Lexus working on the LS 450h hybrid flagship sedan

Article by Christian Andrei, 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.

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