Autocar’s quick review of the Lexus RX 450h is very complimentary of the hybrid’s new driving experience, and contains a very interesting passage I thought worth pointing out:
And because this is the Euro-spec RX, it gets retuned suspension and a retuned power management unit that will provide better off the line acceleration but still (Lexus claims) return comparable fuel consumption.
..the handling and ride is much better. It’s calm and resolved at speed, and feels well tied down on the twisty Hungarian B-roads I tried it on – the new electronic roll bars (Lexus calls it Active Stabiliser System) help, but even without them the RX is flop free and precise, which makes it comfortable and easy to hustle through windy roads quickly. You might even enjoy yourself…
Even though it’s quite common for vehicles to have different spring/damper settings to better deal with Europe’s roads, I wonder if Lexus Europe wanted to avoid one of the North American complaints that the new RX450h is slower than the outgoing RX400h, even if it meant sacrificing fuel economy.
Update: Looks like this Euro-spec suspension might just be the optional Sports package.