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Newsletter On Rx400h


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Many of you have been with us from the beginning, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the world's first luxury hybrid. The good news is that the wait is almost over. And the very good news is that as a sign of our appreciation for your patience, you are among the first group of people to receive official information about the revolutionary Lexus RX 400h.

To begin, we thought we'd give you the two most highly anticipated numbers. Arriving in Lexus showrooms on April 15, 2005, the RX 400h will be priced at $48,535 MSRP [1].

Perhaps one of the most stunning attributes of the RX 400h is its impressive performance. Combining the power output from its electric drive motors and the 3.3-liter V6 engine, gives you brisk acceleration from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds [2], outperforming many of its V8-equipped competitors.

Even with its enhanced performance, the RX 400h still gives you the optimal mileage and low emissions that you expect from a hybrid. The estimated combined fuel-economy rating of 28 mpg [3] equals the average for compact sedans. And its estimated EPA city fuel-economy rating is even better. At 30 mpg, the RX 400h's city mileage more than doubles those of many V8-equipped luxury SUVs.

The RX 400h features an AWD system that utilizes a separate electric drive motor at the rear. Not only does it provide extra torque on demand, the intelligent system actually helps to manage front and rear torque distribution according to traction conditions.

It's only fitting that the next generation of luxury SUVs would feature the all-new Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) [4] system. Rather than reacting to vehicle wheel slippage, VDIM's advance sensors allow it to anticipate such conditions. As soon as any slippage or loss of traction is detected, it applies the Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system and controls the Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) to help maintain the correct course.

As you can see, with the innovative RX 400h we didn't just go out of our way to create the new benchmark of luxury SUVs. We also set out to make April 15, 2005, one of the most inspiring dates in hybrid vehicle history.

Comfort and Luxury

- Brushed-aluminum accents

- Voice-activated DVD navigation system [5]

- Automatic dual-zone climate control with smog-sensing air filtration

- 10-way adjustable driver's power seat with memory function

- Power rear door with remote keyless entry

- Available Mark Levinson [6] audio system with 11 speakers and in-dash,

six-disc CD auto-changer

- Available DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System (RSES) with remote

control, wireless headphones and seven-inch LCD

- 38 cu ft [7] of rear cargo capacity; 84 cu ft [7] with rear seats

folded down

- Illuminated entry system


- Front dual-stage airbags Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) [8],

driver's-knee airbag, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain


- Welded-steel unibody frame, side-impact door beams and impact-

dissipating front and rear crumple zones

- Rollover sensor

- Backup camera [9]

- Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)

- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps

- Rain-sensing wipers


- 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with Roadside Assistance for

48 months/unlimited miles

- Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000


- Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of


- The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control

module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for

96 months/100,000 miles

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Wow, that's pretty close to the $50K I suggested the cost would be without the DVD. Thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to a test drive soon.:cheers:

BTW, I just checked my e-mail and sure enough, there was the Winter 05 newsletter from Lexus. The odd thing is that there is no mention of a moonroof option. I wonder why. I was under the impression that it would be standard equipment.

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I believe the only options are the:


Mark Levinson Audio System ($1,480)

DVD Rear Seat Entertainment System ($1,840)

Adjustable Front Seat Heaters ($540)


Based on the price for these options on the RX 330, I calculated the "best guess price" in parentheses above. This would give a grand total of $52,395, before taxes.

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In this newsletter, they seemed to only focus on the actual options, DVD and upgraded audio, and safety features. A lot of the standard items aren't in there. Even the navigation system was mentioned only in passing so it isn't surprising that the moon roof didn't get mention. It is on the much longer list of features in the preliminary data sheet.

I'm happy to see that the price is about what we were expecting. About 3.5 K over an RX 330 with the closest package to what is standard on Rx 400.

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How many of you think that Lexus should offer unique colors for the RX400h? Personally, I think they need some new ones to go with the high-tech image. Of course, the good news is that you can probably park one almost anywhere without worry that its unconventional newness will attract the wrong crowd. In other words, it should blend right in with the hundreds of thousands of RX330s on the road. THAT can be a GOOD thing, I guess!

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I wouldn't want a special color. I'd be concerned it would just look gaudy and it might be a pain when one needs an exterior part replaced. There is one of the existing colors that I really like and the range of colors offered should have something for just about anyone. Special colors are often darker ones anyway - not good for my sunny climate.

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Different colors wouldn't have to look gaudy. Lexus does different colors on their special editions all the time. You wouldn't want hot mama neon green but a nice deep red or maybe a deep green would be classy and different.

Also, why would colors make it difficult to replace exterior parts? Exterior panels have to be painted, they ship bare. The shop you use simply pulls the color code and computer mixes the paint to match the color. Car companys change and add colors all the time.

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Different colors wouldn't have to look gaudy. Lexus does different colors on their special editions all the time. You wouldn't want hot mama neon green but a nice deep red or maybe a deep green would be classy and different.

I tend to agree. There are many beautiful colors out there that Lexus does not have available. The reason I ask is that it would be nice in a way to have a car that is instantly recognizable as the most advanced vehicle on the planet. As I mentioned previously, there are advantages to parking incognito, but when I pay a premium for a certain model, it's fun to get recognition, isn't it?

I'm convinced that part of the reason why you see so few Honda Civic Hybrids is that they look exactly like a regular Civic. The Prius gets instant recognition (good or bad) for its futuristic shape. I think it looks great and I am always quick to point one out to my kids. Prius owners love the attention, I'm sure. The RX400h certainly won't cause as neck-snapping as it passes by on the highway because only the very knowledgable will recignize it as the high-tech innovation that it is. 2 cents....

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