Lexus Australia has confirmed that the ‘GX’ large SUV will be coming to Australia, with local delivery expected in the first six months of 2024. Unavailable in Australia previously, the GX has been an upmarket sibling to Toyota’s LandCruiser Prado since its introduction in 2002, but this third-generation version comes with a new platform and other significant changes.
The first two generations of the GX were sold exclusively in North America and some Asian markets, but Lexus says the new, third-generation (that only made its debut this June) has been designed “for wider global appeal”.
Front and rear overhangs are reduced compared to the previous GX, but the wheelbase is now the same as the larger Lexus LX and LandCruiser 300 Series at 2850mm, where the current Prado’s wheelbase is 2790mm. The new GX also gets the same TGNA-F platform as the 300 Series, with the body-on-frame design meaning similar off-road capabilities. Confirmed features include full-time four-wheel drive, a low range transfer case, locking centre diff and adaptive variable suspension (double wishbone front, four-link rear).
The GX will launch in Australia with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 as the sole powerplant, matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid was announced at the Gen3 GX’s global launch in June, but this drivetrain will not be available here initially. Whether it will be added later is unconfirmed.
According to Lexus Australia, the 3.5 V6 is best suited to the GX’s all-terrain driving capabilities and towing performance. Outputs have not been revealed, but North American market versions of this engine produce 260kW and 650Nm. Likewise, braked towing capacity is unconfirmed, but is expected to be in the region of 3500kg, given the new platform. All specs for the local market will be revealed closer to release.
"The GX is ideal for discerning customers looking for a sophisticated yet rugged full-size SUV to take the whole family camping and back again in true Lexus style," said Lexus Australia Chief Executive John Pappas.
"When it arrives in the first half of next year, the GX will bolster our formidable luxury SUV line-up with its unmatched practicality. Large families with active lifestyles will appreciate the GX's flexibility of carrying up to seven occupants. It is a true all-rounder, offering superb on-road manners and true off-road performance."
Interior features include a 14-inch centre touchscreen that offers “an intuitive user experience” and supports the latest connectivity features. Some tactile buttons and controls remain, though. Being a Lexus, luxury is at the forefront, with premium seat upholstery and interior trim, high-spec sound and climate control systems, as well as six charging points and 12 cup holders. In the US, ‘Premium’ and ‘Luxury’ GX grades are offered, along with ‘Plus’ variants of each. A separate Overtrail grade is more off-road focussed.
Seven seats will be standard, with the second-row able to be configured as two captain’s chairs, makigj a six-seater. The Overtrail grade - a first for this model and the only GX grade confirmed for Australia so far - will only be available as a five-seater.
The Overtail grade adds a locking rear diff, underbody protection and the E-KDSS (Electronic – Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) that reduces body roll and improves ground contact and wheel articulation. E-KDSS is currently used on the GR Sport variant of the LandCruiser 300 Series, but the GX is the first Lexus to receive this advanced suspension system.
As part of the GX Overtrail’s Multi-Terrain Select system, there’s crawl control and six off-road driving modes (Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock), ensuring better traction and improved performance across a wide range of surfaces. Whether all six will also be available on other GX grades for Australia is unconfirmed.
Like the engine spec, model grades and interior appointments, the full list of safety and driver assistance tech for the upcoming GX is unknown at this stage, but Lexus Australia says it will be comprehensive, covering both the Lexus Safety System active technologies and the Lexus Connected Services functionality package.
Pricing will be revealed closer to local release, but given the Lexus LX starts at $151,561, the GX is likely to be priced from around $100K for the entry-level varaint, given the new platform and features, rising close to $150K for the Overtrail. In the US, the GX starts at US$70K, with the Overtrail + the top-priced grade at US$85,000.