Lexus Introduces RX 400h, the World's First Luxury Hybrid SUV
TORRANCE, CA – Lexus announced the launch of the all-new 2006 RX 400h, the world's first gas/electric hybrid-powered luxury vehicle, which will go on sale in April 2005. Based on the RX 330, the RX 400h delivers greater performance, improved fuel efficiency and significantly reduces emissions while sacrificing none of its luxury or utility.
The first luxury vehicle to feature hybrid technology, the RX 400h incorporates a new, advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive system that combines the 3.3L V6 engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator, plus a rear electric drive motor-generator to provide on-road all-wheel drive capability.
With a combined system output of approximately 268 horsepower, and 3,500 lb.-ft. of axle torque at launch, the RX 400h delivers rapid acceleration with unexpected fuel efficiency. At 7.3 seconds, acceleration from zero to 60 mph is about 0.5 seconds quicker than the RX 330 and better than many V8-powered competitors. The RX 400h's estimated EPA combined fuel economy rating of 28 mpg matches the average for new compact sedans and marks a 33 percent improvement over RX 330 AWD. It also gains a 67-percent edge over RX 330 in city fuel economy. And its estimated EPA city fuel economy rating of 30 mpg exceeds most V8 and many V6-equipped luxury SUVs by more than 100 percent.
The Lexus RX 400h is defined as a "full hybrid," which means that it is capable of operating in electric-only or gas engine-only mode as well as a mode that combines the power of the gas engine and electric motor. In contrast, other hybrid technologies are not capable of running only on electrical power, but instead require constant gas engine operation.
The RX 400h uses a 3.3L V6 that is based on the engine in the RX 330 but with revisions to promote smooth integration with the hybrid system. These include revised calibrations to the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) systems.
The RX 400h has been certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV), California's most stringent gasoline vehicle emission standard. It's one of the first luxury vehicles to achieve this strict standard, producing about 90 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than typical new vehicles. The RX 400h is also certified as a zero evaporative emission vehicle in California and those states adopting California standards. In states not adopting California rules, it's certified to Tier 2 – Bin 3 emission levels.
As with all Lexus vehicles, the RX 400h comes with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48-months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.