2018 Lexus LS 500h: Full hybrid powertrain with 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i gas engine

 -Full hybrid powertrain with a 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i gasoline engine and Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System
-Compact, lightweight, lithium-ion hybrid battery is 20 percent smaller with a higher power density than the current LS 600h L
-Spacious cabin design influenced by Japanese hospitality
-Available interior trims include hand-pleated door trims inspired by origami and glass ornamentation using Japanese Kiriko techniques

The LS 500h is equipped with the new Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, which provides enhanced responsiveness and linear acceleration, particularly when accelerating from a full stop. The powertrain features a 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i V6 gasoline engine and two electric motors, together delivering maximum system power of 354 hp.

The LS 500h is built on the new Lexus Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform, which is shared with the all-new LC.  This platform ensures a low center of gravity and optimum weight distribution, contributing to the car’s essential stability and handling agility, which in turn deliver increased driver rewards. The fundamental high rigidity of the chassis allows the new multi-link suspension to be tuned to achieve enhanced handling performance and the supreme comfort for which the LS is renowned. The car’s dynamic performance also benefits from the coordination of braking, steering and stability systems through Lexus Dynamic Handling.

Advanced technologies are further used to deliver impressive safety performance. The LS 500h’s available Advanced Safety Package features the world’s first Intuitive Pedestrian Detection system with Active Steering within the lane.


Full hybrid powertrain with 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i gas engine
The LS 500h’s Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i gas engine with two electric motors, together delivering a total output of 354hp. The engine makes optimal use of Dual VVT-i (intelligent variable valve-timing), with timing precisely gauged in line with driving conditions, helping to secure high torque at all engine speeds. Measures to reduce friction losses and thus improve engine efficiency include the adoption of narrow, lightweight roller rocker arms and low-friction timing chains, while D-4S direct fuel injection helps create optimum combustion conditions, contributing to enhanced fuel economy.

Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System
The new LS 500h is equipped with Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid System, a breakthrough technology that enriches the hybrid powertrain performance experience and is also seen on the all-new LC. The system adds a four-stage shifting device to the Lexus Hybrid Drive combination of a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine and two electric motors. The result is more direct response to driver inputs while maintaining the characteristic smoothness and efficiency for which Lexus hybrids are renowned.

In a conventional full hybrid vehicle, engine output is boosted by the electric motor via a reduction gear, but with the new Multi Stage Hybrid System the power from the V6 engine and the hybrid battery can be amplified by the four-stage shifting device, allowing much greater drive power to be generated when accelerating from stationary and achieving a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

The design of the system places the multi-stage shift unit immediately behind the power split device, on an axis aligned with the engine crankshaft. Although the unit has four speeds, the D range has a simulated shift control pattern that delivers the feel of driving with a 10-speed gearbox. As vehicle speed rises, engine speed increases with a linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel, free from the “rubber band” effect witnessed in some continuously variable transmissions. In the 10th gear range, the CVT control allows for high-speed cruising at lower engine revs for quiet, smooth and fuel-efficient performance.

The transmission further benefits from an improved version of the artificial intelligence shift control found in conventional automatics. This enables intelligent, optimum gear selection to be made in line with driving conditions and driver inputs, for example when going up or downhill. By reading the vehicle’s acceleration, deceleration and lateral G trajectories, the system can adjust gear shifts to suit the driver’s style and behavior, without the driver having to select a different drive mode to get the kind of performance they want from the transmission.  

Thanks to the Multi Stage Hybrid System’s design, the driver is able to take advantage of an M mode to select and hold gears manually, using paddle shifts mounted behind the steering wheel – a function not previously available on a Lexus hybrid. Thanks to the coordinated control of the Power Split Device and the gear shifting mechanism, the gear shift will start instantaneously with the computer receiving the signal from the paddle shift, giving an exceptionally quick response.

Lithium-ion hybrid battery
The LS 500h is fitted with a compact, lightweight, lithium-ion hybrid battery. It is 20 percent smaller than the nickel-metal hydride unit featured in the current Lexus LS 600h, yet has a higher power density.  Using lithium-ion technology has also reduced the component’s weight, helping reduce the car’s overall mass, thus supporting overall fuel economy, emissions performance and handling balance.

It is the first Lexus hybrid battery to feature a satellite construction design, in which the cell voltage monitoring function has been made separate from the battery ECU. This allows for efficient use of what would otherwise be empty space inside the battery pack to house the wiring harness and battery cooling blower, thus reducing the unit’s overall dimensions. The cooling blower itself has been made more powerful and thinner in size.

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