Built as the ultimate driving machine, the new luxury SUV flagship from Lexus, the LX 500d, has been reengineered to meet today’s demand for lower carbon emissions, while still maintaining the brute power and refinement it has become known for.

The new Lexus LX 500d features a twin-turbo V6 diesel engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission and a wide range of improvements, including the first F Sport version of the LX. While the initial allocation from Japan has been pre-sold, Lexus Dealers are taking orders for both the Limited and F Sport models for delivery in 2023.

Lexus New Zealand General Manager Andrew Davis says the LX 500d is about being able to go just about anywhere in New Zealand in luxury.

“The new LX 500d is a very special vehicle – it offers the very best in off-roading capability and delivers that through a luxurious experience. Also, being a Lexus, it has a level of refinement that is unsurpassed. It is the ultimate luxury vehicle for more extreme kiwi lifestyles and, even over rocky and rough terrain it maintains the highest levels of comfort,” he says.

A new 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 diesel replaces the former model’s V8 diesel and petrol engines as Lexus aims for greater fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

Andrew Davis says the new smaller engine impressively delivers more power and torque than the previous V8 diesel.

“Our goal with the LX is to create a powerful luxury SUV while continuing to improve the overall carbon profile of the Lexus range.”

“Of course, we would love to offer a hybrid or even fully electric LX, but we are not quite there yet. The key factor is what our customers require from an LX and the availability of reliable, durable on and off-roading technology. Also, many LX 500ds will be sold to customers both in New Zealand and around the world who may not have 24-7 access to charging facilities when they are out in the extremes,” Andrew noted.

The exterior design of the 2022 LX 500d retains its classic LX shape with noticeable changes to the F Sport version, which features the Lexus spindle front grille and unique front and rear bumpers.

Both the Limited and the F Sport will be equipped with the largest ever factory supplied wheels from Lexus – 22” with forged multi-spoked alloy wheels.

Many measures have been taken to save weight as a means of improving responsiveness and fuel consumption. Aluminium has been adopted for the bonnet, roof, front guards, and door panels. The use of new high-tensile strength steel in the frame, lighter seat construction, and revised suspension also contribute to the savings.

The 2022 LX has a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,500kg. The F Sport’s handling is enhanced with the addition of a Rear Torsen® Limited Slip Differential and front and rear performance dampers.

Omotenashi focused passenger comfort

The LX’s interior design is based on the ‘Tazuna’ interior cockpit concept that was first adopted for the new Lexus NX which was launched in 2022. The seven seat Limited features a hand-crafted wooden mosaic with patterns influenced by hawk feathers.

Passenger comfort, a core component of the Lexus concept of omotenashi or hospitality, is a feature of the LX. Front seats and outer second row seats have heaters and ventilation. The driver’s seat has 14-way power adjustment with lumbar support, while the front passenger seat has 12-way power adjustment. In the Limited, the second row has a powered tumble mechanism, and the third row has powered recline and folding.

Further comfort is provided by a four-zone air conditioning system, a 25 speaker Mark Levinson Audio system, Apple Car Play® and Android Auto™ connectivity. The Limited has a rear seat entertainment system. Personal digital devices and other portable appliances have been generously provided for with six USB ports in the Limited and four in the F Sport. There are also two 12V sockets and one 220V outlet in both versions.

The five seat F Sport has a more performance orientated interior with aluminium features inspired by patterns found on a traditional Japanese sword.

The F Sport also differs from Limited with a unique steering wheel, shift lever, scuff plates, aluminium pedals, and front seats with firmer bolsters and an embossed ‘F’ emblem in the headrest.

Advanced technology and safety features

The new 3.3L twin-turbo V6 diesel engine generates improved maximum outputs of 227kW (+27) and 700Nm (+50) versus the outgoing V8 diesel. Compared to the LX 570’s 5.7L petrol engine, peak power is lower (-43kW) but is accessible at a lower rpm and torque is up an impressive 170Nm. Combined fuel consumption is lower at 8.9L/100km and CO2 emissions are 235g/km*.

Lexus Safety Sense+ has a range of new and enhanced functionality. The Pre-Collision System has been extended to detect bicyclists during the day and pedestrians in low light conditions and to include Emergency Steering Assist and Intersection Turn Assist. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system now includes curve speed reduction functionality. Lane Trace Assist and Road Sign Assist are new to the LX, adding to the vehicle's comprehensive safety and security.

A wealth of off-road features includes Multi-Terrain Select and Multi-Terrain Monitor for precise vehicle control and positioning on challenging terrain.

Crawl control - activated at the press of a button at speeds below 10 km/h - automatically controls engine output and braking in very rough or slippery conditions, so the driver can focus on accurately steering the vehicle. An updated turn assist function uses brake pressure to increase response to the driver's steering inputs and give the vehicle a tighter turning radius.

A new fingerprint verification system has been added using a sensor in the push start button. Fingerprint verification can be bypassed by holding the key over the start stop switch and pressing it while pressing the brake pedal.

Pricing and availability

As the final retail price for the Limited and the F Sport grade is the same at $175,900, the question of which model to purchase comes down to the driver’s requirements. The seven seat Limited model offers ultimate luxury, while the five seat F Sport places more emphasis on performance and maintains a luxury cabin experience.

“Globally, the LX is in high demand and it’s no different here in New Zealand, customers can expect a wait time of more than 12 months for a new order, but they can be assured the wait will be worth it,” Drew says.

The 2022 Lexus LX range is priced at

Lexus LX 500d F Sport 3.3DT 5 Seats $175,900 plus on road costs

Lexus LX 500d Limited 3.3DT 7 Seats $175,900 plus on road costs

* Fuel consumption and emission figures are based on tests under controlled conditions and are provided for comparison purposes. Actual results will vary depending on factors such as vehicle usage and operating conditions.

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