General, Research, Technology

Why I will buy a car with a hybrid engine on the example of Lexus RX

While the greatest interest nowthey are electric cars and cars with hybrid power plants, cars with conventional gasoline engines already seem to many to be “dinosaurs”. But this is not entirely true: yes, electric cars can be called more technological, but in many cases a traditional unit cannot be dispensed with. I somehow needed to drive 700 kilometers without stopping, and here even the most top Tesla would give up already halfway there.

In some ways, Tesla loses much to the hybrid

In addition, automakers are constantly workingover updating their cars. It got to the point that the total length of the wires in the car sometimes reaches 5 kilometers, and it’s just that cars are often smarter than humans, with all these retention systems in the stream, automatic braking and monitoring the driver’s condition. I love long trips, so when I had the opportunity to drive the updated Lexus RX from Marseille to Lyon, I gladly accepted this challenge. After all, this is a great opportunity to understand what modern cars are capable of, and that it is not worth completely abandoning gasoline engines.

Winter in Provence is, of course, good

Content

  • 1 Why use a hybrid engine
  • 2 How the hybrid works
  • 3 Lexus RX Features
    • 3.1 Driver assistance systems
    • 3.2 Lexus RX Multimedia System
  • 4 Lexus RX test drive
  • 5 Hybrid vs Electric

Why you need a hybrid engine

During the test drive, I managed to ride onseveral Lexus RX models, but most of the time I spent driving a hybrid version. Why is it needed? In fact, this is something between an electric car and a car with a traditional power plant: you can safely go on gasoline (and not think that after 400 kilometers you need to look for a socket), but if the fuel still runs out, you can drive up to 100 kilometers on one electric motor. The electric motor is charged on the go on its own, and not from the outlet.

The hybrid has long ceased to mean “Toyota Prius”. Now this is a full-fledged category of cars.

How does a hybrid work?

In the traditional sense, a hybrid electric motorIt helps the internal combustion engine during acceleration, and during braking it stores regenerative energy - this is how it is charged. But in the Lexus RX, the ICE and the electric motor are constantly interacting: the engine spins the wheels in tandem with the electric motor, while rotating the generator. Electronics controls the speed of the motors and generator, turning such a system into an ECVT continuously variable transmission.

The engine spins the wheels in tandem with the electric motor, while rotating the generator (for example, Lexus NX)

Lexus hybrid installation isgasoline engine, which is combined with two electric motor-generators installed in parallel. The total return of such a power plant is 313 horsepower. The only negative is that you can’t forcefully ride on one electric traction.

Lexus RX Hybrid Car Device

If the front wheel torqueit turns out to be insufficient or they begin to slip, the rear electric traction is connected. At speeds above 115 km / h, only a gasoline engine works, so as not to waste battery power once again.

Lexus RX Features

Besides a changed appearance like a new contourheadlights and fog lights at the very bottom of the bumper, there are more significant innovations. So, in the new model, the chassis was redesigned and a more rigid body was used. Due to the reconfiguration of the shock absorbers and the increased thickness of the rear stabilizer, the car steers even better and feels confident on bad roads. Adaptive suspension, which itself adapts to road conditions, plays its role here.

Updated Lexus RX

Updated headlights and location of foglights

In fact, work on the car wasa tremendous amount has been spent - from recalibration of the electric power steering to improved sound insulation. Looking ahead, I’ll say that the RX is really very quiet in the cabin, and it doesn’t matter whether you rush 110 km / h on the highway or make your way through the woods.

Driver Assistance Systems

There is plenty of that here too. So, the system of automatic emergency braking is able to recognize cyclists and pedestrians, and not only during the day, but also at night. On Russian roads this is especially true, but on the way to Lyon, when it was already dark, and street lighting left much to be desired, I appreciated all the advantages of this system. Plus there is recognition of road signs with the camera and the ability to adjust the speed to the current limit on cruise control.

More precisely, an assistant began to work, whoholds the car in the center of the lane. Even during parking, the RX slows down itself if you suddenly get distracted. And the BladeScan headlights allow you to change the beam of non-blinding high beams super smoothly, so that you get not only a good view at night, but also do not blind drivers in the oncoming stream. Of course, there are lights such as an airplane wing (okay, a little cheaper), so there probably are so many driver assistance systems. Nobody wants to damage the headlamp.

This is how BladeScan headlights work - the road is well lit, but they do not blind drivers of oncoming traffic

Lexus RX Multimedia System

The car's interior, of course, is good - the Japanese definitely have a taste

I've been following Lexus cars for a long time andI was pleasantly surprised that RX finally “delivered” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In expensive versions of the car, a screen of 12.3 inches is put, in the base - 8 inches, which is also good. True, it’s very difficult to get used to control from the touchpad. And the head interface itself does not look too modern. If you connect an iPhone, then everything is cool, but without CarPlay the interface seems old. By the way, it was not possible to connect Android Auto the first time, but here, it seems, the questions are not with the car manufacturer, but with Android in general, because everything works like an clock with an iPhone.

