featured on all models ensure the best possible visibility in poor weather. This is
further aided by the use of water-repellent glass, which is specially coated to maintain
clear vision through the front side windows.




INTERIOR DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT
As well as the customary standards of Lexus comfort, ambience, practicality and luxury,
the RX 350 combines the latest contemporary design with the highest quality materials
and an even higher level of perceived quality. The interior design features ample
accommodation, with plenty of storage places; a ‘segment-first’ Power Tailgate; and rear
seats that are multi-adjustable, including a ‘flat-floor’ folding system.


Design and “perceived quality”
Design inspiration for the interior came from not just the automotive industry, but from a
wider range of craftsmanship and hand-made luxury goods. The dashboard architecture

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matches the front-end exterior design philosophy in being inspired by wing-like shapes.
The main instrument cluster in front of the driver is housed in a distinctive ‘Optitron’ three
pod unit with a central speedometer, flanked by tachometer and a multi-function display
with fuel gauge, engine temperature and gearshift position read-outs.


The dashboard features a distinctive brushed ‘cool metal’ panel in the centre, which is
divided into left and right halves and houses the climate and audio and, where fitted,
satellite navigation controls.


The central trim is complemented by curved Walnut or Maple wood in the lower console
housing the selector lever for the sequential automatic transmission. The adjustable
console box can either slide forwards to give the impression of a continuous sweep from
the centre console, or backwards to create a ‘walkthrough’ space between the front
seats.


Convenience and comfort
On the SE and SE-L versions, the leather-upholstered driver and front passenger seats
have eight-way electric adjustment. On the standard RX 350 model, the driver's seat has
eight-way adjustment and the passenger seat four-way adjustment. The SE and SE-L
also feature a memory function that will store two positions for the driver’s seat, along
with settings for the steering wheel and door mirrors.


The rear seats match those in the front, being designed as separate entities to highlight
an ‘independent four-seat’ approach. A padded central area between the outer two seats
acts as a third rear seat. Each rear seat is adjustable fore and aft by 120mm and can be
reclined. The padded central seating area additionally folds down to create a combined
armrest and storage box, with two extra large cupholders. Three cupholders are
provided for front-seat passengers.




For more flexible, versatile load carrying, the three rear seat backs on the SE and SE-L
models can be folded down in a variety of combinations: 100, 80, 60, 40 or 20 per cent.
With the central (20 per cent) section lowered, long loads can extend through from the
luggage compartment between the two outer rear passengers.



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A key feature is the power operation of the tailgate, automatically opening and closing at
the touch of a button (SE and SE-L versions). It can also be activated at distance using
the remote key control fob. On opening, the luggage cover automatically retracts.


A further combination of perceived quality and owner convenience is a premium
illumination scheme which lights up door handles, centre console, footwells, ignition
switch and scuff plates. The Intelligent Illuminated Entry System fitted to SE and SE-L
versions uses an ECU to coordinate the activation of the different illumination points with
certain actions, such as opening the door and inserting the key in the ignition. It is
particularly helpful when getting into or out of the vehicle at night.


ENDS

Ref: 080101N




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