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More Details on the Lexus 600h L Hybrid Powertrain

LS 600h L.

At the Paris Auto Show, Lexus provided more details on the powertrain and performance of its luxury hybrid flagship, the LS 600h L, introduced earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show. (Earlier post.)

The Lexus Hybrid Drive in the LS 600h L 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 330 kW (442 hp) of total system power. Fuel consumption is rated at less than 9.5 liters/100km (more than 25 mpg US), and CO2 emissions are less than 220 g/km.

As with the Lexus RX and GS hybrid models, the LS 600h’s “600” suffix refers not to the cubic capacity of the engine but to a power output comparable to that of a 6.0-liter V-12 normally-aspirated engine.

Engine. The longitudinally-mounted 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine is derived from the 4.6-liter powerplant in the LS 460. To reduce the overall weight of the engine, the cylinder block is die-cast from a lightweight, high-strength aluminium alloy. The block structure and rib reinforcement design have been finalized through the incorporation of cylinder combustion pressure data to minimize both vibration and noise. The engine head cover is also constructed in a lightweight magnesium alloy.

The new V8 features a D-4s (direct injection 4-stroke superior version) stoichiometric direct injection system, the world’s only automotive injection system to adopt two injectors per cylinder—one injector installed in the combustion chamber and a second mounted in the intake port.

The D-4s system’s port injectors employ 2 holes to inject fuel at a maximum pressure of 4 bar, while the in-cylinder injectors feature twin, 0.52 x 0. 3 mm rectangular slits producing a double fan injection pattern to effect the most homogeneous possible air/fuel mix.

Under cold start conditions, D-4s employs port injection during intake and direct injection during compression, producing a lean air/fuel mixture of 15-16:1. By concentrating the richer mixture around the spark plug it is possible to raise the combustion temperature, contributing to a quicker warm up of the Lexus thin-wall catalysts.

At idle, the engine runs on direct injection alone, due to its higher efficiency. In addition, and unique to the LS 600h and GS 450h, the electronic management maintains engine revolutions at an ideal speed to improve warm-up.

When the engine is running under a low- to medium-load at lower speeds, both direct and port injection systems are used during the intake stroke. This creates an homogeneous, 4.5: stoichiometric air/fuel ratio to stabilize combustion, improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

When the engine is running under heavy loads, the direct injection system alone is employed. This achieves an intake cooling effect by injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber, which improves the efficiency of each charge. It also allows for a higher engine compression ratio of 11.8:1, reducing pre-ignition tendencies and improving engine output and performance. Once again, a 12-15:1 stoichiometric air/fuel ratio is effected during the intake stroke.

D-4s substantially reduces combustion fluctuations in comparison to any conventional, direct or port injection system. D-4s realizes optimum engine efficiency throughout the power band and improving torque by 7.5% across the rev range, while minimizing fuel consumption and emissions.

The engine is also equipped with Lexus’ Dual VVT-i. This optimized, low-pressure loss, variable intake and exhaust valve timing system incorporates VVT-iE, the world’s first electric motor-driven intake camshaft, which operates across the full engine revolution and temperature spectrum.

Hydraulic VVT cannot operate below 1,000 rpm or during engine warmup. However, the Electric Motor Driven VVT system will operate across the full engine revolution and temperature spectrum, with a cam response speed of 50 degrees per second towards the lag phase and 50 degrees per second towards the advance phase.

Due to cam phase shifts when the engine stops, it is difficult to halt the cam at the optimum position for engine re-start using the electric motor alone. For that Lexus engineers have developed a mechanism employing frictional resistance and speed reduction gearing to hold the cam phase in the ideal position for engine start-up.

The new V8 further features a semi-dual exhaust manifold that reduces interference in the flow of exhaust gases, further improving output and combustion efficiency.

Motor and Electronics. The LS 600h Lexus Hybrid Drive employs a three-phase, permanent magnet AC synchronous motor, operating on a 650-Volt current, delivering more than 60 kW.

A change in the magnet distribution enhances operating quietness. Coiling the magnetic alternate, and hence holding the magnetic force, results in a smoother, more stable motor rotation.

The hybrid drive also consists of a generator; a high-performance NiMH battery; a power split device which combines and reallocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements; and a Power Control Unit (PCU) to govern the high speed interaction of the system components.

All-wheel drive and transmission. The LS 600h features a new, mechanical, all-wheel drive system and a newly developed, dual-stage, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

The all-wheel drive transmission relies on a 3-differential configuration and a propeller shaft, coupled directly to the hybrid transmission.A permanently engaged mechanical transfer system distributes drive power with a ratio of 40% to the front wheels and 60% to the rear.

