The 2024 Lexus GX and '24 Toyota Land Cruiser, which share big design elements, have remarkably steep and flat-looking windshields. That goes a long way to making these vehicles look old-school cool, but flatter windshields tend to be more susceptible to damage than curved ones. I talked with the GX's lead engineer about it, but he isn't sweating it.
A gaggle of automotive journalists were test-driving the new GX in Arizona last week, and you can expect a huge haul of first-drive reviews (including mine) to drop on the morning of February 1 when the embargo on driving impressions lifts.
In the meantime, you'll just have to endure my niche and nerdy curiosities about this vehicle. Like a question I posed to Koji Tsukasaki, the Lexus GX Chief Engineer—isn't Lexus worried about that rock magnet of a windshield cracking on people all the time?
Speaking through an interpreter, Tsukasaki-san kind of shrugged off the concern but he did say that the A-pillars (the metal on each side of the windshield) are made of ultra-high-tensile steel, and are reinforced. "Wind noise was a big issue," Tsukasaki-san added, indicating that the positioning of the windshield wipers was set to address that.
I'm sharing this tiny nugget of insight for a couple of reasons. One, it is pretty widely recognized that the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser, two vehicles with famously flat windshields, go through a lot of glass over the course of their lives. Do two seconds of Googling and you'll find people citing and complaining about this.
So when we first saw pictures of the new Toyota Land Cruiser and this Lexus with its Brinks truck-like front glass, I thought, surely the engineers must have thoughts on this ... and I found it interesting to observe that Tsukasaki-san didn't seem remotely concerned about cracking.
Secondly ... now that we've got it on record that Lexus doesn't think it's an issue, I've got something to link to when people inevitably ask, "Isn't that windshield going to crack every year?" There you have it. The chief engineer says no!
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