lexus rx 270 1

Success begets success, it is said, and Lexus Malaysia will certainly be looking at that adage ringing true. Given that achieved by the RX 350 since its arrival here, the company is quietly hoping that a logical extension of the form – in this case a smaller engined, front-wheel drive variant with most of the trimmings kept on – will do equally well.

So it is with that premise that the RX 270 makes its debut here, with the vehicle being launched earlier this evening, as a slightly cheaper alternative to those who love what the Japanese luxury SUV is all about but think the bigger block and all-wheel drive is surplus to needs.

lexus rx 270 2

Lexus Malaysia says that this is the first time that the RX 270 is being officially offered in Asian markets and it’s also the first time that a front-wheel drive variant is officially available in Asia (front-wheel drive variants of the RX350 have been offered in North America with previous generations).

At the heart of the new variant sits a 2.7 litre 1AR-FE four pot, with Dual VVT-i and an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), which alters the length of the intake pipe to improve torque delivery. Power figures for the unit are 185hp at 5,800rpm and a torque output of 252Nm at 4,200rpm (the 2GR-FE 3.5 litre V6 unit in the RX 350 turns out 273hp at 6,300rpm and 346Nm at 4,700rpm in comparison).

lexus rx 270 3

Features of the 1AR-FE include twin balancer shafts, resin gears, a rigid intake manifold and chain cover, multi-resonators in the intake system with a two-stage intake pass, all of which help to reduce noise and vibration. To keep internal friction low, the engine has roller rocker arms, less piston ring tension, lighter parts and a three-stage variable output oil pump. It’s tuned to run on RON 91 rated gas, so there should be nary an issue with RON 95.

If you’re thinking that less means less, well, that’s really not the case here with the RX 270. It comes with the same six-speed Super ECT with A.I. Shift auto tranny as found on the RX 350, as well as the four-wheel independent suspension with a compact trailing-arm double wishbone rear suspension and similar tyre and wheel sizes of the latter – 235/60 series rubbers sitting on 18-inch alloys.

lexus rx 270 5

Indeed, most of what’s to be found on the RX 350 is strapped on here, with the only differences – aside from the drive configuration and engine – being that the RX 270 doesn’t get the RX 350’s tilt/slide moonroof, the woodgrain mix in the interior panelling (it’s all leather here) and the adaptive front lighting system for the bi-xenon headlamps. Otherwise, it’s all par for the course – 10 airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system and smart entry and start system, among others.

New to the car is an optional navigation system package, with an eight-inch LCD Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display. The package isn’t just about the nav and the screen – it also includes a remote touch controller, reverse camera, Bluetooth connectivity and a 12-speaker premium audio system. Lexus Malaysia is introducing the package to the rest of its model line-up (GS 300, LS 460 L and RX 350) in conjunction with its introduction here on the RX 270.

lexus rx 270 4

The RX 270 is available in six colour choices and two interior colour themes, both with Abyss Black painted panel finishing. It’s priced at RM340,000 on-the-road, without insurance, which makes it RM37,000 less than the RX 350. The optional navigation package goes for RM17,000.

Gallery of launch photos after the jump.

[zenphotopress number=999 album=1642]