KCU 192H: What President William Ruto's Lexus 570 offers

President William Ruto's motorcade arrives at State House, Nairobi on September 12, 2022 ahead of his meeting with former President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Courtesy of PSCU]

KCU 192H is undoubtedly one of Kenya's most popular civilian vehicle registration plate numbers today.

It is the plate number of President William Ruto's vehicle that he used during the vigorous campaigns in the lead-up to August 9, 2022 presidential election.

So popular was the registration plate number that it trended on Twitter on Tuesday, September 13, when Ruto took the oath of office as Kenya's fifth president.

"President Ruto's vehicle of registration plate number KCU 192H has been driven to nearly all villages in every part of the country. It has, finally, reached its destination - the State House of Kenya," said a Twitter user.

Ruto's famous vehicle is a Toyota Lexus LX-570.

At 11:40am on Tuesday, while aboard the LX-570, Ruto drove into the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as President-elect, but left in a Toyota Land Cruiser V8, the official vehicle of the President of the Republic of Kenya.

The special Land Cruiser, unlike civilian and other public servants' vehicles, has a coat of arms instead of the registration plate, symbolising the highest level of power in the country.

The car with a Lexus badge is Toyota's high-end luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) with comfort, stability and speed to boot.

Its technology and safety features are advanced.

The LX-570 has a centre console with intuitive controls, a heated steering wheel and a radar cruise control.

The vehicle is powered by an eight-cylinder (V8) 5,700cc petrol engine that produces 362 horsepower.

The initials "570" represent the vehicle's powerful 5,700cc engine displacement that accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in seven seconds.

The LX-570 is a stable car, very stable. It weighs 2,600 kilogrammes, providing you with the much-needed stability when driving on bends, at high speed or on hilly terrains.

In Kenya, a 2020 version of the vehicle could set you back between Sh23 million and Sh25 million.

It's an aggressive, robust and hardy vehicle, which is an object of desire for many off-road thrill seekers.

The LX-570 has gained popularity, not only among wealthy African nationals, but also tycoons in the Middle East and European countries.

"Black Onyx or Eminent White Pearl colours are the vehicle's best sellers," says Auto Trade UK.

The LX-570 can carry a load of up to 750 kilogrammes, including passengers.

Its 8.9 inches ground clearance offers the right ride height to take you to any part of the country, regardless how rocky or muddy that place is.

The vehicle sits seven passengers, and offers ample space and legroom to make your ride comfortable.

The LX-570 is a rugged beauty. Its headlight and taillight housing, triple-beam LED headlights, three-row seats, huge dropping grille, magnificent door handles and a semi-aniline cabernet perforated-leather interior backed with the 21-inch alloy wheels make it superior to its peers.

It comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that produces a 360-horsepower and 403 foot-pounds of torque. It's a heavy car that can pull very heavy objects.

Its other appealing features are its lane departure alert system, intelligent high beams, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection ability and an all-speed dynamic radar cruise control.

The LX-570's electro-hydraulic suspension system helps in off-road driving. Interestingly, the driver has the option of reducing its body lean on pavement by as much as 50 per cent.

Its infotainment is magisterial. It comes equipped with JBL premium audio system, 14 speakers and a satellite radio. It also comes loaded with a navigation system integrated in a 12.3-inch display screen.

The LX-570 has a 93-litre fuel tank. At the current Sh159 per litre of petrol in Nairobi, it would cost you approximately Sh15,000 to fill it.

It consumes a litre of petrol for every five kilometres covered.

Nairobi to Mombasa, via A8, is approximately 480 kilometres. Using the LX-570, you'll need 96 litres of petrol to drive between the two points. That means, you'll need some Sh15,300 worth of fuel to shuttle between the two cities at the current pump prices.

Clearly, this is not a vehicle for the average motorist, and that makes it unattractive to this group of people, who, nonetheless, harbour ambitions to own it someday.

Its maintenance and repair costs is also high.

Some of its common problems are failure of Remote Engine Start function in extremely cold temperatures, abnormal fan belt noise, distortion when using Bluetooth hands-free system, airbag-related problems and vehicle speed control issues.