Lexus LS 600h L

When the 2008 LS 600h L hybrid luxury sedan launched the summer of 2006, it provided the highest level of performance and technology, and the truest expression of luxury of any Lexus ever created. The hybrid model elevated the LS to a new level, expanding Lexus and its presence among the ever more discriminating customer.

"The LS 600h L stands as the flagship for the Lexus brand by providing the highest level of technical advancements, ride comfort, safety and luxury of any vehicle in our lineup," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Its development process mixed the old and the new. The old, through a Lexus-established build process that achieves an extraordinary fit and finish only attainable by our master craftsmen, and the new with cutting-edge engineering innovations. Through this combination the LS 600h L raises our own quality expectations and may rank among the most technologically advanced automobiles in the industry."

The all-new LS 600h L is powered by the ultra-quiet Lexus Hybrid Drive system, the automotive industry's most advanced gas-electric hybrid system developed to date that features the world's first full V8, all-wheel-drive (AWD) hybrid drivetrain. The system combines a new 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine with two powerful electric motors and a newly designed large-capacity battery pack that is lighter and extremely quiet. Together, this advanced combination provides the LS 600h L with an unmatched balance of environmental efficiency and performance.

The LS 600h L's Lexus Hybrid Drive system provides power and performance on par with competitors normally aspirated 12-cylinder powerplants. The hybrid powertrain generates a peak combined output rating of 438 horsepower and can effortlessly accelerate the LS 600h L from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Mid-range acceleration is even more impressive. The system's electric motor is capable of delivering maximum torque, on demand, and is most beneficial during passing maneuvers.
Finally, exhilarating torque is in abundance at higher speeds as the LS 600h L rapidly accelerates from 50-70 mph in a rapid 3.5 seconds.

The innovative V8 features an electric-motor driven Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electrically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE). This combination of VVT-i with electric-motor driven intake and a hydraulically controlled two-way exhaust system achieves superior engine-startup operation and high-output performance. A newly developed Hydrocarbon Adsorber and Catalyst (HCAC) system is linked to the two-way exhaust to help prevent hydrocarbons contained in the exhaust from being released into the atmosphere during cold start up when the catalysts are not up to temperature.

The LS 600h L's high-output performance is matched with a preliminary MY08 EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency rating of 20 in the city, and 22 on the highway. Its combined fuel economy rating of 21 mpg is equal to or better than the combined fuel-economy ratings of many V6 all-wheel-drive mid-sized luxury sedans.

The LS hybrid carries a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating. A SULEV rating means the LS 600h L has nearly 70 percent fewer smog forming emissions than vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine and cleaner than the ambient air in some major cities.

An added benefit to Lexus Hybrid Drive is the significant reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) it delivers to the LS 600h L. The new V8 is tuned to reduce vibration and sound by adding additional sound insulating materials around the cylinder head covers. Additional NVH reduction is achieved by reducing damper pulley tensions and perfecting engine mount sizes and locations through repeated testing by Lexus engineers. The NVH levels in the LS 600h L are approximately half those found in other luxury cars, making it one of the quietest automobiles ever built.

The LS 600h L is defined as a "full hybrid," capable of operating in electric-only mode or with a combination of the gas engine and electric motor. In contrast, other hybrid technologies require constant gas operation and are not capable of running only on electric power alone. Lexus hybrid technology allows electric-mode-only operation at low speeds or stop-and-go driving conditions, reducing fuel consumption and noise.

The hybrid system in the LS 600h L uses a 288-volt DC Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) compact battery pack installed behind the rear seat. The trunk also contains a 12-volt auxiliary battery that powers the audio, navigation, and other systems. The battery's power is directed through a "boost converter" that efficiently raises voltage to a maximum 650V DC. An inverter changes this to AC, providing it elevated power to a 165-kW electric motor that turns at a rate of as much as 10,240 rpm.

The vast power of the LS 600h L is distributed by a newly developed full-time AWD system that delivers superior handling and traction control. This state-of-the-art system adapts to almost any road surface to help provide excellent vehicle stability during acceleration, high-speed driving and cornering while also delivering the natural handling feel of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

The powerful acceleration of the LS 600h L is matched by responsive handling that includes a class-leading turning radius while maintaining the ultra-comfortable ride that has become synonymous with all Lexus vehicles. Lexus engineers developed multi-link front- and rear-suspension systems to achieve outstanding adaptability to unevenness in road surfaces, including a new multi-link front suspension exclusive to the LS 600h L. This new suspension helps overcome under-steering and drifting situations common when driving an AWD vehicle at high speeds. A newly developed front suspension and an optional active stabilizer help maintain exceptional vehicle control and ride comfort during high-speed lane changes or driving on winding roads.

Stylish projector-type headlamps with blue crystal rings, which also include the world's first night-time LED low beams, provide excellent visibility and contribute to the LS 600h L styling theme. Blue accents on the front headlamps, taillamps, badging, engine cover and the SmartAccess key fobs and Smart Card key are unique to the LS 600h L.

Passenger space and luxury comfort were the primary focus of the interior cabin design. Genuine semi-aniline leather is featured throughout the cabin, its rich appearance softened and structured with additional stitching to create a relaxed atmosphere. The leather-trim extends beyond the seats and onto the instrument panel, upper front doors and door armrests. The center console adds to passenger comfort and convenience through perfect angle placement for ease of use from either the driver or front passenger seat and is placed at the same height as the door armrests for a comfortable balance. Additional luxury touches unique to the LS 600h L includes a wood-trimmed and chrome-plated shift knob and wood-trimmed assist grip.

Source: Lexus press

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