Can you say irony? This Lexus is one of the most technically advanced SUVs based on one of the most revered names in off-road capability, but the biggest rocks the all-new LX 570 is likely to encounter will be worn on the ring fingers of its drivers.
We all know most SUVs never engage their transfer case, but then again most people don't know how to parallel park. It's as if Lexus has set out to make both challenges nonexistent. The company already created the LS sedan, which can park itself. Now, here comes the LX, able to rockcrawl by itself.
How easy is it? We'd like to brag we expertly drove the LX 570 up and down narrow creviced dirt paths, some as steep as 33 degrees, but "drove" would be the wrong verb. When off-roading in the LX it's as if you're merely along for the ride: It drives, you steer a few inches to the left or right.
The key is the LX's first-in-class, button-activated Crawl Control. This system goes one step beyond Hill Descent Control, which automatically manages a truck's ABS so it can descend steep hills or rough terrain without the driver hitting the brake pedal. Crawl Control manages the brakes and engine throttle, powering the truck up as well as down steep inclines in forward and reverse gears. The only thing the driver needs to focus on is turning the wheel to find the best path, assisted by wideview video cameras mounted in the nose and right-side mirror.
The LX 570 borrows the powerful DOHC 5.7-liter six-speed drivetrain from the Toyota Tundra, where power ratings in the new LX have jumped up more than 100 ponies over the outgoing model, from 268 horses to 383. Torque has climbed from 328 pound-feet to 403.