There’s nothing inspiring about this special edition Lexus LX

Lexus is bringing a special edition LX SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Dubbed the “Inspiration Series,” the limited-run LX offers exclusive touches on the exterior to go with a few upgrades in the interior of the SUV. There are no engine upgrades included in the package, though you probably wouldn’t know it based on how much Lexus is asking for the special edition SUV. The Lexus LX Inspiration Series costs a whopping $100,420, which is almost $15,000 more than the base LX that starts at $85,830.


2019 Lexus LX Inspiration Series
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The irony of this special edition model is its name. It’s called the Lexus LX Inspiration Series, but very little of it is inspiring. You would think that Lexus would just roll out a next-generation version of its flagship SUV. That would’ve been ideal, except that a fourth-generation LX is still a figment of our imaginations at this point. So the current-gen LX lives on for 2019 and Lexus is hoping that the Inspiration Series will help keep the SUV relevant in the face of growing competition from other automakers.

So what makes the LX Inspiration Series special? For that, you need a generous understanding of the word “special” because there’s not much here to get excited about.

The exterior, for example, receives a Black Onyx paint job.

That would’ve been a cool addition, except that the color isn’t really exclusive, to begin with. The Lexus GX already comes in this color so it’s unclear what Lexus is trying to sell off here.

2019 Lexus LX Inspiration Series
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The exterior does receive a dark chrome surround on the grille and black trim pieces on the headlights, taillights, and window surrounds. Those are nice touches, sure, but they don’t exactly help the LX Inspiration Series stand out.


2019 Lexus LX Inspiration Series
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The interior upgrades are a little better, though, so that’s a good thing.

Instead of going with an all-black treatment, the LX Inspiration Series’ cabin receives Moonlight White semi-aniline leather trim.

It’s a nice touch, especially when every other element in the cabin — that includes the headliner, center console, and even the key gloves — are all dressed in black. On the tech side, the LX Inspiration Series features a rear-seat entertainment system, a color head-up display, and heated and ventilated front- and second-row seats. These are options that you can get outside of the special edition LX so there’s really nothing special about them. On the bright side, the LX Inspiration Series does have the “Climate Concierge” feature that heats and cools all four areas of the SUV individually. This tech has been around since 2013, but it’s nice to see the LX Inspiration Series have it.


2019 Lexus LX Inspiration Series
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There are no engine upgrades to speak of, so the LX Inspiration Series remains powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces a stout 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission so it can get you where you need to go. Unfortunately, the LX’s maximum towing capacity only adds up to 7,000 pounds, which isn’t that great compared to other SUVs. Worse, it only returns 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, which is actually one of the worst efficiency ratings of any vehicle.

Lexus LX Inspiration Series Performance Specifications

Engine Type, Materials 5.7-liter V8
Designation 3UR-FE
Valvetrain DOHC 32-valve with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
Displacement 345.6 cu. in. / 5,663 cm3
Bore x Stroke 3.70 in. x 4.02 in.
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Horsepower (SAE) 383 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 403 LB-FT @ 3,600 RPM
Maximum Engine Speed (redline) 6,000 rpm
Fuel System Sequential Multi-port Fuel Injection (SFI)
Fuel Requirement Performance numbers achieved with 91-octane unleaded fuel
Emission Certification Ultra Low Emission Vehicle/ Tier 2 - Bin 5
Layout Front engine, full-time four wheel drive AWD
Transmission Type 8-speed automatic, sequential-shift Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT)


2019 Lexus LX Inspiration Series
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If you’re still interested in the Lexus LX Inspiration Series, then, by all means, go for it. Be advised, though, because Lexus is asking a staggering $100,420 for the special edition SUV. That’s almost $15,000 more expensive than the $85,830 entry-level LX. It’s not the best special edition offering Lexus has offered. Actually, is it even a special edition model?

Further reading

Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LX 570.

2018 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Concept.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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The LX is more than just a luxury SUV. It’s an inspiration for those who desire a higher-level driving experience. Already equipped for the road with high quality materials and exhilarating performance, this luxury SUV takes all the worry out of decision-making.

In November, Lexus will introduce the next exclusive designed model in the Inspiration Series. The LX features a stealth Black Onyx exterior that rides high on 21-inch black alloy wheels and center caps. This new beauty also leads with a black front grille and dark chrome surround.

The LX is also enhanced with black trim for the headlamps, foglights and windows along with smoked headlamp lenses. The rear of this flagship SUV continues the black theme with black chrome accents for the taillamps, license plate and back door.

An exclusive Moonlight White Semi-Aniline Leather Trim with a black headliner complement the black exterior. To help complete the thoughtfully crafted luxury SUV, the carpet, cargo mats and key gloves all provide unique finish to the interior.

All LX Inspiration Series come with heated and ventilated front and second-row outboard seats. The Climate Concierge feature automatically monitors the temperature of the four separate climate zones and adjusts not only the fans, but also the temperature of the seats and steering wheel. In addition, the “LX” projector door lamps round out this Luxury package.

Every LX Inspiration Series also includes the following features: Rear Seat Entertainment System, 19-speaker, 450-watt Mark Levinson®1 Reference Surround Sound audio system and Color Head-Up Display (HUD).
In addition, a Cool box, wireless charger and heated wood & leather-trimmed steering wheel complete the package.

Available just in time for the winter holidays, only 500 luxury owners will be able to drive the exclusive LX Inspiration Series home. It will go on sale with a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $100,420.

Like all LX 570s, the LX Inspiration Series is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 383 horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque available at 3,600 rpm. Equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the LX is capable of towing up to 7,000-lbs.

Adapts to Any Terrain
The LX’s sturdy body-on-frame structure is combined with a multi-terrain system to enhance the driver’s control over challenging, varied landscapes. The system adapts to five different types of terrain — Rock, Rock and Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock and Mud and Sand.

Low-range gearing provides slow-speed crawling capability for handling steep off-road hills and uneven terrain. Driver’s also get additional support from the LX’s innovative Crawl Control system that is fortified with Turn Assist, Hill-Start Assist Control and Variable Gear Ratio Steering.

Total Visibility
Drivers are armed with the standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). To help keep the driver’s eyes on the road, the LX puts more information directly in line of sight with a Color Head-Up Display (HUD) on the windshield. This system shows the vehicle speed, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control information icons and Intuitive Park Assist.

Peace of Mind
The LX Inspiration gets the standard Lexus Safety System+ that includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Intelligent High-Beam headlamps and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Staying Connected
A 12.3-inch navigation display with Remote Touch Interface (RTI) heads a list of multimedia and connectivity features that keep the LX on the cutting edge of user tech. The multimedia display screen can be split into three sections to show different functions, such as navigation, audio and climate control information.

“It’s always our goal to exceed our guests’ expectations,” said David Christ, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division. “We expect the LX Inspiration Series to continue that tradition with its customized features. We look forward to this new addition to the lineup and are excited for our guests to Experience Amazing.”

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