Home' Motoring Plus : December 16th 2015 Contents THE NELSON MAIL Wednesday, December 16, 2015 — 3
- A irbag Suspension
- A ll Rust Repairs
- Bumper Repairs/Before Chroming
- Chassis Modification
- LVV Certification
- Metal Shaping & Fabrication
- Restorations and Panelbeating
- Roofchops and Bodydrops
- Stainless Moulding Repairs
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Rodz Ridez & Restorationz
12H Gladstone Road, Richmond, Nelson
Ph: 03 544 8446
The new Lexus RX luxury SUV, which aims to be something out of the ordinary via outrageous origami styling and plenty
of unique selling propositions.
❚ Continued from page 2
At a glance
Price range: $95,900 (RX 350)
to $125,900 (RX 450h F Sport and
RX 450 Limited).
Powertrains: 3.5 -litre petrol V6
with 221kW/370Nm (RX 350) or
3.5 -litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid
with total system output of
230kW and 335Nm (petrol engine
only), 8-speed automatic or
transmissions, all-wheel drive.
On sale: Now.
and Sport Plus (the standard cars
have Eco, Normal and Sport). You
can also customise your settings
in the F-Sport.
That covers the RX 350 F-Sport.
But there’s another layer of
complexity with the RX 450h
F-Sport, which adds an Active
Stabiliser System and roll-control
to help keep the car flat during
Again, the factory is a bit fuzzy
on why this system is fitted to the
450h F-Sport and no other RX
variants. It might have something
to do with the extra 125kg weight,
or it might be because Lexus has
chosen to tailor the hybrid more
towards comfort than the
conventional petrol models – even
the F-Sport – and the active anti-
roll control is a way of
maintaining flat corning ability
without ruining the plush ride.
There’s definitely a sense of
comfort-first with all the RX
hybrids: the steering is lighter,
the chassis much more compliant.
The continuously variable
transmission also disconnects the
driver somewhat (it’s a matter of
taste, admittedly), but you have to
balance that with the knowledge
that the electrically assisted
model is still the best performer.
The F-Sport versions are
certainly more aggressive, but
initial impressions suggest that
the models with the conventional
chassis technology are the best
balanced and most rewarding.
Strangely, that covers the bottom
and top of the range: the base
grade and Limited both do
without the trick-but-intrusive
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated
Management (VDIM) system and
AVS of the F-Sport.
Lexus is legendary for its
luxurious interiors and attention
to detail. The RX cabin is more
conservative than the smaller NX,
but the quality is outstanding and
the enormous 12.3-inch
information screen is certainly a
talking point. It can act as a single
display or split-screen and it’s
controlled by the Remote Touch
Interface (RTI), which has
curiously gone back to a joystick-
type design – unlike the techy
touchpad of the NX and RC coupe.
For what reason nobody’s sure.
It’s still an idiosyncratic interface,
with a cursor that moves between
icons as if drawn by a magnet,
instead of following a linear path.
All RX models get the LSS+
safety package that includes a pre-
crash system, radar cruise
control, lane-keeping assistance
and headlights with automatic
high-beam, as well as blind spot
monitor and rear cross-traffic
alert. Luxury features across the
range include front seat heating
and ventilation, that 12.3in screen
and a power tailgate.
In addition to the body kit and
special cabin trim, the F-Sport
adds a panoramic parking
camera, heated rear seats, a
wireless Qi phone charger and
tailgate that opens when you
wave your hand (or any other
appendage) over the Lexus
emblem on the back.
The Limited brings adaptive
high-beam lights, panoramic
power roof, power rear seat and
that high-end audio system, while
dropping the loud styling and
trick suspension of the F-Sport.
The RX will be a key model for
Lexus in 2016, second only to the
smaller NX in volume. SUVs now
account for 44 per cent of the
luxury-car market and 65 per cent
of total Lexus sales. The Japanese
brand remains a second-tier
player in NZ: year-to-date sales of
521 are well behind Audi, BMW
although it’s ahead of other
luxury-SUV specialists such as
Range Rover (506) and Porsche
The company expects RX
volume to be split evenly between
the conventional petrol engine
and hybrid, but with an
overwhelming preference for the
Limited grade, which may
account for up to 140 of the 210
sales projection for the range.
Lexus buyers still like their
driving on drugs
Here’s a new twist on driver education: an
outfit that simulates the physical effects
of drug use.
Ford Drug Suit
Drug Suit glasses distort vision and subject
user to LSD-like flashes of light.
Gloves and weights simulate hand tremors
that occur during drug use.
First there was the Drink Driving Suit.
Now, Ford has created a Drug Driving
Suit to simulate the effects of cannabis,
cocaine, heroin and MDMA (ecstasy) on
the user’s ability to drive. These include
slower reaction time, distorted vision,
hand tremors and poor co-ordination.
The new Drug Suit simulates the
effects of reduced mobility, vision and co-
ordination with padding and ankle
weights, goggles and headphones. It also
introduces new features that simulate
effects that are specific to illegal drug
‘‘We know that some drugs can cause
trembling hands, so we incorporated into
the suit a device that creates just such a
tremor,’’ says Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel,
CEO of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute
that created the outfit.
‘‘Drug users sometimes see flashing
lights in their peripheral field, an effect
recreated by our goggles, while
imaginary sounds are generated by the
headphones. Additionally, the goggles
distort perception, and produce colourful
visual sensations – a side effect of LSD
The Drug Suit has been incorporated
into Ford Driving Skills For Life (DSFL),
a young driver programme that has
provided training to more than 500,000
people around the world in the last
Young drivers get the opportunity to
experience the suit, and also receive
hands-on training covering skills
including hazard recognition, vehicle
handling and distraction awareness.
According to a European study,
drivers who get behind the wheel after
taking drugs are up to 30 times more
likely to be involved in a severe crash.
Despite the risks, one in 10 people said
they have accepted lifts from people they
believe have taken illegal drugs.
In 2008, Ford extended the DSFL
programme to Asia Pacific countries
including China, India, Indonesia, the
Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan and
In 2013 the first DSFL training
sessions were held in the Middle East, in
the United Arab Emirates, and the
programme was formally launched in
Since then, DSFL has in Europe
provided more than 9000 18-24 year-old
drivers with free hands-on training
focusing on the leading factors in young
driver accidents, including hazard
recognition, vehicle handling, speed/
space management and distractions.
Last year, as well as introducing the
Drink Driving Suit, Ford also introduced
training to specifically highlight the
dangers of social media activity at the
wheel, such as taking selfies.
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