Lexus RX 350 Seamlessly Blends Luxury and Utility
The third-generation RX 350 continues to raise the bar for design, engineering and luxury innovation in the luxury crossover segment it created in 1998. After introducing the all-new RX 350 for the 2010 model year, the RX coasts into 2011 with a new brake override system and additional exterior colors.
The RX 350 receives standard a brake override system as an additional measure of consumer confidence. The braking system enhancement will automatically reduce engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.
New exterior colors are offered to complement the RX 350’s refinement. Satin Cashmere Mica replaces Golden Almond Metallic. Stargazer Black is added to the palette, while Truffle Mica and Black Sapphire Pearl are discontinued.
The Lexus RX 350 teams a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a six-speed Multi-Mode Automatic Transmission for an output of 275 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Intake and exhaust manifolds have been tuned for enhanced performance and fuel economy. Lexus maximized the torque output to better meet the needs of luxury crossover drivers. Ninety percent or more of the 256 lb.-ft. of peak torque is available from 2,300 to 6,100 rpm, an optimal range where torque is most utilized. An insulated engine cover, styled in the shape of two cylinder banks, conceals the V6 to help ensure a quiet cabin; easy-access points facilitate routine service.
Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is used to control both intake and exhaust camshafts independently, optimizing engine performance at all speeds and loads. Refinements to the valvetrain, including roller rocker arms and slimmer valve stems, reduce friction and weight to improve fuel economy. Also helping to enhance torque is the improved Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), which varies the intake runner length in response to engine speed and throttle position. The ETCS-i (Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence) softens throttle response during initial acceleration for smoother takeoff and to help reduce wheel spin.
The RX 350’s six-speed automatic transmission yields a quick shifting response with help from miniature high-flow linear solenoids that control transmission-fluid line-pressure. The torque converter uses a low-speed lockup damper to enable lock-up from second to sixth gear to help improve the fuel economy.
When applying the accelerator pedal rapidly during kick-down, the direct-downshift control allows the transmission to directly shift from sixth to third or fifth to second, skipping the intermediate gears to achieve the quickest response. Under normal kick-down pedal application, downshift control uses the intermediate gears to ensure the smoothest shift is attained. “Shift shock” is further reduced.
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