A center limited-slip differential optimizes grip, traction and vehicle handling on all-road conditions. Traction and grip characteristics are further enhanced by the vehicle’s advanced stability control system, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management.

As in the GS 450h, the Lexus Hybrid Drive’s electric motor, generator, power split planetary gear mechanism and motor-speed reduction gearing are all housed in one lightweight, highly compact transmission casing.

The combined installation of these components within a single compact casing is fundamental to the successful installation of Lexus’ hybrid drive system in a longitudinal, front-engine sedan platform.

The Lexus Hybrid Drive ECU selectively controls the rpm of the engine and electric motor, and the E-CVT (Electric Continuously Variable Transmission) simulates a continuous variation of the transmission’s current ratio. Similar to that of the GS 450h, the two-stage motor speed reduction gearing generates maximum low-gear torque for significantly enhanced acceleration, as well as extended high-gear performance for high speed cruising with improved fuel efficiency.



This is an example of how Toyota and Honda are winning the technology race as well as market share. The patent estate that these companies are builting make it even tougher for Ford & GM to compete. The technology in this V8 will likely end up in their pickups and SUVs in coming years. A T2B5 diesel hybrid program is probably underway too. It is too bad Toyota have not launched a RAV4 or pickup hybrid instead of this high end boat. Could there be some kind of gentleman's agreement with Ford?

shaun mann

some of those components sound nice.

you could make a decent electric motorcycle with that 60kW motor and battery pack.

i don't have much use for large sedans personally, but i guess automakers have to build for the market to make money and toyota has probably seen too many wealthy old people getting into priuses.

Sid Hoffman

Mark, Toyota recently stated they will never make a diesel hybrid. See link:

Bud Johns

Wait till this engine technology trickles down to the entire lineup. As for the dual stage "transmission", it's already in the Camry hybrid, and will surely be in the '08 prius. They added a second set of planetary gears. Rock on, Toyota!

Hydrogen Fan

The reason I like this Lexus is that for the value its outstanding. It has taken the intermediate step of hybrid in a more marketable direction that BMW's dual LH2 - gas V12 for the new 760. Although long-term id put my money into the hydrogen highway.

What I'd love to see now is a battery motor that can perform at the same levels as the hybrid -- To Toyota and Honda the invitation is open!!

Bud Johns

BTW, go to Lexus' website and view a wonderful demonstration of this mind-blowing car........


The LS600h is truly remarkable, they are really pushing the limits of hybrid technology and good on them. btw... I have to say that Honda have done shat in comparison so stop using the two companies in the same breath.

Absolutely gutted about the no diesel-hybrid news, the 90bhp D4-D is a gem, and toyota generally charge about £500 (or less) to fit a diesel over the petrol in corolla etc. That is what? 10 fill-ups to break even over petrol version... makes no sense to me why they wouldn't hybrid it, anyway that is another thread.


It is a pity they didn't also produce a 400h (or a 300h) which was sized for economy and say 140mph performance and see how economical they could get it ( alongside the 600h)

This would keep the greenies on side.
- JM


This news does for me about what news of GM advances does for you guys.

Until they put such engine efficiency technology in their 4 cylinder engines (they could downsize the current 1.8L to 1.6L and have the same power output or take the 2.4L back to 2.2L with the same power employing these technologies) it has no impact on me or my life.

Sid- many automakers (and everybody else for that matter) make bold statements that they will never do X technology or make X equipment...until they can show a profit from such activities.

John W.

Sure, great technology, but the horsepower levels are overkill and ludicrous. Reminds me of the old movie: "Spaceballs." Offered on the next model will be a button on the dash labeled "ludicrous speed." Push it to enjoy greater than warp speeds.

But the guys with lots of money can afford to buy their toys I guess...

by the way, Realist, you make a point about Honda not doing as much (at present, on "appearances") in the auto market, but they are doing a lot that Toyota isn't. Look at their home webpages: they have a mass produced programmable fuel injection for 50cc scooters now, planned on being implemented in all motorcycles by 2010 or so. They are putting VCM on their motorcycles now! They have developed an "advanced vtec" engine that is 13% more efficient than a base 2.4 liter i-vtec engine that currently exists!! On and on the list goes. They put these things in Japan first though, it seems. Hec, they have a new compact "absolute" odyssey that is a 2.4 liter four cylinder that puts out 200 horse and also looks real swank. Honda's temporary lull in automotive hybrid display is probably just that: temporary. They are easily Toyota's equal technologically. I would say Honda is superior, but that point is debatable of course.

fyi CO2

Even though I doubt anyone will realise 25mpg in real world L600h driving, nevertheless, this is another SULEV from Lexus with feelings of Schadenfreude for Mercedes, BMW


Until they put such engine efficiency technology in their 4 cylinder engines (they could downsize the current 1.8L to 1.6L and have the same power output or take the 2.4L back to 2.2L with the same power employing these technologies) it has no impact on me or my life.

