• Apr 12, 2006

With obvious intentions of dominating the luxury sedan market, Lexus has infused its updated LS four-door with something that no competitor can provide - a V8 full hybrid drivetrain.

Based on a five-liter direct injection V8 engine, the Lexus Hybrid Drive adds a pair of high-power electric motors and a two-stage "electronic continuously variable transmission" to produce up to 430 HP - said to be equivalent to that of a six-liter V12 (hence the model nomenclature). To make sure that power makes it to the pavement, a standard full-time AWD system routes the power to all four wheels. Fuel economy has not yet been disclosed but is said to be similar to that of mid-sized V6 AWD sedans. The LS 600h L will be certified as a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV), giving it emissions levels approximately 70% lower than that of the competition.

Adding to the wiz-bang technology credentials is the newly-developed Lexus Advanced Pre-Collision System, or APCS. It uses two forward-facing cameras and millimeter-wave radar to detect a variety of objects in front of the big sedan, and combines this with a third camera mounted on the steering column to monitor the driver's awareness. If the potential for a collision exists and the driver is not paying attention, an audible and visual alarm is activated. If no action is taken, the system will then begin to apply the vehicle's brakes. Additionally, the variable steering ratio is automatically quickened to improve the vehicle's response to evasive maneuvers. The LS 600h L also becomes the first vehicle in the world to make use of LEDs for low-beam forward lighting.

Available only in the long wheelbase configuration in North American, the new LS hybrid will be built at the Tahara assembly plant, where each vehicle will be hand-sanded twice during the painting process.

Lexus Group VP Bob Carter was joined on-stage by Moritaka Yoshida, the Chief Engineer on the LS. The two of them seemed extremely proud of their creation, and rightfully so.

Click through for plenty more pictures.



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  • 56 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      So a hybrid luxobarge is the most advanced car in the world. Lexus is No 1 and Mercedes, BMW and Audi should be cringing. Wonder where that leaves Formula 1 cars technology wise? You know, those old fashioned rear wheel drive only cars with 8 cylinder engines and mere semi auto gearboxes, non reactive suspensions and nothing much else?
      • 8 Years Ago
      And that my friends, is why Lexus is #1.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #20
      The "maybe"s you mention as an afterthought are a HUGE factor in the figures that you cited. Also, keep in mind that the 7-Series was just refreshed and received a power upgrade.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is this a mechanical AWD system? Or as in the RX 400h and AWD Highlander Hybrid, is one set of wheels--front in this case--driven entirely by the second electric motor? I'm guessing the second, as otherwise I don't see the point of two electric motors.
      • 8 Years Ago
      MJL, what he fuck are you takling about? This story has nothing to do with the fugly 7 series. This car doesn't even have any form of Idrive. And if you haven't been paying atention news flash: the 7 series is a flop! Get a life loser.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is the best Lexus ever. I was never to impresed with what Lexus had to offer the public. But this V8 with V12 power and AWD V6 economy is just what we need to stick it to W and his buddies. Toyota is the best.
      • 8 Years Ago
      when did the guy from BMW take a job at Lexus? Or did Lexus just rip off another design from a European car company? That's probably it since thats all they have done since day one. If you asked me, ( I know, I know, no one is asking me )I'd say it looks like a tarted up Camry. Probably costs 2x's as much too. For my money (probably quite a bit less) I'll take a 300C SRT8. While the techno-geeks are busy fingering thier touch screens, I'll be blasting by.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow. That is one pimped out Azera.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry to break the facts to you but according to Automotive News U.S. Light Vehicle sales, The 7 Series did 1428 units in Feburary 2006, up from 1127 February 2005. The LS did 1015 units for February down from 2028 last February. Now maybe the LS numbers are due to tappered production and public knowledge of the upgrade. Either way you cut it for top of the range machines the sales aren't too shabby. And before you all try to flame me out on the stats they can be found here on their website unfortunately they are reworking free access. So you'll have to hit a library.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually, the front looks a lot like the VW Phaeton. Way to go Lexus...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I see more styling taken from Acura and Infiniti than I do BMW or Mercedes. Lexus has never really taken anything from BMW and the new 7 series has been less than stellar.

      Still, Lexus caters to its own particular group of customers, Toyota are good about delivering the right product based on what they have determined people want.

      I would take it for the quality and environmental responsibility over the snob factor of a traditional German marque. It's not many 7 series owners bought a car that large to tackle narrow winding roads in the mountains anyway. If you can afford to have that amount of luxury and be somewhat socially conscious, why wouldn't you. I guess that one is obvious, the snob factor again.

      I wonder how it will sell though? Won't that be the final answer when it comes to which product is ultimately the best?

      I remember reading about when Honda was worried that no one would buy an Acura because it was made by Honda. My how things have changed.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Love this car, I just don't ever see myself in this "high end" of a car. I enjoy seeing them, and If I squeezed by, could most likely afford it at this point. Lexus just sounds to much like Texas :-)
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