Lexus unveiled the all-new 2008 LS 600h L hybrid luxury sedan at a press conference at the 2006 New York International Automobile Show. Scheduled to arrive in Spring 2007, the all-wheel-drive LS 600h L will be the world’s first vehicle to feature a full hybrid V8 powertrain.
The all-wheel-drive LS600h will be launched in Australia in the first half of 2007.It will be the world’s first vehicle of any class or category to feature a full hybrid V8 powertrain.
Available only in long wheelbase in Australia, the LS600h hybrid combines the best of Lexus’ luxury, technology and performance. The vehicle will build on the performance hybrid strategy to be released with the GS450h in May followed by the RX400h later this year.
The LS600h will combine an all-new five-litre V8 petrol engine with combined massive, high-output electric motors and a newly designed large-capacity battery pack.It will deliver a peak, combined output of more than 430hp.
“The flagship LS600h, as with the entire Lexus performance hybrid program, is about Lexus stretching its reign as a technology and performance luxury leader,” said John Roca, corporate manager, Lexus Australia.
A new all-wheel-drive system will give superior handling, while a newly developed dual-stage electronic continuously variable-transmission will deliver the hybrid flagship’s considerable power. With electric motors providing infinite torque from rest, the V8 hybrid system will deliver power seamlessly with impressive acceleration and passing speed.
The LS600h drivetrain is recognised as the automotive industry’s most advanced petrol-electric hybrid system. It is anticipated that it will provide 12-cylinder engine power with V6 fuel economy - estimated at approximately 14 litres/60 miles. As a SULEV-rated (Super Low Emissions) vehicle, LS600h is estimated to produce just 20 per cent of the smog-forming emissions of a conventional five-litre V8.
“Obviously we save the best for the flagship. The original LS400 shook up the luxury auto market back in 1990, and the LS600h follows that tradition,” said Mr Roca. "There is nothing currently available - or to my knowledge even in planning stage - that can offer LS600h’s immense power with its surprising fuel economy and low emissions.”
As released in New York, LS600h will feature a suite of world-first safety systems, such as Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS), which can anticipate and act on possible collisions with pedestrians. LS600h’s interior is predictably indulgent. Its 5151mm wheelbase will be 122mm longer than that of the LS460 available in Australia from November this year.
A host of Lexus-level luxury appointments include a four-person seating configuration with a fixed rear console and fold-out table, and a right rear-seat 45-degree recliner with ottoman and vibration massage.
A 19-speaker premium Mark Levinson stereo and 19-inch DVD fold-down screen are standard across the new LS line.The all-wheel-drive LS600h will be launched in Australia in the first half of 2007.It will be the world’s first vehicle of any class or category to feature a full hybrid V8 powertrain.
"The LS 600h L was developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style and safety," said Bob Carter, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. "It is a vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced, a far-reaching concept, fully developed and fully realized. It is simply in a class by itself."
Lexus Hybrid Drive
Coinciding with the debut of the all-new LS is the introduction of the Lexus Hybrid Drive name, which will be used globally for all Lexus hybrid models. The hybrid-drive system in the LS 600h L builds upon the Toyota
and Lexus legacy established by the Prius, RX 400h and GS 450h to combine an all-new five-liter V8 gasoline engine with large, high-output electric motors and a newly designed large-capacity battery pack. This advanced combination will provide the LS 600h L with an unmatched balance of environmental efficiency and performance, furnishing the hybrid with a peak combined output rating of more than 430 horsepower.
To distribute this immense power, a new full-time all-wheel-drive system is utilized for superior handling control. The LS 600h L also employs a newly developed dual-stage electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. This combination results in impressive power and seamless acceleration.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system found in the LS 600h L is the automotive industry’s most advanced gas-electric hybrid system developed to date, providing power and performance on par with modern 12-cylinder engines while still delivering best-in-V8-class fuel efficiency. It will equal or better the combined fuel-economy ratings of smaller V6 all-wheel drive mid-sized luxury sedans.
The LS hybrid is expected to carry a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating. A SULEV rating means the LS 600h L has nearly 70-percent cleaner emissions than the "cleanest" of its competitors.
"It is fair to say that there is nothing on the road, or on the drawing board, that comes close to delivering such a formerly contradictory combination of jaw-dropping engine performance, fuel efficiency and clean emissions," Carter said.
Owing to the inherent noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) improvements offered by its hybrid powertrain, the LS 600h L is designed to set a new standard for silent running in the prestige-luxury sedan class. The depth and density of cabin quietness in the LS 600h L required extensive re-engineering of accessory motors and switches.
With "quiet-ride" ranking as one of the top five reasons for purchase of prestige-luxury vehicles, especially among current LS owners, the LS 600h L is well-situated in its class and poised to please the exacting luxury-car buyer. Its NVH levels are about half that found in conventional cars, making the hybrid LS one of the quietest automobiles ever built, if not the quietest.