RX 450h: The all-weather Lexus snow

RX 450h: The all-weather Lexus

Lexus RX 450h Advance action front
Lexus RX 450h Advance
Lexus RX 450h Advance static
Lexus RX 450h Advance static front
Lexus RX 450h Advance static front 2
Lexus RX 450h Advance static rear
Lexus RX 450h Advance detail - rear lights
Lexus RX 450h Advance detail - rear badge
Lexus RX 450h Advance detail - rear lights 2
Lexus RX 450h Advance static rear middle distance
Lexus RX 450h Advance front detail headlights
Lexus RX 450h Advance hybrid badge
Lexus RX 450h Advance alloy wheel
Lexus RX 450h Advance Lexus Hybrid Drive
Lexus RX 450h Advance steering wheel
Lexus RX 450h Advance centre console
Lexus RX 450h Advance dials
Lexus RX 450h Advance centre console 2
Lexus RX 450h Advance window controls and mirror adjustment
Lexus RX 450h Advance cabin
Lexus RX 450h Advance panoramic roof
Lexus RX 450h Advance water splash
Lexus RX 450h Advance water splash 2
Lexus RX 450h Advance water splash 3
Lexus RX 450h Advance action profile
Lexus RX 450h Advance action

Many drivers have concerns about staying mobile during difficult weather conditions. In previous posts we have recommended the fitment of winter tyres as an affordable way of increasing grip and improving road safety. But in this post we wanted to examine some of the technologies found in the RX 450h luxury crossover and how they work together to keep owners going, whatever the weather.

It’s important to understand that the RX 450h is a road-biased sports utility vehicle. However, its raised ride height and electric four-wheel drive system does afford it a measure of functionality on unpaved terrain as well as increased tenacity on slippery roads.

RX 450h: The all-weather Lexus snow

From the very outset the RX 450h was designed to cope with adverse weather. For instance, the petrol motor makes use of an exhaust heat recovery system to warm the coolant at start-up. This reduces the time the engine takes to warm up, which then allows it to be shut off earlier for longer electric motor operation. In tests conducted at -5°C, engine shut-off occurred more than 15 minutes earlier than in the previous generation car, leading to a 30 per cent improvement in cold weather fuel efficiency.

RX 450h: The all-weather Lexus energy monitor

With regards to the Lexus Hybrid Drive setup, the RX 450h is unique in having the rear wheels driven by a second, mechanically independent electric motor to provide ‘intelligent’ electric four-wheel drive. This computer-controlled system constantly monitors the levels of available grip and uses this information to apportion torque from the front and rear electric motors to their respective axles.

In most circumstances the RX 450h is front-wheel drive but when slippage is detected the rear electric motor is engaged and it becomes four-wheel drive. This takes place under hard acceleration (both from standstill and through the gears), when driving through bends and whenever the front wheels lose traction.

Performance and drivability is further enhanced with Snow mode, one of four selectable driving modes. Engaging this modulates use of the accelerator pedal and improves stability when pulling away on snow or other slippery road surfaces. Pedal inputs are automatically adjusted to reduce driving torque and minimise wheel spin; but should the front wheels lose grip, the rear electric motor engages to improve traction.

RX 450h: The all-weather Lexus ford

In addition, the RX 450h Premier driver has a choice of four vehicle height settings thanks to electronically controlled air suspension run from a compressor hidden behind the rear bumper. The highest setting improves ground clearance by 30mm to overcome obstacles such as fords (see image above), keeping the car’s underbelly from sustaining unnecessary damage. It also increases the car’s approach and departure angles to 29.2 and 24.8 degrees respectively. Interestingly, the air in the compressor is dehumidified to prevent the system freezing in cold weather.

All of which makes the RX 450h the car that will get you to places other Lexus models cannot reach!

Comments (8)

  1. I would like to know what experiences other drivers have when using the RX450h for towing? The tow ball limit of 80kg seems low compared to the size of the car, any comments. What are your views on the tolerance of this limit, 10% higher nose weight is acceptable or not?

    1. Hi John
      Thanks for the post.
      The reason for the towing capacity of the RX 450h is due to the hybrid system operation, so while it can tow it may not be comparable to vehicles of a similar size. We would not recommend towing outside of the tolerances quoted or increasing the nose weight because of this. Hope this helps

    1. Hi Cathy
      This is not an option we offer in the UK, but if you are emailing us from Canada then you will need to check this with Lexus Canada as specifications across the globe will vary depending upon the specific needs of the country in which they are being sold. We will not know the spec of Canadian models here but this link will help put you in touch with them so they can advise you further. http://www.lexus.ca/lexus/en
      Hope this helps.

  2. Hi. I purchased my RX450 in October 2013. I really enjoy driving it! But there’s just one thing I don’t understand. Does anyone else find it odd that when you roll the windows down the water doesn’t wash away like with any of athe other cars I’ve had in the past. Like when it has rained or is misty outside in the morning and for visibility you roll the windows down to wash away the water. But for some reason this car doesn’t seem to do that.
    Does anyone else have this issue? Please let me know
    Thanks

    1. Hi Sonia,
      Thanks for your post and we’re glad to hear you’re enjoying your RX 450.
      What you have mentioned is a normal characteristic of most our vehicles, the seal is not designed to clear the window, this is as a result of the curvature of the glass. Because of this unfortunately nothing can be done to change it.
      Hope this helps.

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