New for 2010 Lexus RX 350 ; Reviews and Specs




New for 2010 Lexus RX 350
The all-new 2010 Lexus RX 350 incorporates the Lexus L-Finesse design language to update the exterior styling while retaining the familiar RX look. Under the hood, the revised 3.5-liter V6 now produces 275 horsepower and is mated with a new 6-speed Multi-Mode Automatic Transmission with manual-shift mode.Technically, however, the RX 350, and especially the RX 450h, truly excel under the hood and in the wheel wells. A 3.5-liter V-6 is used in both models, with front-wheel drive standard. Detail improvements such as slimmer valve stems, a variable runner-length intake manifold and less restrictive exhaust manifolds combine with the existing variable cam timing for an extra five horsepower and a broader torque curve.
The sole transmission is a new 6-speed automatic with manual capability. An intelligent self-shifter, it automatically skips gears, aggressively locks the torque converter or remains in gear as it senses the driver's inputs.
All-wheel drive is optional. It dispenses with last year's viscous drive in favor of a 35-lb.-lighter multidisc dry clutch system to provide up to 50 percent of torque to the rear tires. Designed for inclement weather, the awd is full-time and without low-range gearing.
For pure gearhead wonderment, however, the 450h hybrid has the electro-mechanical chops. Here the V-6 is converted to Atkinson cycle and fitted with an electric water pump, air conditioning and electric-assist power steering to preserve those functions while in pure electric mode. The 288-volt battery pack and controller are downsized but more powerful, enough so that the controller now requires water cooling. The RX 450h's awd option replaces the gasoline version's driveshaft and rear differential with a second traction motor, which reduces weight and allows smooth power shuttling.
While the 4600- to 4800-lb. RX 450h functions mainly as a gasoline vehicle with electric assist, it does return V-8-like power with estimated 28 mpg city/27 mpg highway ratings — the 300-lb.-lighter RX 350 posts 18 and 25 mpg, respectively, by Lexus' calculations. The RX 450h's combined gasoline and electric power is up by 27 bhp, to 295 bhp total, yet its fuel economy can be up to 12 percent greater.

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