When Lexus introduced the fifth-generation LS about three years ago, many were disappointed to find out there was no V8 underneath its long and imposing hood. All of its predecessors were offered with a variety of eight-cylinder engines depending on the generation, but the current model codenamed XF50 comes exclusively in a V6 flavor. The silver lining is Japanese publication Mag-X claims the bigger engine is set to make a comeback.
If the report is to be believed, Lexus will introduce a V8-powered LS with the mid-cycle update the fullsize luxury sedan will receive in the foreseeable future, possibly in 2021. The model’s powertrain is said to benefit from electric assistance, meaning it would be a hybrid V8 likely set to revive the LS 600h moniker first used in 2007.
Gallery: 2020 Lexus LS 500 Inspiration Series
It’s unclear whether it will use an existing V8 or an all-new engine, but we’ll remind you the previous-generation LS 600h with its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter 2UR-FSE and electric motor offered a combined 439 horsepower (327 kilowatts). That number is already a step up from the 415 hp available in the LS 500 with its twin-turbo V6, although the latter’s forced induction means a healthier torque figure of 442 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) vs 385 lb-ft (520 Nm). Torque in the latest LS 500 kicks in considerably earlier in the rpm range (1,600 rpm vs 4,000 rpm) thanks to turbocharging.
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Mag-X believes the V8’s return won’t be the only change in the engine lineup as Lexus will reportedly introduce a four-cylinder option in some markets to fill in the void left after the GS’ imminent demise.
The magazine also has a spy shot of an LS facelift prototype with camouflage at the front hiding a redesigned bumper and changes to the headlights. An advanced semi-autonomous driving system is also mooted for the revised posh sedan, along with quite possibly some minor tweaks inside the cabin.
While a recent report claims Toyota will kill off the V8 and replace it with a twin-turbo V6, Lexus is working on a new twin-turbo V8. An insider has told us the larger engine will be reserved to models priced above $90,000, including the forthcoming LC F.