GX 470 Blends Luxury with Impressive Capability

September 05, 2008
The 2009 Lexus GX 470 is a full-capability luxury utility vehicle delivering an outstanding combination of power, comfort and confidence for any kind of driving. The GX 470 is positioned between the brand's prestige-luxury LX 570 and unibody-based RX models.
Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance
The Lexus GX 470 is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 263 horsepower and 323 lb-ft. of peak torque. Equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), the V8 provides ample torque across a wide speed range, helping make the GX 470 feel responsive in everyday driving and giving it excellent towing performance. The GX 470 meets Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV-II) certification.
The GX 470's five-speed automatic transmission provides seamless shift quality. Shift logic can hold gears on inclines for power and on descents for increased engine braking, which can be helpful when towing, for example. The GX 470's sophisticated full-time four-wheel-drive system, supported by an array of dynamic handling technology, provides versatile capability for virtually any driving need.
A TORSEN® torque-sensing center differential distributes power 40:60 under most driving conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on steering input and wheel slip. The ability to change to a 29:71 ratio during steering maneuvers helps to enhance vehicle tracking through curves. If the rear wheels spin, the center differential can change the ratio to 53:47 to help control the slippage. The TORSEN center differential also helps make the GX 470 less prone to slippage caused by sudden changes in road-surface conditions, such as driving through a puddle or over an ice patch.
Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is designed to augment the low-speed descending ability of the transmission's low range by helping to hold the vehicle to a target speed with no intervention from the driver. The Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) system helps provide additional control for off-road driving or when launching a boat, for example, by helping to keep the vehicle from rolling back while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface. Active traction control (TRAC) provides the traction benefits of having locking front and rear differentials, but with lower weight. The system can apply the brake to a slipping wheel, while transferring torque to the remaining wheels with better traction.
Chassis/Body/Suspension/Tires/Brakes
The GX 470 is constructed with robust body-on-frame construction for rugged capability on or-off-road. Independent front suspension and rear air suspension with self-leveling control deliver a smooth on-road ride without compromising rugged off-road capabilities. Standard 265/65SR17 tires are mounted on 17-inch alloy wheels.
The variable-gear-ratio rack-and-pinion steering system helps make maneuvering the GX 470 in tight spaces easier. Rear Adjustable Height Control (AHC) enhances the GX 470's flexibility in a wide range of driving situations. A high setting provides an additional 1.6 inches of clearance when traversing challenging terrain. AHC can also lower the rear of the vehicle 1.2 inches from its neutral setting for easier cargo loading.
Part of the Sport Package -- and also available separately -- the unique Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) adjusts the sway resistance provided by the front and rear stabilizer bars. KDSS can reduce maximum body-sway angle by as much as 50 percent to help enhance both on-road handling response and off-highway capability. Using hydraulic cylinders acting on each stabilizer bar and linked by a pressure-sensing valve, KDSS reduces the degree of sway stiffness provided by the stabilizer bars in response to changing road conditions and driver inputs.
In off-road driving situations, KDSS allows the wheels on each axle to move with a larger degree of side-to-side independence, helping to minimize any tendency for wheel lift. During cornering, when both front and rear cylinders are compressed, no fluid is flowing in the system and the stabilizer bars work conventionally to reduce body roll.
When an uneven surface is encountered, one compressed cylinder causes fluid to flow between the front and rear cylinders, allowing the stabilizer bars to move freely.
That action increases wheel articulation and travel as well as helping to equalize wheel loading. By allowing the stabilizer bars to disengage in certain situations, the nominal stiffness of the bars can be notably increased, thereby reducing body roll and improving handling without negatively affecting ride comfort or off-road performance.
Safety/Security Features
The GX 470 is equipped with a comprehensive array of safety systems. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) helps keep the GX 470 going on its intended course by detecting front- and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control either condition with a combination of torque intervention and individual wheel braking. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) utilizes the ABS and distributes proper brake force between the front and rear wheels according to driving and wheel-load conditions.
Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking, and if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), then the system supplements the applied braking power. The GX is equipped with side airbags and with driver and passenger advanced front airbags that are designed to inflate according to collision severity. It also uses roll-sensing side-curtain airbags that are designed to deploy when a severe tilt angle, roll or lateral g force is detected.
The optional navigation system includes a rear back-up camera that provides the driver a view of what its lens can detect behind the vehicle when reverse gear is selected, projecting a color image on the navigation system's seven-inch LCD screen.
