The new Lexus RX 450h follows on from the 2005 launch of the ground-breaking RX 400h to introduce second-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive technology.
In the RX 450h, Lexus marked the first successful dovetailing of high performance with the hybrid benefits of fuel economy and low emissions, revolutionising powertrain technology in the premium segment. The system has undergone significant development in the RX 450h.
Unlike mild hybrids, which use supplementary electric motor power simply to boost the performance of the petrol engine, the RX 450h is a full hybrid, capable of operation in both petrol and electric modes alone, or in a combination of both. It delivers the energy-saving benefits of a series hybrid and the acceleration performance of a parallel hybrid system.
The RX 450h has the same intelligent four-wheel drive capability as the RX 400h, with a series/parallel hybrid system employing a highly efficient petrol engine and two powerful electric motors working in tandem to provide an ‘intelligent’ four-wheel drive capability.
However, comprehensive enhancements to all the system’s components have dramatically improved efficiency, achieving a 10 per cent increase in engine power and a 28 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.
The improvements to achieve improved performance, driveability, fuel economy, noise and emissions include:
Total power output is 295bhp (299 DIN hp), enabling a top speed of 124mph and 0 to 62mph acceleration in 7.8 seconds. Conversely, the RX 450h has the lowest fuel consumption of any premium crossover model with a combined cycle figure of 44.8mpg. CO2 emissions are also remarkably low at just 148g/km.
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