RX400h - A Hybrid Well-Off Americans Can Love

The new technology comes at at price, a whopping starting price $48,535, but you get a luxury SUV with all-wheel drive, leather seats, and a moonroof, extra's worth an additional $6,000 compared to the Lexus RX 330.

Published: 20-Mar-2005

With snow, sleet and frigid rain buffeting most of the East Coast last week, the Florida beach sounded like a great spot to test-drive Lexus's new luxury SUV gas-electric hybrid, the RX 400h. Who knew how blustery and cold -- not to mention wet -- the Sunshine State's northern Atlantic coast would be?

And yet the challenging conditions, with a posh beach resort as backdrop, created a fitting setting to show off Lexus's elegant solution to America's seemingly unsolvable predicament: Car buyers are in love with high-riding (and high-profit), four-wheel-drive SUVs, but the vehicles' gas-guzzling ways are at odds with the need to deliver better fuel economy and cleaner emissions.

Lexus kicked off the luxury crossover SUV trend in 1999 with its RX 300, which evolved into the RX 330 in 2004 (named for its bigger, 3.3-liter engine). From the outside, you won't see much that's different with the new RX 400h.


Playing catch-up a decade late, the world's auto giants now find that they have to lease or buy technology from Toyota.

Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.


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