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Lexus Unveils Top-End LS 600h L Luxury Hybrid

Ls600hl
The top-end Lexus 600h L: The “exclamation point” to the brand.

Toyota’s Lexus division introduced its new flagship at the New York International Auto Show today: the 2008 Lexus LS 600h L. This hybrid version of the recently-introduced LS 460 (earlier post) combines a new 5.0-liter gasoline direct-injection V8 with large, high-output electric motors and a newly-designed battery pack to deliver more than 430 horsepower (321 kW).

Lexus expects the vehicle to earn a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) rating. By comparison, the LS 460, the 600h’s conventional counterpart, uses a 4.6-liter V8 that delivers 380 hp and earns a ULEV II rating. Lexus is positioning the 600h as delivering the power and performance of a 12-cylinder with best-in-class V8 fuel efficiency.

Lexus expects the V8-powered LS 460 to earn a combined city/highway mileage rating in the low 20s.

The 600h uses a new full-time all-wheel-drive system, and employs a newly developed dual-stage electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. The 460 models are rear-wheel drive and use a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The LS made quite a definitive statement. Today we’d like to add an exclamation point to that statement. The LS hybrid is that exclamation point.

It’s a vehicle developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style, safety and technology. A vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced...

—Bob Carter, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager

Coinciding with the debut of the all-new LS is the introduction of the Lexus Hybrid Drive name, which Lexus will now use globally for all its hybrid models.

The LS 600h L—which will be offered only with the long wheelbase (the “L”) in North America—will go on-sale in April 2007, six months after the LS 460 and LS 460 L launch in October 2006. More details will emerge closer to the sale introduction.

Comments

Nick

Re displacement vs fuel economy:

All things being equal, a smaller displacement throttled gasoline engine running closer to its maximum power will deliver better thermodynamic efficiency that a larger displacement engine of the same type delivering the same output while running at a fractional load. This is why cylinder deactivation improves fuel economy--you cut displacement in half, open up the throttle and run the engine closer to it's new (lower) maximum power. Yes there are a lot of other variables and complexities, and yes you can tweak engines in lots of ways to improve efficiency, but in an apples to apples comparison the above is true.

James

Thats quite a silly comparison. With cylinder deactivation the other half of the engine is used when it is needed, this would not be possible with just a smaller engine.

Justin

Nick
You really need to do more reseach on the subject before you make blanket statements like this. Most of what you are saying simply isn't true and you have already been proven wrong.

Nick

James:

"Thats quite a silly comparison. With cylinder deactivation the other half of the engine is used when it is needed, this would not be possible with just a smaller engine."

True, but beside the point. The point is that the engine uses less gas on 4 cylinders when running at partial load than it would if all 8 cylinders were firing. In effect, displacement has been halved and efficiency has gone up for *that constant load*, even though weight and internal friction have not changed. Matching engine displacement to load provides a more efficient powertrain. Loads on auto engines vary widely, of course (idling, cruising, acceleration, etc), so auto engines are typically oversized for their most common loads and run at partial load almost all the time.

This is a well-understood and non-controversial fact.

And with that, it's time to move on.

Justin

"True, but beside the point. The point is that the engine uses less gas on 4 cylinders when running at partial load than it would if all 8 cylinders were firing."

That statement is just plain incorrect. The only reason the engine is consuming less fuel is because it doesn't have to open and close the valves to those cyls. The pistons are still moving up and down and creating pumping loses every time they move.
There are plenty of examples where a smaller less powerful engine will be less efficient at moving the exact same load as a higher displacement engine. Your idea of a civic engine in a corvette is a perfect example of this. The civic engine will have to run a much higher RPM to do the same work as the 6.0 litre V8. This will push the engine outside its high efficiency load range and increase fuel consumption beyond that of the V8. Most car engines are already designed from the factory to function at their peak efficiency in normal operating conditions in the car they are installed.

lensovet

hey let's talk about this car?
i think personally that it's great that this car will have super-charged electrics. this has a more advanced CVT, high-powered motors, and full-time 4-wheel drive (though I hope that you can turn that off? i don't see the point of having 4 wheels driving when you're coasting on a dry flat highway).
the cost of this car will be so high that people won't give a damn about how much gas costs. the good thing is that eventually this can become the "only" model, and overall fuel efficiency will go up in the market segment.
don't forget emissions too, people, come on! SULEV versus ULEV II? that's major.

toyo

The combined estimated fuel economy for the LS600hL is 22mpg, not 17, wherever that number came from.

