Lexus working on the LS 450h hybrid flagship sedan

Article by Christian A., on June 7, 2012

Lexus may be developing a hybrid model with the LS450h badge that uses a highly different approach from the existing model. This hybrid version of its flagship LS sedan may get V8 power from a hybrid V6 drivetrain, according to Ketan Renade, the product planner for the big luxury sedan. In comparison, an electric motor is used on the current LS hybrid to boost a V8 gasoline engine to an even higher level.

Renade commended that even with the previous efforts of the Toyota luxury division to convince consumers that hybrid technology is a performance gain, it is seen by consumers as a method to be more fuel-efficient.

Renade said that if Lexus actually does build a hybrid Lexus LS in the future, it would be a V6 hybrid. Lexus first hinted at this revision in hybrid development in the new ES300h, which features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and electric motor to produce 200 hp, a drop from the gasoline V6 model that delivers 268 hp. It’s likely that a hybrid V6 LS would use the existing powertrain used in the GS450h, which offers 338 hp and a 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway rating.

It could also go from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds. Slightly lower figures are delivered by an LS450h but it could still give a 30 mpg combined rating. Specifically, this combination may aid in raising the traction of the LS in Europe where Lexus only sells hybrid models, providing a convincing alternative to fuel-efficient diesel-powered large luxury sedans.

As it marks 30 years in the premium luxury category, Lexus is preparing for the future with the 2013 LS flagship models. Aside from the strong new design, it clearly shows exceptional craftsmanship and offers better dynamic handling. Despite these changes, the 2013 LS range continues to have many of the qualities that have made Lexus the brand that it is for at least two decades.

Expect the new LS to present a whole new level as it mixes a stunning design, innovative technology, and a more contemporary refinement. By increasing the rigidity of its body, Lexus was able to improve the stability of the 21013 LS models. This means customers should expect a ride that is clearly more comfortable. Through the use of the new dependent frequency shock absorbers, it made it possible to enhance the bounce control and the pitch control.

This resulted in a more road-hugging and flatter ride. Since more power is available, Lexus also adjusted the braking system, which also gave it a better pedal feel. Steering was modified as well and this is felt in better turn-in response and enhanced accuracy. Clearly, with the new and dynamic style being able to refine the whole lineup of the 2013 Lexus LS, it signifies that the brand is ready to show its new face.

A good example of this is the spindle grille which now has a more aggressive appearance and strengthens further the brand identity. It also shows the various advances that the brand has done when it comes to handling, driving dynamics, and responsiveness. The lineup of the new 2013 LS includes the LS 460, the LS 460L, the LS 600hL hybrid, and for the first time, the LS 460 F Sport.

While the LS 460 and the LS 460L can be in either AWD or RWD, the LS Hybrid only offers an AWD system. Going back to the LS 460 F Sport, it comes with an aggressive exterior that is combined with a distinct and sporty interior. Thus, the inside reveals not only the use of the F Sport seats but also displays its larger bolsters. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and comes with paddle shifters.

It also has an aluminum trim. Another change to this new model is that the air suspension that has not only been tuned to be more athletic but has been lowered by 0.4 inches. Then there are the six-piston Brembo caliper brakes, limited slip Torsen rear differential, and the forged 19-inch wheels that are fitted with the summer, or even the all-season, tires. Truly the new LS 460 F Sport has the potential to be the most engaging LS ever made.

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