Trimmer and torquier, Lexus’ 2022 LX 600 brings a familiar face into the next generation
While we were no doubt dismayed to hear that Toyota has no plans to bring the all-new, fourth-generation Land Cruiser stateside, we’re happy that those seeking continent-conquering capability and comfort can still find solace in a Lexus showroom near them. Lexus just pulled the silk off the U.S.-bound LX 600, the fourth generation of its body-on-frame, truck-based trail stalwart in a Tom Ford Suit.
The big news is under the hood. Gone is the archaic but unburstable 5.7-liter V-8. In its place, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6, similar to the one you’d find in the new Toyota Tundra. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic and a trusted 4×4 system with a real four-low setting. Output rings in at 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, gains of 26 hp and 76 lb-ft over the V-8. The whole business rides on an all-new frame (TNGA-F, in Toyota-speak), also shared with the new Tundra and the not-for-us Land Cruiser. It retains the same 112-inch wheelbase as all previous models dating back to the first LX in 1995, something Lexus proudly touts as the golden ratio for off-road capability and interior space maximization. Impressively, Lexus engineers were able to trim 441 pounds off the overall weight relative to its predecessor, the LX 570.
The LX utilizes a double-wishbone front suspension with coil springs and height-adjustable shock absorbers and a four-link solid axle setup at the rear. Height can be adjusted to four different settings—Normal, Hi1, Hi2, and Low, the latter of which eases passenger ingress and egress when parked. Suspension travel is increased by 0.6 inches and 0.8 inches relative to the outgoing model. Vital off-road measurements—approach, departure, and breakover angle as well as water fording capability—remain the same as before, although Lexus only specifies water fording: 27.5 inches.
You can have your LX in one of five trims: Standard, Premium, Luxury, F Sport, or Ultra Luxury. The latter two are new to the LX range. The F Sport targets buyers who want an athletic looking road-goer (if such a body-on-frame, hulking SUV exists) with 22-inch wheels, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, a blacked-out grille, and trim-exclusive white and red interior colors. The Ultra Luxury is exactly as it sounds, with more care given to rear-seat occupants who now can get massive reclining seats and the ability to slide the front passenger seat forward for a copious 43-inches of stretch space. There are two- and three-row configurations, depending on which trim you pick—Standard comes with room for five, while Premium, Luxury, and F Sport get room for seven. Ultra Luxury will seat four in supreme comfort.
Inside, an all-new infotainment system (finally) does away with the infuriating touchpad or joystick navigation. In its place are two central screens, a 12.3-inch upper screen for radio, navigation, and off-road data monitoring, and a 7-inch lower screen for climate control and supporting off-road information. There’s a nifty offline mode that will download maps and other services in advance of your off-grid ventures.
There’s no word yet on pricing for the new LX 600, but expect this much machine to come with a hefty price tag. The outgoing LX 570 starts at $87,775 including destination, and can easily climb into six-figure territory; expect the new model to be more of the same, possibly starting in the $90,000 range. We won’t have long to wait for those details, however. Lexus says the LX 600 will be in U.S. showrooms as early as the first quarter of next year.
Given that the current underpinnings of the LX 570 date back to 2008, it’s about time to see the next step in what Lexus rightly considers to be its flagship SUV. Whether or not the new LX 600 will retain that truckish, dead-reliable charm or replace it with a whole new sensation more akin to the likes of Mercedes and BMW’s big SUV offerings remains to be seen. Until we have the chance to drive one, we’ll take this new brute for what it is on paper: A smart next step for an absurdly capable, ridiculously posh machine.