CarPlay works like a clock

I liked using Google maps much more than the built-in navigation.

Loved the projection display. This is no longer a novelty in the automotive industry, but it is implemented as conveniently as possible.

By the way, stitching in the cabin is done by a special seam manually by Takumi masters - only they are allowed to decorate Lexus car interiors.

Test drive Lexus RX

Before describing your driving experiencecar, I will briefly talk about the proposed power units, since a lot depends on their choice. On the younger version of the RX 300, a two-liter “turbo four” of 238 liters is installed. from. This, frankly, is not enough, for such a large crossover you need a more powerful engine. With a sharp overtaking, the “highlight” inherent in the equipment with a power unit capacity above 300 liters was not enough. from.

The RX 350 is a completely different matter. There are 300 horses and 370 Nm, a 3.5 V6 engine. It provides the necessary dynamics, it was especially noticeable when driving along a serpentine road near the village in France. It is important to go not only fast, but also carefully - to the gorge less than two meters. Acceleration takes less time, and the growl from under the hood is already more interesting - you immediately understand that you will be reckoned with on the road. This pleasure will cost more than 4 million rubles.

RX 350 - the most popular modification

By the way, cars specially drove from Moscow to France

F Sport - Special RX modification withcharacteristic sports orientation. Everyone knows that you are in F Sport: there are special logos everywhere - from the gear selector to the steering wheel. The front bumper, grille, interior inserts are all exclusive to the F Sport. Even the seats of the first row were made specifically for this version - they are more ergonomic and have improved lateral support.

On the serpentine F Sport feels like a fish in water

Hybrid RX 450h is one and a half million more expensive anddevelops 313 forces. And this is one of the most interesting cars that I had to ride. Where it is necessary to be quicker — it will accelerate, but until it is “ordered”, this smooth ship just comfortably delivered to its destination. This is a great option for a city where, as a rule, you are more stuck in traffic jams than moving forward (this was especially noticeable on the narrow streets of Marseille). In this case, it doesn’t matter at all how many seconds the car exchanges “a hundred”: first of all, you appreciate smoothness, comfort and economy (with the Eco driving mode, this is even easier).

This is an incredible car in every sense. And even flaws with multimedia can be forgiven for everything else.

The car is set up so that everythingsystems, working in symbiosis, provide the most comfortable and safe driving, even with a noticeable potential under the hood. The box worked smoothly with the engine, took the time to switch and seemed to understand that the time to “tear” had not yet arrived. At the same time, the consumption in mixed mode barely exceeded 6 liters per hundred (is it necessary to say that I did not hesitate to squeeze the “slipper into the floor”).

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- Alex Bogdanov (@djornalist) March 4, 2020

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I drove a certain part of the routefreeway with adaptive cruise control (damn, this thing really works!). But there was an off-road section, with which the car handled excellently. Despite the reduced front clearance due to a restyled bumper, the car never once buried its nose in an obstacle. Here, of course, it is important to withstand speed.

So met morning in France - a cup of coffee, vineyards under the window, everything is as it should

With all this, I believe that almost 5.5 million rubles is a really large sum even for such a car. It so happened that it was he who left the strongest impression for the entire trip.

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- Alex Bogdanov (@djornalist) March 4, 2020

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Had a ride and as a passenger. The weather in France was changing before our eyes

Hybrid vs Electric Vehicle

If you look at how much they sell that in Russiathe same Tesla Model S (also about 5 million rubles for a good bundle), I would rather pay attention to a hybrid like the RX. It also provides fuel savings, albeit not complete, but with such a car the driver is much more mobile. Wanted - went from Moscow to St. Petersburg in one tank (Tesla will not be able to). Or spent the night in the forest, folding the rear seats - there is enough space in the trunk.

However, in Russia they still prefercars with traditional powertrains. V6, 3.5 liters, and to "growl". Probably, this will pass over time, but only in Moscow - in the regions the word "hybrid" is sometimes perceived as an insult. And very in vain. As an alternative, there is the RX 350, a modification of the F Sport, and many other options. Few take the simplest configurations, although you should not be afraid of them, if the budget is limited - the car is already very well equipped in the database.

But the hybrid will remain in my heart. Nevertheless, when in a couple of days you test several versions of one car at once, you can give an impartial rating for each. You heard mine. And you can tell yours in our Telegram chat.

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