Big, Bold and Beautiful: the Lexus LX 570 Debuts in New York

A new plus-sized beauty made her official debut April 4th at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, turning heads all around and most certainly garnering a wolf-whistle or two along the way. Eager Lexus representatives pulled the veil off their dazzling new full-sized SUV, the LX 570, which is more than ready to oust the rather tired LX 470.

Besides measuring in at 4 inches longer and one inch wider than its predecessor, the LX 570 boasts a 5.7-liter VVT-I V8 that blasts out 381 horsepower, a full 113 more stallions. This engine, which was developed for the Toyota Tundra, isn’t the only gift from the parent company’s stalwart pickup—it also shares its 6-speed automatic transmission. Another new highlight is the electrohydraulic suspension, which is said to reduce body roll by 30 percent. It also includes a feature called active height-control. This function decreases vehicle height by two inches for easier passenger entry and exit and also during highway travel to reduce wind-resistance.

But this beautiful beast is eager and equipped to be taken off-road, right down to its trail-specific antilock brakes, which improve stopping on all surfaces, and Crawl Control, which gives the driver more throttle control over the rocks. And, as you might expect, all of the latest safety features commingle in this most luxurious of SUVs, including not merely active head restraints and a legion of air bags (10 of them), but also a pre-collision system and a blind-spot monitor that allows the driver to keep an eye on what’s beyond the vehicle’s rear corners as he’s maneuvering in tight spots.

This plusher-than-plush 8-passenger SUV will compete to some degree with its more down-to-earth cousin the Toyota Land Cruiser and the ultra-exclusive Mercedes-Benz G-Class, but its true rivals will be Land Rover’s Range Rover as well as the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator. The 570’s immediate advantage over the Range Rover is in seating capacity, as the British product lacks a third-row seat. But it’s also hard to argue that the U.S.-branded offerings can hold a candle to the LX 570, although their price tag is lower. Rear-wheel-drive versions of the Navigator are rated to tow a tiny tad more (8,600 pounds vs. the 570’s 8,500), yet the Lexus gets the edge when it comes to torque.

Lexus spokespeople say there was a definite intention to make this impressive offering even more refined than the outgoing LX 470. Sure enough, the long-awaited overhaul is showing true results, and you can bet there will be a good bit of hoity-toity hubbub when this baby hits the lots at the beginning of 2008. Although Lexus has not announced an MSRP, it is expected to range upward from $70,000.