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Lexus introducing new mid-size hybrid coupe concept at Paris Motor Show; new 2.5L full-hybrid powertrain to enter model range soon

Rendering of the Lexus LF-CC Click to enlarge.

Lexus will introduce the LF-CC, a new, mid-sized coupe concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Earlier this year, Lexus unveiled the LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe concept at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show. (Earlier post.)

The more compact, rear-wheel drive, full hybrid LF-CC integrates various design cues from the LF-LC and illustrates the evolution of the design language to be reflected in future Lexus D-Segment vehicles. The LF-LC is powered by a new 2.5 liter full-hybrid powertrain which will be introduced soon in the Lexus model range. The LF-CC also indicates the launch of a premium mid-sized coupe in the D Segment in the near future, Lexus said.

The new 2.5 liter full-hybrid powertrain delivers a combination of performance appropriate to a sporting, D-segment coupe and low CO2 emissions, targeted below 100 g/km. Lexus says that this powertrain will achieve class-leading energy efficiency, with more than 2 hp produced per gram of CO2.

This Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain features an all-new 2.5 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a compact, high-output, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor. Adapted specifically for the hybrid powertrain, the all-new 2.5 liter, DOHC, 4-cylinder engine benefits from several technical improvements. It adopts the Atkinson cycle and D-4S direct and port injection technology to optimize both the power and fuel-efficiency benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive.

In addition to the engine and electric motor, the LF-CC hybrid drive system further comprises a generator, a high-performance battery, a power split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements, and a compact power control unit to govern the high speed interaction of the system components.



When do we get a Lexus EV?? Or PHEV??

Roger Pham

Welcome back, Reel$$, and you've raised a very important point from both engineering perspective and marketing perspective!

Luxury hybrids have not sold well due to the requirement of a big engine for power, result in unimpressive mpg improvement. The battery pack in a HEV is far too small to provide much electric boost, even though the electric motor's hp is substantial. For example, the Prius has a total of over 100 kW of electric motor power, yet can only deliver 30 kW of electric boost, due to the small size of the battery. So, the Prius can muster a maximum of 100 kW of power, of which 70 kW comes from the engine and 30 kW comes from the battery. A PHEV Prius can deliver as much as 170 kW of total power if it has a big enough battery pack and power electronics. Indeed, the PHEV Prius can deliver nearly 200 hp in comarison to the HEV Prius with 134 hp.

Too bad, prospective Prius owners do not appreciate this huge gain in power, hence the PHEV Prius is not selling nearly as well as the HEV counterpart. Prius shoppers are cost-conscious and are less willing to fork out the extra $$ for the extra hp of the PHEV Prius. Lexus owners are more wealthier and want power and are willing to pay for it!

What Toyota can do is use the power train of the PHEV Prius onto a new PHEV Lexus chassis and badge, and upgrade to Lithium battery for a new 200 kW PHEV Lexus capable of 200 kW, or 268 hp on tap and very willing to go. Priced at above $40,000 for a new PHEV Lexus, this is a pure bargain and will sell like hot cakes as far as luxury vehicles are concerned. People can be proud of owning a Lexus yet, if plugged in everyday, can save the owner ~$15-20,000 worth of fuel cost over the life of the car. This is like buying an equivalent $20-25,000 ICEV while getting the Lexus badge, status, and luxury for FREE. Design and Marketing is everything, just ask Steve Jobs!


I am also puzzled why there is no Lexus PHEV. There was some talk of a CT 200H PHEV, back in 2010 for 2012, but since then no further news.

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