2010 lexus rx event 004Enlarge Photo
The RX 450h starts at $41,660, about $5,000 more than its non-hybrid sibling. Whether that's a value given the relatively small difference in fuel efficiency we observed on the backroads of San Antonio is an open question, but the 450h certainly offers a green image the 350 can't match. The AWD version of the RX 450h starts at $43,250.
The IS Convertible starts at a slightly more attractive $38,490 for the IS 250C, stepping up to $39,660 with a six-speed automatic transmission and $43,940 for the more potent IS 350C.
The RX 450h features an electronic AWD system. Unlike mechanical AWD systems, the electric-powered rear-mounted motor/generator allows all four wheels to perform regenerative braking and obviates the power-sapping inefficiencies of transfer cases and the weight of extra driveshafts.
Rated at 295hp (220kW), the Atkinson-cycle 3.5L V6 gasoline engine in the RX450h picks up 27hp (20kW) over the 2008 model, but still has the same 3,500lb towing capacity, and still manages to secure a SULEV emissions rating. The RX350 uses a similarly-sized V6 engine rated at 275hp (205kW), a gain of 5hp (3kW) over the 2009 model.
The IS Convertibles, on the other hand, are nearly identical to their hardtop siblings, varying only in style and price. Both the IS 250C and 350C have already been greenlighted for U.S. sale as well, though which other markets might see the car is still up in the air.