Lexus has re-introduced its LX 570 luxury SUV in South Africa with the boldest version yet of the brand's new-look 'Spindle Grille' - as well as a host of cosmetic and technical updates.
So much as that only a single model - the top-of-the-range 5.7 V8 SE with all the bells and whistles, including some of its predecessor's Aero Kit options - is available in South Africa, at R1 178 600.
The big, chunky new grille is offset by square bi-xenon headlights incorporating daytime running lights and a new bumper design, with matching new tail lights at the other end. The high-intensity discharge headlights also have high beam assist, which automatically dims the high beams when an oncoming vehicle is detected. Once the vehicle has passed, high beam is automatically reinstated.
The power-operated tailgate has a built-in reversing camera, with rear parking sensors and a pre-installed wiring for a towbar and trailer in the bumper. The LX 570 has an braked towing capacity of 3225kg.
Outside mirrors with power folding, reverse auto-tilt and integrated puddle lights welcome driver and passengers the key is detected, while an electric tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch opening and closing, jam protection and a speed-sensing wind deflector, lets more light into the cabin.
Keyless entry provides access to three rows of seats, accommodating up to eight adults. Driver and front passenger seats are electrically adjusted, with built-in heating function - eight-way adjustment for the passenger and 10-way for the driver, including reclining, lumbar support, vertical adjustment and a cushion extender, and memory setting for the driver.
The second row of seats have reclining functionality with power slide.
The centre console houses a touch-sensitive colour TFT screen that shows the multi-terrain select mode with wheel angle display, full GPS navigation with voice command, aircon set-up and the special 450W, 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system 15 channels and single-feed, in-dash DVD/CD player.
The display also shows the back guide monitor, including a rear camera system with guidelines to assist in safe reversing, and three more cameras for ding-free parking in tight urban spots - or to check obstacles during 4x4 use in the bush - one inside the grille, and one under each front mirror, giving the driver a bird's eye view of the vehicle from inside the cabin.
There's a 12V power outlet behind the third row of seats in the cargo area, another in the second row power, cup holders, lidded storage boxes and a rear-seat entertainment system with a DVD player, an LCD screen mounted each front-seat head restraint, and wireless remote control. The two independent screens allow one rear passenger to watch a DVD while another plays a video game via easily accessible audio/video connectors.
V8 POWER, FULL-TIME ALL-WHEEL DRIVE.
The Lexus LX 570's 5663cc, 32-valve V8 with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing is rated for 270kW at 5600rpm and 530Nm at 3200, and is limited to 210km/h. It drives all four wheels via a six-speed, electronically-controlled sequential-shift automatic transmission with paddle shift, which automatically downshifts on steep descents to increase engine braking.
The full-time four-wheel drive system incorporates a Torsen limited-slip centre differential, while power transfer between high and low range requires no more than pushing a console-mounted button.
Front suspension is by double wishbones with coil-over dampers, while rear-wheel movement is modulated by a four-link, coil-spring, lateral rod-type suspension system.
Electro-hydraulic air suspension with active height control automatically adjusts the ride height of the LX 570 depending on load, or allows the driver to lower or increase the ride height depending on urban or off-road use. At speeds above 100km/h, the system automatically defaults to a pre-determined lower setting.
Disc brakes all round are controlled by a multi-terrain antilock set-up with brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability control, off-road ready active traction control, hill hold and crawl control with turn assist.
The electronic multi-terrain select system allows the driver to choose between five road condition modes - rock, rock and dirt, mogul, loose rock, and mud and sand. The electronic and safety systems then automatically control wheelspin to ensure grip on bumpy roads, slippery slopes and steep hills.
The LX 570 is covered by a four year or 100 000km warranty and a four-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.