Luxury/Comfort/Convenience
The GX 470 presents a luxurious passenger environment with the extraordinary fit and finish expected in a Lexus. Standard features include: automatic climate control (available rear air conditioning enhances comfort for third-row passengers); leather seating surfaces and trim; premium audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer; steering wheel audio controls; rain-sensing windshield wipers; power moonroof; a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; memory system for the driver's seat, steering wheel position and outside mirrors; heated front seats; and an overhead console with integrated HomeLink® transmitter.
Luxury Options
The available Mark Levinson® Premium Audio system will please the discriminating audiophile with its 240 watts of continuous power at 0.01 percent Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and 14 speakers. A standard input jack for an iPod® or other music player expands listening choices. The system plays DVDs as well as conventional and MP3/WMA-formatted CDs. When the GX 470's parking brake is set, the Mark Levinson system can play a DVD movie on the navigation-system screen. The available rear-seat entertainment system plays DVD programs on a nine-inch, wide-format LCD screen.
The optional Lexus Navigation System features voice-recognition that allows the driver to enter a destination by voice command. The navigation system integrates Bluetooth® wireless technology. When using a compatible phone, Bluetooth allows the driver to make hands-free phone calls through its touch-screen control panel and to synchronize phone books.
A central screen features a high-resolution, 800 x 480 pixel display in 32,000 colors. On-screen details are crisp and clean, and maps and roads are shown with 3-D shadow effects. The user can select from among English, Spanish and French text-display choices at system start-up. System functions include multiple route calculation, route preview, simplified highway-junction graphics, and a dual-map screen mode. The DVD map database contains more than five million points of interest. The database for Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York includes a "building footprint" display feature that can show graphic representations of buildings and structures to help the driver identify surroundings.
The available Lexus Link® telematics system combines Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and digital cellular phone technology to connect the customer with trained Lexus Link advisors at any time. Purchasing the Lexus Link® option includes a one-year subscription to the Safety Plan, featuring airbag deployment notification. In the event that an airbag is deployed, an emergency call is automatically placed to the Lexus Link Call Center. In addition, occupants can place an emergency call to the call center by pressing the button on the overhead console. Lexus Link® advisors can contact emergency-service or roadside-assistance providers and offer accident-assistance information.
Advisors can provide additional services, including stolen-vehicle-location assistance and remotely locking or unlocking doors. The customer can build on the Lexus Link package by adding the Directions Plan, which provides route support, ride assist (taxi, limousine or other transportation) and other information and convenience services. The top-tier Concierge Plan adds a number of useful services to turn Lexus Link into a personal assistant. The Personal Calling option is a hands-free, voice-activated calling service that enables customers to make and receive calls in the vehicle. Customers can purchase prepaid packages of calling minutes to fit their needs.
Exterior Design
The Lexus GX 470’s purposeful design is accented by details that underscore its capability and its luxury positioning. The color-keyed (dark metallic) front grille, framed by distinctive character lines on the hood, features three horizontal bars and chrome finish surround. The front bumper features standard integrated fog lamps. Color-keyed fender flares, running boards, bumpers, mirrors, and lower body cladding convey elegance and solidity. Chrome door handles and roof rack with chrome side rails add luxurious detail. In the rear, three-stack design sculpted tail lamps feature a clear combination lamp lens cover on the turn signal and reverse lamps that are located under a chrome license plate garnish. Tasteful luxury touches abound, including green-tint UV protection front glass, privacy glass on rear windows, running board lamps, and reverse lamps with green tint.
The optional Sport Package adds a distinctive visual signature, with smoked front and rear light bezels, chrome exhaust tip and dark graphite finish on the roof rack. Inside, the dark graphite center console and instrument panel trim complements the Black Bird's-eye Maple wood trim.
Interior Design
The V8-powered GX 470 provides the luxury appointments and workmanship of a Lexus sedan. The GX 470 offers eight-passenger seating with an available third-row seat. Ivory or gray leather trims the seat facings, headrests, armrests, door trim, shift knob and steering wheel. Optitron® instrument gauges are a traditional and functional Lexus design element, while genuine wood trim on the dashboard, center console and door panels and chrome door handles add to the luxurious cabin design.
The foldable and reclining 60/40 split second row seat lets the customer optimize the GX 470 for passenger comfort and cargo capacity. There are eight interior assist grips (10 with optional third row seat). Lexus’ typical attention to detail is seen in conveniences like the dual sun visors with slide mechanism and illuminated vanity mirrors, door courtesy lights, and swing-out type rear quarter windows with privacy glass.
Warranty
All new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage.
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