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Thread: Lexus LX (J100) 1998–2007

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    Apr 2004

    Lexus LX (J100) 1998–2007


    In the mid-1990s, work started on a Lexus variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser (J100), the LX (J100). The final design by Hiroya Kitazumi was approved in 1995, with updates by Kitazumi approved in 2001 and 2004. Testing was conducted from the mid-1990s till late 1997.
    In December 1997, the second generation LX 470 debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, going on sale in the second quarter of 1998. It shared the floor plan and most body panels with the equivalent Land Cruiser, and differed in its front appearance and had a more luxurious interior. Exterior design differences included a quad-headlamp forward fascia with larger grille and different wheels. It was powered by a LEV-certified 4.7-liter V8 engine, which initially produced 172 kW (230 hp), later upgraded to 175 kW (235 hp), then 200 kW (268 hp). The final torque value was 445 N⋅m (328 lb⋅ft). It was rated to tow 2,900 kg (6,500 lb) with the tow package installed.

    The front gained independent suspension, and the optional electronic locking front and rear differentials were dropped – although the rear locking differential was still available in Canada in 1998–1999. Suspension included Adjustable Height Control (AHC) hydraulic suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). The AHC could raise the vehicle for off-roading and return to a normal driving height reducing the center of gravity and wind resistance. The lowest setting for when the vehicle was stopped allowed for easier entry, exit and loading. AVS alters shock absorber firmness in under 2.5 milliseconds at each wheel, individually selecting from a range of 64 settings depending on road conditions and driver input such as steering-wheel activity, braking and acceleration. The AVS system used a switch for the driver's preferences including "normal", "comfort" and "sport" modes.

    Nakamichi stereo with in-dash six-disc CD changer was optional from 1998, and became standard in 2000. A DVD-based navigation system was offered starting in 2001 with the brand new standard [Mark Levinson Audio Systems|Mark and Levinson sound system.]] The navigation system would become standard from 2002. electrochromic Power folding side mirrors, and a smog sensor for the HVAC system were offered. For 2000 models, Vehicle Stability Control and brake assist were made standard, along with Toyota's new A-TRAC (Active Traction Control System).


    During 2002 for the 2003 model year, Lexus introduced minor tweaks to the exterior, a 5 speed transmission including larger standard 18-inch wheels, a new front bumper, etc. The interior was substantially overhauled, adopting the corresponding updates to the Land Cruiser's interior, and with Bluetooth and a backup camera now available. In the US, both were optional with the camera coupled with the navigation system, due to the shared screen. Lexus increased power from 172 kW (230 hp) to 175 kW (235 hp). The updated engine now met CARB ULEV-II emission standards. Lexus added front row side torso airbags and side curtain airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution and rain-sensing windshield wipers as standard. An 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system and a DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System (RSES) were made optional. Other new features included Lexus Link, an emergency service similar to GM's Onstar, in North America.

    Night View infrared camera safety system was offered as an option in 2002, the world's first active automotive night vision system, projecting information on the windshield using a head-up display; the driver could vary brightness using a dimmer knob. The 2003 LX 470 came with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) system, varying steering ratios from 12.4 to 1 to 18.0 to 1 (previously fixed at 19.8 to 1), allowing the driver to apply less steering input to maneuver in tight places such as parking lots. By changing the ratio on the highway, minor adjustments made by the driver would not create excessive vehicular movement.


    In 2005 for the 2006 model year, a refresher included LED tail lamps, adding VVT-i to the engine and increasing its power to 205 kW (275 hp). During 2006, for the final model year, 2007, Lexus produced 400 "Limited Edition" LX 470s with Black Onyx paint, stone leather interior, and specialized badging and scuff plates.
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