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Lexus RX Thundercloud: Yes, It Was a Real Special Edition

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2017

In the long, sad history of questionable automotive special editions, there have been some real whoppers -- nearly always cynical corporate decisions designed to move products to car shoppers who think they're getting something rare and unusual.

I could name a few -- in fact, I could name dozens -- but today, I'm going to focus on an especially unusual special edition from a company not normally known for them: Lexus. The special edition in question is the RX 330 Thundercloud Edition, and oh, boy, there has never been a special edition that was this un-special.

So let's start with the name. A car is called something like "Thundercloud Edition," and you're probably thinking it's going to have some cool paint scheme, and maybe some awesome interior, with some special touches or some sort of starry night sky painted into the headliner. Of course, it should also have more power. Anything with "Edition" in the name should have an extra 50 horses.

But as is always the case with these special editions, the RX 330 Thundercloud Edition was an enormous letdown.

What did the Thundercloud Edition actually have? A grille with horizontal slats instead of vertical ones. Different alloy wheels from the normal model. And black wood trim.

That was it.

Lexus said the RX Thundercloud Edition was "limited" to just 6,500 total units of production, but what actually happened was they ordered 6,500 pieces of that black wood trim and 6,500 of those grilles (and 6,500 "Thundercloud Edition" badges to stick on the back), and voila -- that was their special edition production run.

Today, if you Google "RX Thundercloud Edition," you're directed to a few posts on a Lexus web forum where someone is asking if his Lexus RX Thundercloud Edition is worth more than a normal one. Trust me, buddy... it's not.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Lexus RX Thundercloud: Yes, It Was a Real Special Edition - Autotrader