Lexus improves off-road prowess of GX 460

Off-Road Package offers transmission cooler, crawl control, among others

Published: June 18, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:53 PM

2020 Lexus GX 460

Lexus is updating its premier off-roader in various ways, including new style inside and out and updated safety features, but perhaps the most important to its intent is an all new Off-Road Package.

Although it’s already a competent off-roader, the 2020 Lexus GX 460 adds an all-new Off-Road Package on the top trim level. The package offers transmission cooler, fuel-tank protector, Lexus’s Multi-Terrain Monitor and Panoramic View Monitors (which can now see underneath the vehicle to show tire position), Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select, which allows the driver to select the type of surface being driven on (loose rocks, mud and sand and moguls, among others). The system regulates wheelspin by automatically modulating the engine throttle and brakes to improve traction.

The GX’s 4-wheel drive system is automatic, using a Torsen limited slip centre differential to distribute power 40:60 (front to rear) under normal on-road driving, and then varying the ratio depending on wheel slip. The 2-speed transfer case is supported by a suite of chassis-control technologies, including downhill assist, hill-start and Crawl Control.

Crawl Control is available at the push of a button to automatically maintain an optimal slow and steady pace over demanding terrain by modulating the throttle and brakes on five driver-selectable low-speed settings, allowing the driver to devote full attention to steering. It also engages the front and rear “virtual” differentials to help reduce tire slip and optimize chassis behaviour.

Meanwhile, Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) uses electronically controlled dampers that adjust to road surface conditions according to driver selections of Normal, Sport, or Comfort modes.

Utilizing the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), the GX 460 automatically enhances handling and ride comfort by staying level in both on and off-road conditions. When an uneven surface is encountered, one compressed cylinder causes fluid to flow to the other cylinder, helping the vehicle to keep all four wheels on the surface.

The standard powerplant is a 301-hp 4.6-liter V-8 that generates 329 lb-ft of torque. Towing is rated at 2,948 kg and aided by Trailer Sway Control, which is part of the Vehicle Stability Control.

Immediately recognizable, the spindle grille has been updated and flanked by new triple-beam LED headlamps. A Sport Design Package adds extra upscale touches such as a lower grille surround, rear valence, side mirrors, black exhaust tips and Gunmetal Metallic 19-inch alloy wheels.

It’s available in seven exterior colors — Starfire Pearl, Atomic Silver, Nebula Gray Pearl, Nightfall Mica, Fire Agate Pearl, Black Onyx and Claret Mica.

Yet it does it all in style with capability and luxury for up to seven. The interior comes in three presentations in addition to a new Rioja Red with black headliner — Black, Sepia and Ecru. Heated and ventilated front seats are available on all trim levels. A new Grey Sapele wood and aluminum trim interior is available on upper trim levels.

Interior trimmings include a wood and leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, with heated and ventilated front seats available at all trim levels.