I had just finished driving the
luxury hybrid sedan from Lexus and it was time to hop on to the RX 450h,
another hybrid car, an SUV with great looks. The RX 450h comes in two
variants—a Luxury variant and a Sport variant. I got the keys to the F Sport.
This hybrid has got to be different, I told myself while getting into this SUV
that is far cleaner and greener than many of the ones available in the country
today. But does it have the butch spirit?
I was desperate to find that out!
Front / Rear
(with stabilizer): MacPherson struts / Double wishbone
Front / Rear: Ventilated
disc with floating caliper 2-cylinder / 1 cylinder
GENERATOR / MAX. OUTPUT
Magnet Synchronous Motor / 123kw (165hp)
GROUND CLEARANCE (MM)
OVERALL L X W
X H (mm)
4890 x 1895 x
Design and Features of Lexus RX 450h F Sport Hybrid
Unlike the ES 300h, its calmer
looking hybrid cousin, the RX 450h is a lot more aggressive and sporty looking.
The signature honeycomb spindle grille mesh and the metallic coated lower
bumper give the car a sporty look from the front. Adding to the smart looks are
the LED 3 eye projector lamps with integrated LED DRL creating the signature
Lexus arrowhead-shaped illumination. Just below these are the LED front fog
lamps which are integrated into the front bumper. The car comes with sequential
LED turn signals. It is interesting to watch these lights move sequentially
from the inner side to the outside of the headlamps when the turn signal or the
hazard lamp is switch on. Then there are the LED sequential turn signal lamps
at the rear with L-shaped wrap around lamps.
The aerodynamic shape of this 4th
generation RX vehicle is enhanced by the large 18” aluminum wheels and the sharp
character lines running from the front to the rear. Lexus is offering its spare
tyre in the same size as that of the other four tyres. The rear of the vehicle gets
truly seductive with its iconic floating roof design that has at one end the
large rear spoiler integrated into the top of the back door. The roof has a
panoramic glass roof which can be operated at the touch of a button on the
overhead console. This car features a power back door which automatically opens
when a hand is held above the sensor in the Lexus emblem. There is no need for
any physical contact. Lexus says it is better than frantically moving your foot
under the boot area (like in competition cars) and dancing silly on one foot! The
Lexus F Sport emblem is placed on the sides of the car. The door handles are
illuminated at night for easy grab and opening.
Design and Features of Lexus RX 450h F Sport Hybrid
Seduction with the RX 450h F
Sport does not stop with the exterior. The moment you step in, it is a world
that charms you. The luxurious cabin is all about elegant, high quality trim
along with perfect craftsmanship. The front dash area is a combination of high
quality leather, shimamoku (luxury wood from Japan) and metal. The F Sport
interiors come in a unique dark rose colour for the seats and the side trims.
So as to have a sporty drive feel, the front seats provide a lot of firm
support as well as comfort. The perforated leather steering wheel has an F
Sport logo at its base while the shift lever knob comes with leather dimpled
wrapping. The LED analogue clock sits pretty in the middle of the top centre
The car’s dash is clearly divided
into two parts, the display area on the top half and the operational area at
the bottom half.
The F Sport meters are a bit
different from the ones in the Luxury variant. There is a full length
illuminated needle and precision digital speedometer here. The analog
tachometer features a large silver ring with an illuminated needle and a
digital speedometer and shift position/drive mode select indicators in the
centre. The F Sport has an 8-inch colour TFT multi information display which
displays a G sensor with steering angle and an accelerator opening and brake
hydraulic pressure bars. The F Sport has drilled aluminum pedals. You get to
feel that you are actually driving a sports car on a race track.
Reading LED lamps can be switch
on in front with the help of overhead console switches. Controls on the
steering wheel and also the remote touch interface help in a executing a host
of functions. There is also a button on
the right side of the dash which engages the Heads Up Display (HUD).
The vehicle is fitted with a Mark
Levinson 15 speaker audio system and 10 air bags for safety. While the Luxury
variant boasts of 180 different customisation levels, the F Sport has only 27.
of Lexus RX 450h F Sport Hybrid
Before you think that this hybrid
SUV purrs like a tamed cat, you are mistaken. Once you step on the accelerator,
the sound generator boosts the sound pressure level in the engine air intake at
different resonate frequencies. The engine really gets to scream to your
liking. The RX 450h is powered by a 3,456cc, V6 petrol engine which produces
259 hp at 6000rpm and churns out a maximum torque of 335Nm at 4600rpm. With a
ground clearance of 195mm and a wheelbase of 2790mm, this hybrid SUV can
achieve a top speed of 200kmph and gets a 0-100kmph time of 7.7seconds. Being a
hybrid, this SUV can drive short distances in the Electric Vehicle mode
emitting zero emissions. It also recharges on the move. Since it is equipped
with adaptive variable suspension system (AVS), you can choose your drive mode
from Normal, Eco, Sport S and Sport S+. There is also a Customise Mode wherein
one can set one’s preferred settings for the powertrain, AVS, electric power
steering and air conditioning.
This car comes with an electric
four-wheel drive which means that there is a rear motor which is independent
from the front motor to power the wheels. With limited time and distance with
this car, I was not able to experience its abilities under different drive conditions.
But the first impression that I got from the car was that it is handles well on
straight roads as well as corners. The uphill and downhill drives we managed,
in both winding roads and steep roads, the car was stable and its engine
generated more than adequate power.
The RX 450h is no ordinary hybrid
car. It’s like a gentleman with impeccable manners. You try messing with him;
he can roll up his sleeves and knock a few punches. On the hybrid mode this
SUV’s got its best foot forward, but the moment you step on the accelerator,
off it goes like a car on steroids. There is no holding back when it comes to
its sporty characteristics.
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