By Steve Laser
The next-generation Lexus GX introduces a number of firsts for the luxury SUV. It’s the first GX to offer a new Overtrail model. It’s the first Lexus with E-KDSS (Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System). It’s the first with the choice of a twin-turbo gas engine or an upcoming turbo-hybrid system. And it will become the first GX to be sold in Japan.
Lexus has sold more than half a million GX models since its launch more than 20 years ago, primarily in North America, along with other select markets. Lexus says that in response to the expectations and requests of many customers, it plans to release the GX in Japan within the next year.
While the new GX 550 is described as a Premium Off-Roader, Overtrail takes it to the next level with enhanced features and capabilities. These photos show a GX Overtrail prototype, in a dynamic off-road driving course, at the recent Lexus Showcase event in Japan.
All GX models ride on the new GA-F platform, gain a new high-mount double-wishbone front suspension, and refined four-link rear suspension with coil springs and extended wheel articulation to help improve off-road traction. Also included is a Torsen® limited-slip center locking differential and new Electric Power Steering.
Overtrail adds an electronic locking rear differential, Adaptive Variable Suspension, Crawl Control with Turn Assist, Downhill Assist Control, E-KDSS, and 18-inch alloys with special all-terrain tires. Multi-Terrain Select offers six modes for off-road driving, with Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock selections, operating in L4 low and H4 high ranges.
Lexus designers crafted a distinctive appearance for the new GX that merges the “spindle body” with rugged and functional styling. Overtrail enhancements include a 20mm wider tread, black wheel arch moldings, raised front-and-rear lower bumper edges for off-roading, a center lower protector, and bi-tone exterior color selections.
Under the hood, the GX 550 features a high-torque 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbocharged V35A-FTS engine teamed with a direct-shift 10-speed automatic transmission. The upcoming hybrid includes a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder T24A-FTS engine and direct-shift 8-speed transmission. A front module integrates a motor and wet clutch between the two that performs HEV functions, including engine start, EV driving, and regeneration.
The GX interior is designed with the “Tazuna Concept” and “human-centered” approach with seamless integration of controls for comfort and functionality. To help maximize forward visibility, the center display is positioned low. The display features a synthetic leather border and strategically placed kneepads for added comfort.
The 14-inch center touchscreen includes soft switches for streamlined integration, along with physical switches for controls such as the heater and audio for convenient operation. A four-camera, multi-terrain monitor designed for off-road driving displays high-definition images on the screen, including an under-floor view.
Overtrail seat design includes special embossed perforated patterns inspired by the shape of the exterior under-grille. To help reduce fatigue, the seatback sides are softer than the standard version, for improved stability and to minimize “head toss” while driving on rough roads. The shoulder area has olive-colored bio-ultrasuede® for a unique touch.
Five-passenger seating with a second-row bench seat is standard on Overtrail. Other select GX models offer second-row captain’s chairs, plus a third-row seat with optional power folding.
Lexus Safety System+ features for the new GX include Proactive Driving Assist (PDA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with all-speed follow function, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Abnormal Driver Response System, and Lane Tracing Assist.
Note: Prototype vehicles are shown. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.
News source and photos courtesy of Lexus
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