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Lexus powers up

The new Lexus 570 has an even more powerful V8 than the LandCruiser 200.

Luxury car maker Lexus has distinguished its big four-wheel drive from the Toyota LandCruiser 200 on which it is based by installing a bigger V8 petrol engine.

The new LandCruiser 200 has a 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine capable of 202kW of power and 410Nm of torque or, at a premium price, a 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel giving 195kW of power and 650Nm of torque.

But the coming Lexus LX 570 version will have a 5.7-litre V8 petrol engine of about 270kW of power and around 530Nm of torque. This is 100kW more than the outgoing LX 470 wagon.

The big V8 will run to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.

The new Lexus is for people who want the tops in luxury yet with serious off-road abilities in a big and strong, yet comfortable wagon. And people who can pay for it.

The outgoing LX 470 has been listed at $123,000 and we can't see the new one with its extra technology being any less.

Although, for the first time, the Lexus LX will be offered in two grades of trim so buyers who don't want all the gadgets don't have to pay. Each version will have 10 airbags and vehicle stability system.

The upper-grade model will have a wide-view front-and-side camera monitor to help in parking and easing through off-road obstacles. A crawl control introduced on the latest LandCruiser 200 also will go into the LX. It helps when driving over rough surfaces by allowing the driver to forget about accelerating or braking, while concentrating on steering. The upper model might even have a power-opening and closing tail gate, commanded by the key fob and a cabin switch.

It will have adjustable height suspension, giving 225mm ground clearance, 31-degree approach angle and 23-degree departure angle in the top setting.

Expect the 5.7-litre engine in a big, heavy car to get through petrol. It has a 93-litre tank.