Isn't the Prius a 4 cylinder? It gets 61 mpg in the city.

That's not good enough for you?



Honda is focusing mainly on improvements to their small, otherwise 4 cyl engines, which is understandable, because that's Honda's "core" product. Honda started off as a motorcycle maker, and even now, their expertise is limited to 4 cyl engines. Sure, they make some great V6 engines, but they are not *experts* at it, and both Nissan and Toyota beat Honda in V6 engine expertise. And lets not even get into V8s here, seeing as Honda has yet to make a production V8. And no, one-off racing Honda V8s don't count.

Toyota recently announced that on top of their focus on hybrids, they too would be releasing more ethanol cars in Brazil, they would continue their diesel focus in different areas around the world, and most signficantly, that their entire engine and transmission lineup would be overhauled. Has Honda claimed to be working on such a feat? Not to mention, Toyota has hybrid fuel cell buses currently in public use in Japan.

For example, Toyota is well under way in replacing all their V6 models with the new GR series of V6 engines. Toyota's dated V8 gas engines, the UZ series, are being replaced by the new UR series engines. Furthermore, Toyota has developed a new 4 cyl engine that will first appear on the new Corolla, and later other cars. Also take a look at the numerous new transmissions Toyota is putting out, and developing.

Toyota has experience in making V12 as well as diesel engines, mainly through their Hino subsidiary. Honda has no competitive answer whatsoever to Hino's diesel engines.

Honda's current 2.2L diesel sold in Europe was developed mainly by Isuzu, tied to a joint agreement several years back made by Honda and GM. GM in return got Honda's 3.5L V6 to use in the Saturn Vue. Honda did this because they didn't have experience in diesels.

Ron Fischer

But the guys with lots of money can afford to buy their toys I guess...

New technology always gets introduced at the top of the market, or the company takes a loss (as for startup sales of Prius). Early adopters, God bless 'em, are willing to pay premium prices and this jump starts sales at other levels. Thank goodness for the buyers of the Tesla Roadster too. With time all of these companies will want to sell in higher volume, lower-cost markets to drive component prices down and keep building their revenue.


442 horsepower...oh my god I can hear the poles melting.Where is the eco warrior that was gonna hunt down polluters and off them.

Max Reid

A V8 engine + motor giving V12 power to take on Benz & BMW's with V12 engine.

What they are saying is that a motor has the power of 4 cylinders.

And the next gen LS600 may have a V6 engine with powerful motor having V6 power.
And the next gen LS600 may have a V4 engine with powerful motor having V8 power.
And the next gen LS600 may have motor alone having V12 power.

That will be the end of combustion engine. Where Benz & BMW will be is a big ?.

Roger Pham

This a fantastic showcase of new engine technology and hybrid powertrain. The VVT-iE is a great idea in that much more precise control of variable timing over that of hydraulic mechanism. The two-stage multi-mode port and direct fuel injection system (D4s) is also great in that it allows for maximum efficiency at all speeds thanks to a high compression ration of 11.8! Hopefully eventually, these technologies will trickle down to lower models.
The 25mpg rating is superior to any car in that size and weight range in the uber-luxury market, that get typically 15mpg. This is fantastic, a ~70% improvement in fuel efficiency over the competition. This will open the way for hydrogen fuel with a lot of range using compressed H2 instead of the much less efficient LH2, to compete with the BMW hydrogen 7.


The Prius does not have the innovations listed in this article so once again the technological innovations listed have no impact on my life.

Show me the direct injection on the prius, the dual injection scheme, the electronic variable valve timing, and the high flow low intereference headers.

Now when they implement the technology indicated in the article into a Prius motor (or any other 4-cylinder they have) then it will have an impact on me but not until then. Now please show me where I said Toyota doesn't make an efficient 4-cylinder engine. Reading comprehension is an important skill.


The Prius does not have the innovations listed in this article so once again the technological innovations listed have no impact on my life.

Well, if other people buy the technology and it lowers fuel consumption, emissions, and so forth, it definitely has an impact on your life. I assume the next gen Prius should be much more advanced than the current generation, so you're kind of splitting hairs. They apply their technology across many platforms.

Now please show me where I said Toyota doesn't make an efficient 4-cylinder engine. Reading comprehension is an important skill.

Oh, that's nice. Now we're going there.

Let's quote you, OK?

"Until they put such engine efficiency technology in their 4 cylinder engines... it has no impact on me or my life."

