|The RX 450h is nearly 30 percent more efficient than the outgoing model and offers a better driving experience. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)|
During a long trip I took recently between Los Angeles and Monterey (a journey that incorporates plenty of hills), I found my own expectations exceeded the current RX 400h hybrid's ability to deliver. It was okay around town but disappointing over the road, where I found it a bit lacking in acceleration. But that's about to change when the 2010 RX 450h comes to market this summer: Here is a fully integrated gas-electric hybrid that feels like a gasser, everywhere except the fuel pumps.
In AWD guise as driven, the 2010 RX 450h has three electric motors melded with a 3.5-litre V6. The NiMH battery pack lies under the three rear seats. Together this grouping of engine, motors and batteries account for 295 horsepower - 27 more than the RX 400h - and sufficient torque to move the Lexus at real-world speeds.