2014 Lexus RX 450h – a Hybrid with Siri

Being as Lexus is the luxury model for Toyota, who makes the industry leading Prius hybrid, it makes sense multiple upper end hybrids would be available for drivers as well. We’ve already covered 2014 information for the Lexus ES 300h and GS 450h, and now here’s the news for the upcoming 2014 RX 450h SUV.

image via Lexus

Lexus said its RX 450h, first introduced in 2004, offers a rather decent “32 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined EPA fuel economy (30/28/29 MPG with AWD).” Its hybrid drivetrain system

combines the power of a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle V6 engine with a front-mounted 116-kW electric motor generator, with power from both channeled through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The model with all-weather drive uniquely powers the rear wheels with a dedicated 50-kW electric motor, and this combination yields even quicker performance.

The RX 450h driver can choose from four selectable driving modes, including EV, which allows the vehicle to operate on electric-only power at low speeds under certain conditions. Normal mode provides an ideal blend of performance and efficiency for everyday driving. Eco mode favors fuel economy, and Sport mode, which was added in the 2013 redesign, increases powertrain responsiveness for a more engaging driving experience.

Like the other revised hybrids, noted the auto manufacturer, this vehicle comes outfitted with “Siri Eyes Free Mode technology licensed from Apple. Compatible with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 models forward, Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and much more. To help you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, Siri can read notifications and calendar information and allow you to add reminders, calendar appointments and notes.”

Other new features of note for the RX 450h include a radar based collision avoidance system with braking assistance and a rear seat AC power outlet. There was no word on specific pricing.

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling