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Lexus Adds Front-Wheel Drive Version of Rx 400h Hybrid

Lexus is adding a front-wheel drive (FWD) version of its RX 400h hybrid to the all-wheel drive (AWD) model which has been on sale since April of this year.

With a combined system output of 268 hp (200 kW), the RX 400h FWD delivers zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds, and offers a combined fuel economy rating of 30 mpg. This is a tad slower off the mark than its AWD cousin, but with incrementally better fuel economy.

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. The new RX hybrids offer an even better value and we believe both models will be very well received by our customers.

—Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager

Both the AWD and new FWD versions combine the 3.3-liter V6 engine found in the Lexus RX 330 with a high-torque electric-drive motor-generator. The AWD version adds an additional motor for the rear wheels. (Earlier post.)

2006 Lexus Rx400h and Rx330
Platform Hybrid Hybrid Gasoline Gasoline
Power hp (kW) 268 (200) 268 (200) 223 (166) 223 (166)
0–60mph secs. 7.5 7.3 7.7 7.8
Fuel economy (mpg US) 30 29 22 21

The new RX 400h FWD will carry a base MSRP of $44,660. Production began November 1 with vehicles scheduled to arrive at dealership in late December.

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 production.


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