January 7, 2004
RX 400h is first luxury hybrid SUV
Detroit, Michigan – Lexus introduced what will be the world’s first luxury gasoline/electric hybrid SUV. The RX 400h will be powered by a V6 Hybrid system that combines sub-eight second zero-to-sixty acceleration with fuel-efficiency equivalent to the current average for a four-cylinder compact sedan. The RX 400h will also be rated Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV), one of the most stringent emissions rating in the industry.
“The new RX 400h re-defines the midsize luxury SUV market while raising awareness and acceptance of hybrid gasoline/electric vehicles among luxury car and SUV buyers,” said Peter Renz, National Manager of Lexus in Canada. “This is definitely a breakthrough in terms of hybrid gasoline/electric powertrains because, for the first time, it adds a new performance dimension to the traditional hybrid advantages of high mileage and low emissions.”
The Lexus Hybrid System combines a powerful electric motor with the 3.3-litre V6 engine found in the RX 330 to significantly improve low to mid-speed acceleration and overall fuel efficiency. The system is a “full hybrid,” meaning that the RX 400h is capable of operating in separate gasoline or electric modes, as well as one that combines power from both.
The RX 400h will develop a peak system output of approximately 270 horsepower and deliver combined fuel economy significantly better than the current average compact sedan rating of 8.5 L/100 km. Zero-to-sixty acceleration will also improve over the current RX 330’s sub-8 second time. The RX 400h with optional all-wheel-drive, which features a rear-drive electric motor, will accelerate quicker yet.
“We believe the RX 400h will exceed the expectations of luxury vehicle buyers and establish a premium market for performance-oriented, fuel-efficient gasoline/electric hybrids,” said Renz.