Lexus specifically said fuel economy that beats best-in-class V8s, so that means low 20s combined rating, which is exactly where the estimated 22mpg combined rating comes from.

Consider for a moment that this is a large, long wheelbase sedan, with a mechanical AWD system. It is not an electric AWD system like that on a Highlander Hybrid or RX400h. Also consider the weight of the hybrid system. I think apart from handling and stability during cornering, a mechanical AWD was developed out of necessity, as the 5L dual fuel injection V8 combined with the hybrid system will be putting out an enormous amount of torque.

This is a big heavy vehicle, and as you can see, it's an all-out performance hybrid. But it still means that it will have best-in-class fuel economy and SULEV emissions.

hampden wireless

You wrote:
The pistons are still moving up and down and creating pumping loses every time they move.
---------------

Thats not true. If you just cut off the fuel to the cylinder then that would happen but in these engines they close the valves in the turned off cyliders. The trapped air forms a spring and that has proven to be quite efficient. Sure there is still friction but that is not a large factor. Pumping losses on the other hand are a huge factor.

Justin

So where exactly do we disagree?

hampden wireless

There are no pumping losses on these engines that turn off cylinders. Just minor friction looses.

Justin

There are pumping loses. When the deactivated piston moves down with the valves closed the pressure in the crank case on the bottom side of the piston is higher than the vacuum created inside the cylinder. Hence pumping loss. The energy to overcome this pumping loss has to come from the other 4 cyls that are working. When the deactivated cyl moves back up it can't recover all of the energy that was lost on the down stroke. The main benefit of cyl deactivation is switching off 8 out of 16 valves in these 2 valve/cyl engines. If you do the research you will also find that GM and Chrysler's pushrod operated 16 valves V8s are generally far more fuel efficient than almost all other smaller displacement 36 (4 valve/cyl) DOHC V8s of the same output. In these 36 valve engines a disproportionate amount of energy is lost in turning 4 cams and compressing 36 valve springs (as opposed to one cam and 16 valves in a small block chevy for example).

Justin

There are pumping loses. When the deactivated piston moves down with the valves closed the pressure in the crank case on the bottom side of the piston is higher than the vacuum created inside the cylinder. Hence pumping loss. The energy to overcome this pumping loss has to come from the other 4 cyls that are working. When the deactivated cyl moves back up it can't recover all of the energy that was lost on the down stroke. The main benefit of cyl deactivation is switching off 8 out of 16 valves in these 2 valve/cyl engines. If you do the research you will also find that GM and Chrysler's pushrod operated 16 valves V8s are generally far more fuel efficient than almost all other smaller displacement 36 (4 valve/cyl) DOHC V8s of the same output. In these 36 valve engines a disproportionate amount of energy is lost in turning 4 cams and compressing 36 valve springs (as opposed to one cam and 16 valves in a small block chevy for example).

James

Why do people keep saying 'electric supercharger'? It's just annoying.

Charlie

Guess I'm a hippie who's trading in his Mercedes S-class for a Camry hybrid - would have been a Prius, but it's too small for my height. I'd rather be a hippie with a clue about the world we all live in vis-a-vis a corporate cronie (see Dick Cheney) wannabe pretending he's "made it"

Charlie

430hp will take you that much quicker to that brick wall in your 4 car garage, never mind, that's only a facade..

James

Charlie, if you realy care about the environment that much, why are you buying a new car? Recycle an old diesel and convert it to run on veg oil. It's what I'm doing.

Alex

Luxury car,as an friend to nature.

Paul Z

I think it's stupid to call people on this site, hippies. Look at the name www.greencarcongress.com , what are you expecting? It would be like me going to a NASCAR site and calling people on the msg boards "red necks."

Stewball

I own a Lexus 600h . Couldn't be happier with it. One item the car has that hasn't been mentioned is that it monitors the drivers pupils, swaying and bobbing of the head indicating sleepiness and prepares the car for a crash situation. If you are going to collide with a bridge abutment , car , it stops the car. That to me is invaluable. I have a problem with narcolepsy. I do know it is coming on but in case I don't this is a godsend. On the gas mileage end of it I would have been happy with the Prius, but my wife who does a lot of winter driving likes all wheel driving all the time. Asking her to put a truck into 4 wheel drive doesn't work.

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