Lexus GX headed for Australia
The 2024 seven-seat GX is based on the LandCruiser 300 Series and is positioned between the RX and LX in the Lexus SUV line-up. It was launched globally in June 2023 and is due Down Under in early 2024.
“The aim of the new GX was to create a Lexus off-roader that symbolised the central core of authentic Lexus off-roading,” said GX chief engineer Koji Tsukasaki.
“It has been thoroughly developed for driving on all kinds of terrains, from winding roads to rocky, dirt roads all over the world.” Mr Tsukasaki said.
It’s not clear if his aim was also to produce one of the ugliest Lexus vehicles ever.
Introduced to the North American market in 2002, rather than the LandCruiser 300 Series, the original GX’s off-roading intent was clear, with a high bonnet line, upright A-pillars, a vertically-opening tailgate and a 2850mm wheelbase.
The GX has the same GA-F ladder-frame architecture as the larger LX, with high-mount double-wishbone front suspension and four-link rigid axle with lateral control arms.
Adaptive variable suspension is achieved by shock absorbers featuring independent telescopic valves and friction control modules.
For US GX customers, Lexus offers a special five-seat Overtrail variant, with E-KDSS suspension system for the first time on a Lexus, with independent electric control of front and rear anti-sway bars.
Multi-Terrain Select controls the system’s drive control and suspension to offer six drive modes (Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock).
Crawl control offers five low-speed settings allowing drivers to traverse uneven terrain without operating the accelerator or brakes and Downhill Assist Control automatically adjusts the hydraulic pressure of each wheel brake when descending steep slopes.
A multi-terrain monitor uses cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear to display high-definition images of the vehicle’s surroundings and underneath the vehicle floor.
The 14-inch centre display uses a combination of touchscreen and buttons for the multimedia system and the GX’s console has driving and drivetrain switches placed on the driver’s side.
The flexible second-row seat configuration allows customers to choose between a bench seat or captain’s chairs. The third row provides seven-seat flexibility, but stows into the floor with an electric folding mechanism, when not required.
A full suite of Lexus Safety System technologies is included in the GX.
The new GX is available in the USA with the choice of two petrol-engine powertrains: a 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, or a 2.4-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol hybrid and new eight-speed automatic transmission.
In the newly-announced, US-market, 2024 Toyota Tacoma, the available i-Force MAX 2.4-litre turbocharged hybrid powerplant generates an impressive 630Nm of torque.
Both powertrains employ a full-time all-wheel drive set-up with a low-range transfer case and locking centre differential.
Lexus Australia said that the initial Australian model will be V6, non-hybrid only, with the 10-speed auto box.
OTA’s initial observation is that the Lexus GX could take market share from the top-shelf LandCruiser 300 Series, but may appeal to people who prefer petrol to diesel power.