► 2012 Lexus ES 350
The ES 350 entry luxury sedan continues to be a Lexus favorite with its comfortable cabin and smooth ride. With a plethora of standard amenities, such as 17-inch wheels, moonroof, 10-way power adjustable front seats, leather-trimmed seats and a multi-information display, the ES continues to impress new and loyal consumers. The ES 350 cruises into the 2012 model year virtually unchanged except for the new Nebula Gray Pearl exterior, which replaces Smoky Granite Mica; and the discontinuation of Peridot Mica. The ES 350's aluminum 3.5-liter V6 produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,700 rpm using 87-octane regular fuel. The ES has EPA fuel economy estimates of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway. The chain-driven camshafts employ Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) for optimal performance and efficiency at all engine speeds. The six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides a sequential manual shift feature for a more involved driving experience when desired. Shifting strategy adapts to driver input, with rapid downshift response.
► 2012 Lexus GX 460
The capable GX 460 transitions into the 2012 model year with minimal changes. The standard model receives color-keyed bodyside molding with a chrome accent, while the Premium model now features a high-gloss wheel finish. In addition, the Fire Agate Pearl exterior replaces Peridot Mica. The GX 460 takes its model designation from its 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 301 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 329 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. The 32-valve DOHC engine features aluminum alloy cylinder heads and block with dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), which controls valve timing and overlap on both the intake and Exhaust camshafts to optimize power, fuel efficiency and emissions. The GX 460's fuel economy is better than other V8 luxury utility vehicles and competitive with some six-cylinder models with its EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined, 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway ratings. The 4.6-liter V8 is teamed to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with sequential shift. The responsive powertrain is quiet and helps the GX 460 tow up to 6,500 lbs.
Hyundai ix35 FCEV - ON BOARD
Hyundai has shown off the ix35 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) at the EcoVelocity, the low-carbon motor festival at London's Battersea Power Station. EcoVelocity visitors can be among the first in the world to experience future travel in a hydrogen-powered car, with passenger rides available in the ix35 FCEV. The vehicle is Hyundai's third-generation FCEV and it demonstrates the company's work on cutting-edge alternative fuels. Boasting the same convenience as today's vehicles powered by traditional internal combustion engines, the ix35 FCEV has a driving range of 360miles (580 Km), a maximum speed of 100 mph and zero-to-62mph time of 12.8 seconds. The fuel cell stack can operate at sub-zero temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius, and unlike a combustion-engined car, the ix35's only emissions are water vapour. This vehicle moves Hyundai closer to the commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicles, and the aim is to bring an FCEV to market in the next few years. Earlier this year, the Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding with four Northern European countries to operate test fleets of FCEVs. Test drives have already been carried out in Korea and Copenhagen. Hyundai UK's managing director, Tony Whitehorn, commented: "We are extremely excited to be showcasing the ix35 FCEV in the UK for the first time at EcoVelocity. "Hyundai is a world leader in the development of hydrogen-powered technology and is constantly researching and developing modes of transportation that use alternative fuels at the Eco-technology research institute in Mabuk, Korea. "The ultimate goal would be to see zero-emission vehicles on UK roads within the next few years; however, the market and local infrastructure will be the real determinant of this. In the interim, Hyundai is working hard to make internal combustion engines as efficient as possible". Also featuring on the Hyundai stand will be the sub-100g/km CO2 i10 Blue and the recently launched i20 Blue. The i10 Blue is powered by a 1.0-litre Kappa three-cylinder petrol engine returning an impressive 67.3mpg combined. The i20 Blue is powered by a 1.4-litre CRDi four-cylinder engine with 76.4mpg on a combined cycle. Due to their low emissions, both vehicles offer exemption from VED and the London Congestion Charge. Visitors will also be able to see Hyundai's two newest models on the stand - the all-new i40 Tourer, due to go on-sale on September 8 and the Veloster coupe due to launch later this year. EcoVelocity featured the latest green models, including electric, hybrid and low CO2-emitting cars, as well as providing test drives on a specially-constructed circuit in the shadow of the famous power station.
► 2012 Lexus RX 450h
The RX 450h hybrid luxury crossover is one of Lexus' best-selling hybrid models. When the RX hybrid first launched in 2006, it was a pioneer in the luxury hybrid category. Now, Lexus stands as the luxury hybrid leader with its offering of five hybrids. With impressive fuel economy ratings, powerful drivetrain and a comfortable ride, the RX 450h provides an engaging driving experience with an abundance of technology and convenience features. For 2012, the RX 450h adds Nebula Gray Pearl to the exterior color choices as Smoky Granite Mica is discontinued. The RX 450h AWD uses a separate rear electric motor-generator to provide power to the rear wheels when road conditions or throttle response dictates. When accelerating, or starting off on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels. At steady speeds, torque is sent only to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency. For handling agility and control, the AWD system increases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle's front tires start to lose traction and decreases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle's rear tires start to lose traction. The RX 450h's Lexus Hybrid Drive features a 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, electric motors, a small and light power-control unit and other fuel-saving innovations. It offers performance similar to V8s, 295 total system horsepower and in many cases better combined fuel economy than the average four-cylinder mid-size sedan. The Front Wheel Drive (FWD) model has EPA-estimated 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (30 mpg combined) fuel economy ratings, while the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) model has estimates of 30 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, 29 mpg combined. As a full hybrid, the RX 450h can operate in electric-only or gas-engine-only modes as well as a mode that combines the power of both. Extended electric-mode operation during low-speed or stop-and-go driving conditions helps reduce fuel consumption. Under certain circumstances, a driver-selectable EV mode can allow the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors. The RX 450h achieves Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification in California (Tier 2-Bin 3 in other states).