The all-wheel drive (AWD) RX 400h has been on sale since April, 2005, but not everyone needs AWD. Lexus announced today the addition of a front-wheel drive (FWD) RX 400h in addition to the all-wheel drive (AWD) model. The new RX 400h FWD will carry a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $44,660.
The RX 400 FWD is a gas/electric vehicle with regenerative Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery. The combined system output is 268 horsepower. The RX 400h FWD delivers zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds. The fuel efficiency is better than any gas counterpart, including the RX330, in its segment.
"Consumers in certain parts of the country, mostly in southern markets, told us they don't need the added handling benefits of all-wheel drive and would be more inclined to consider a front-drive hybrid-powered version of the RX," said Bob Carter in a press release, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The new RX hybrids offer an even better value and we believe both models will be very well received by our customers."
Both the AWD and new FWD versions incorporate a new, advanced Lexus Hybrid System that combines the 3.3-liter V6 engine found in the Lexus RX 330 with a high-torque electric-drive motor-generator. Both models also come equipped with the industry's most advanced stability control system called Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
The EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating for the front-drive RX 400h is 28 mpg highway and 33 mpg city and carries the EPA's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification.
In response to consumer feedback on standard equipment levels of the RX 400h AWD, the Lexus DVD navigation system with rear back-up camera will now be offered as optional equipment. As a result, the base MSRP for the 2007 RX 400h AWD is now $46,060, a decrease of $2,350 or 4.9 percent beginning with November