By following the career arc of Lexus GX chief engineer Makoto Arimoto, industry magazine Automotive Design & Production provides an interesting profile of the Lexus GX 460 development process.
Arimoto, who worked on everything from chassis engineering to fuel cells, started planning the GX 3 years ago when large body-on-frame SUV market were still in healthy demand. The GX 460 sought to expand on the attributes that made its predecessor successful—however, rather than follow precedent and increase engine displacement, the GX 460 has a slightly smaller powerplant producing 31 more hp and 1 lb.-ft. less torque.
Despite gains in width, length, and weight, the new GX has a 0.3 second faster 0-60 time and is 13% more fuel efficient; the article points out that the GX 460’s 17 mpg combined fuel economy with its V8 engine outperforms that of many rival SUVs, including crossovers:
• Audi Q7: 13/18/15
• BMW X5: 14/19/16
• Land Rover LR4: 12/17/14
• Mercedes ML550: 13/18/15
• Mercedes GL450: 13/17/14
• Acura MDX (w/V6): 15/20/17
• Lexus GX 460: 15/20/17
The theme behind the GX 460’s exterior design, a melding of L-finesse with “machined steel bar” concepts, and the “Tough Premium” interior concept, are also identified. Besides the technological details that many GX 460 articles and reviews have discussed, mainly in the off-roading arena, this profile gives a glimpse of the engineering and design principles which shaped the new mid-size Lexus SUV.
[Source: Automotive Design & Production]