The 2008 Lexus RX 350 receives exterior enhancements that include a freshened front-grille design and new exterior chrome door handles. New seven-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels with a Liquid Graphite finish are available as an option. The 2008 RX 350 also adds two new exterior colors: Brandy Wine Mica and Desert Sage Metallic. Inside, the RX 350 offers an additional wood trim color, Black Bird's-Eye Maple, on units with a light gray interior.
The RX 350 retains its excellent value as the MSRP will remain unchanged from 2007. Prices for the RX 350 will remain at $37,400 for the front-wheel-drive model and $38,800 for the all-wheel-drive model. All optional equipment prices also remain unchanged.
Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, the RX 350 produces 270 horsepower and 251 lb.-ft. of torque. Featuring all-aluminum construction, the V6 harnesses the benefits of advanced technologies to optimize performance, fuel economy and low emissions. The V6 enables the RX 350 to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds for the FWD model and 7.4 seconds for the AWD model.
The performance of the RX 350 is comparable to the output of some competitive V8 engines while still providing a fuel-economy rating among the best in class for nonhybrids.
Its five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is tuned for refined drivability as well as excellent fuel efficiency. EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating for the RX 350 is 20 mpg (18 mpg city/23 mpg highway) for the FWD model and 19 mpg (17 mpg city/22 mpg highway) for the AWD. The RX 350 retains its ULEV II emissions certification.
The highly sophisticated engine uses electronically controlled sequential fuel injection, which optimizes the fuel mixture and creates a precise burn, higher output and lower emissions to aid drivability. In addition, an electronic throttle control presides over several systems to maintain superior control of power flow. This system, Electronic
Throttle Control with intelligence (ETC-i), helps manage idle speed, cruise control, Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The result is engine efficiency with excellent power and impressive fuel economy.
Refined Comfort and Luxury Features
The RX 350 produces minimal cabin noise, allowing for a very quite interior that provides an exceptional listening environment for its standard premium, satellite-ready,eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio player with in-dash six-CD autochanger. The audio system is compatible with MP3/WPA-formatted CDs and includes Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), Radio Data System (RDS) and a digital signal processor. Commonly used audio functions are accessible via steering-wheel-mounted controls.
For true audiophiles, a Mark Levinson Premium Audio System is optionally available. This 11-speaker system features an in-dash six-disc DVD/CD autochangeR, DVD-audio and DVD-video playback as well as remarkable sound clarity at all volumes (with 210 watts at 0.1% THD, 20-20,000 Hz). An available factory-installed, rear-seat DVD entertainment system features a nine-inch fold-away video screen for convenient viewing.
The Lexus DVD Navigation System is optionally available on the RX 350 and includes voice recognition that allows the driver to input a desired destination by voice command while driving.
Like other Lexus navigation systems, the system is offered in conjunction with a rear back-up camera to supplement the driver's visibility of the area behind the vehicle. The camera provides the driver a view of what the camera lens can detect behind the vehicle, automatically projecting a color image on the navigation system's seven-inch VGA screen when the reverse gear is engaged.
In addition to English, the navigation system includes Spanish and French text display options. The user can select the language preference at system start-up.
Lexus' craftsmanship and renowned attention to detail provide sumptuous comfort by design. Standard dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats with available memory, a sliding center console, adjustable light in the visor vanity mirrors, and wood interior trim set the tone for luxury in the RX 350. Luxury extends to the smallest details, such as illuminated front cup holders and a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel with integrated audio-system and trip-computer controls.
Premium options include a power-tilt/telescoping steering wheel with memory, and an illuminated entry system that lights the door handles, scuff plates, and front footwells.
A unique, wide-opening multipanel moonroof is an optional alternative to the optional conventional moonroof. With an open area that is 150-percent larger than a normal moonroof and a 250-percent larger illumination area, the multipanel moonroof is made of three separate glass panels. The small front panel is angled to reduce wind noise, the rear panel slides backwards on top of the vehicle, while the middle glass panel slides backwards on top of the rear panel.
Advanced All-Wheel Drive
The AWD RX 350 model features a viscous limited-slip center differential, which enhances drivability in all types of driving conditions. The full-time AWD system provides a constant 50/50 front-to-rear power split. If slippage occurs, the viscous
differential directs torque to the wheels with the most traction.
A direct-type Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) system alerts the driver via a warning light on the instrument panel if a significant drop in tire pressure is detected in any of the tires.
Produced in Kyushu, Japan, and Cambridge in southern Ontario, Canada, the 2008 RX 350 begins arriving at Lexus dealerships in early February.
Source: Toyota Motor Co.