Is Toyota putting "such" engine efficiency technology into their 4 cylinder engines? What do you mean by "such"? Isn't the point that there is high tech being applied to 4 cylinder plants and it results in high fuel mileage? Because that's precisly what Toyota is doing and has been doing for quite some time. Next gen Prius is going to be, what, 94 mpg? This dissatisfies you?

Don't be so petty and start talking about "reading comprehension". Focus on the point of what you're saying and the impacts of what's being described.

John W.


Whoa Nelly! What I said shouldn't be constituted as an insult to Toyota, I hope you didn't take it that way. I'd love to own a prius after an insight. Perhaps you own a toyota? But I'm not putting them down.

I'm glad you seem to know what Honda is an expert in and not, I just look at their track record, reliability and green policy across the board and say they're very excellent. Unmatched from what I have seen.

Wanna know why they don't build an 8 cylinder? Because they choose not to. Because they don't need to. Their six's are good enough unless you want to tow a trailer of concrete, and their four's have for years made other's 6's look bad. Of course they overhaul their lineups all the time too! Were you implying only toyota does so because they mouth the words? There were many many things left unsaid by me, simply because it's debatable. Does Toyota have a kick but formula one car/engine they built themselves, did toyota build a jet, let alone one with 40% better mileage than competitors on the first shot, etc etc. Having a longer list doesn't make a "winner" here. Whatever you do, don't pit the two against each other, or think I do, although some friendly competition between them is good for us all.

By the way, I never heard Honda "mainly" relied on another company to build for them their own 2.2 liter diesel in Europe. For a company that had no experience in diesels, they sure seem to rock now don't they? Sources? I'm here to learn.

Don't get me wrong: Toyota is an excellent company overall. Just not as excellent as Honda! Ha ha ha!


You're last line sums it up quite well. FOCUS on the conversation. What is the "such" being discussed? Was this an article on Atkinson cycle engines? Was this an article on general improvements to engines with open endedness as to what technology can be applied? NO and NO.

The article specifically discusses several technologies relating to gasoline engines of which NONE are used in any current Toyota engine.

You can quote all day long but reading comprehension has to do with taking in the context of the entirety of the conversation not just hand picking something and trying to take it out of the context to be examined on its own. So, with that in mind, read the article then read my comment and you will see that it all makes sense as the "such" is implied based on the article.

When they apply this technology into a 4 cylinder it will impact me. While this technology is applied to High end luxury extended platform vehicles it has no impact on me. The number of these vehicles which will be sold amounts to a lowering of fuel consumption equivalent to me not driving my car for a month (compared to a standard V-12 long wheel base model). This technology impacts me as much as heated leather massaging seats do (which I'm sure is an available option on this vehicle).

It is not being "petty" to discuss reading comprehension because mis-communication [especially easy with the lack of additional communication cues such as body language and tone of voice] is quite prevalent with this very impersonal mode of communication.


I would like to modify my previous message to say of which NONE are used in any current 4-cylinder Toyota engine.


I suggest using water to wash the sand out as soap and vinegar will kill beneficial bacteria causing you to get a nasty infection.

Sorry, this article does not say "Toyota's next gen Prius" or "Toyota's next gen Camry Hybrid" so while you are literate you are definitely having trouble with digesting the basic material presented before you. If this becomes available on a 4 cylinder engine in 23 months than I will care.

Please show me a single owner of such a vehicle who makes an effort to drive in an efficient manner? Large heavy vehicles with hybrid systems driven in an ordinary fashion have been shown to gain relatively few benefits from hybridization other than severe start-stop bumper to bumper traffic. Please see reviews such as Car and Driver, Road and Track, Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics, etc. Now you or I may be able to drive in such a manner so as to save fuel but it is very doubtful that the owners of these vehicles will drive in such a manner (especially with the possibility that someone else will be driving given that this is a long wheel base model).

Long wheel base models don't capture a significantly large portion of the market compared to the standard model. Someone who can afford to be driven around is likely to have multiple cars and even those who can afford this vehicle are very unlikely to use it as their sole daily transportation. A 15% reduction in fuel use would be optimistic at best under the expected operational conditions.

...btw once again your failure at reading comprehension prevented you from determining a hyberbole being used facetiously to simply point out that this is not likely to save much fuel at all even if you take the entire fleet of the vehicles sold.


The 6 litre, the weight of AWD and 3 power-burning differentials? Why bother?


Please continue the petty bickering.  I find it most intriguing.

This is very interesting compared to my previous daily driver, a V6 Taurus SHO.  The SHO had ~200 HP on tap, but only got about 26 MPG on the highway.  The Lexus has more than twice the power, but gets 25 MPG.

If government policy required that performance cars get most of their peak power from batteries, we'd see a large increase in economy over inefficient piston engines loafing at a fraction of peak power.

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