Lexus has launched its flagship LS 600hL hybrid sedan in Australia and it will be available in dealerships from today. The new LS 600hL long-wheelbase sedan features the world's most sophisticated all-wheel-drive hybrid system and provides Lexus' most opulent driving environment.
According to Lexus the LS 600hL achieves many world and segment firsts, including the first all-wheel-drive V8 hybrid system, the first application of LED low-beam headlights and the world's first anti-submarining in-seat airbag.
The LS 600hL also features an Intelligent Park Assist (IPA) system, a first for this segment and for any vehicle currently sold in Australia. IPA assists the driver by using a rear camera and ultrasonic sensors to identify a parking space before calculating the appropriate steering angle to guide the LS 600hL into the parking space.
A stunning showcase of technology, the hybrid system in the LS 600hL is the most powerful yet fitted to a Lexus. It features a combination of the highest-output electric and petrol engines of any Lexus to date and produces a combined 327kW. It is the world's largest-capacity hybrid vehicle and first V8 hybrid and it manages very respectable CO2 emissions of 219g/km on ADR 81/01 test standard and fuel efficiency of 9.3 litres/100km.
"LS 600hL is the most advanced luxury vehicle available today. Based on its technological and comfort inclusions, it has essentially established a market segment of its own. A vehicle of this calibre is not intended to be a volume seller - it is reserved for those fortunate few who enjoy the best of everything." said Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca.
Among the many unique features the LED headlights offer near-daylight-quality white light in less than 0.1 second to enhance night driving. An intuitive climate control system features a body temperature-sensing network. It can automatically adjust any one of the four temperature zones to ensure maximum comfort for occupants. Left-hand rear passengers will also be able to relax on a reclining rear ottoman that features both climate control and massage functionality, and the world's first in-seat airbag.
Lexus active and passive safety features include Lexus' Pre-Collision safety System and a total of 11 airbags. The flagship Lexus LS600hL will be the most exclusive of the marque's vehicles and is expected to account for less than one per cent of total Lexus sales in Australia. The LS 600hL has a recommended retail price of $240,000 for the fully specified four-seater and $233,000 for the five-seat model. Lexus state that both versions of the LS 600hL are fully specified and there is no need for an options list.
Press release technical details follow the picture gallery.
2007 LS 600hL Press Kit
LS 600hL IS A TECHNOLOGY POWERHOUSE
New LS 600hL is a technology showcase for Lexus, from its performance hybrid all-wheel-drive system to its new Intelligent Park Assist (IPA) system.
The technology in LS 600hL also includes the world's first seat cushion airbag, breakthrough light-emitting diode (LED) low-beam headlamps, the Lexus Pre-Collision safety System, Active-radar Cruise Control, Adaptive Variable Suspension and Lexus' Vehicle Dynamic integrated Management (VDiM) system.
The highlight of LS 600hL is its hybrid system, which seamlessly blends the output from the most powerful petrol and electric motors Lexus has ever offered in a hybrid passenger vehicle.
The electric component of the hybrid system is driven by two electric motor/generators.
The system creates a clutchless Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) that is able to mimic shifts of an automatic transmission via an eight-step shift control system.
A newly developed gear-drive transfer and permanent AWD system for the Lexus Hybrid Drive system is a first in a Lexus sedan in Australia.
A Torsen? mechanical limited-slip centre differential system has been developed exclusively for LS 600hL's AWD system.
Lexus' new IPA system is another first for an Australian production vehicle.
It is designed to help drivers enter either parallel or perpendicular parking spaces.
The system employs a rear camera and ultrasonic sensors to identify parking spaces.
The IPA system uses this information to calculate the appropriate steering angle to guide the vehicle into the designated parking space - with minimal driver input.
LS 600hL features a reclining rear passenger side ottoman (available on four-seat models).
LS 600hL's ottoman features the world's first anti-submarining seat airbag, which deploys just under the occupant's knees to reduce forward movement in an accident.
LS 600hL also has breakthrough LED low-beam headlamp technology.
The triple-LED lamp system offers daylight-quality illumination in approximately 0.1 second and significantly improves durability over conventional headlamp systems.
LED lamps in the LS 600hL are designed to last the life of the vehicle.
The LED headlamp system in LS 600hL is integrated into Lexus' new-generation Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting System (I-AFS), which helps illuminate bends, road junctions and parking spaces.
Negotiating right-hand corners with I-AFS results in up to 10 degrees of illumination to the right and five on the left, depending on vehicle speed.
Left-hand corners are illuminated up to 15 degrees on the left side and 7.5 on the right, depending on vehicle speed.
LS 600hL features Lexus' advanced quad-zone climate control system, including the world's first thermal body temperature-sensing network.
The system constantly monitors and assesses the body temperature of rear occupants and adjusts individual climate settings for each person.
LS 600hL's climate control system can instantly switch temperature and airflow to any one of the vehicle's 20 air conditioning outlets, in locations from roof-mounted diffusers to individual seats.
LS 600hL allows occupants to recline and take in a favourite movie or music in complete comfort.
The Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System featured in the vehicle has been developed specifically for the LS 600hL's passenger cabin.
The system offers playback of a variety of media including CD, CD-R/RW, DVD, DVD Audio and DTS 5.1, as well as MP3 and MWA music files, over 19 individual speakers.
LEXUS LS 600hL COMBINES PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY
New Lexus LS 600hL combines 14.3-second standing 400-metre acceleration with 9.3-litre/100km fuel economy1.
Its carbon dioxide emission level is 219g/km.
LS 600hL is rated as a SULEV (super-low emission vehicle) in the United States.
Lexus LS 600hL has 290kW of power at 6400rpm and 520Nm of torque at 4000rpm from its 5.0-litre quad-cam V8 petrol engine.
Its 650-volt electric drive motor delivers 165kW of power and 300Nm of torque, with that torque available from zero rpm.
LS 600hL's hybrid system blends the two power sources according to operating conditions to provide a maximum 327kW of power - equivalent to a six-litre petrol engine.
The electric motor drives through a two-stage motor speed reduction device.
The combined power of the two power sources is fed through a clutchless eight-step Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) and a Torsen? transfer to the front and rear axles.
An EV mode2 allows the vehicle to operate at speeds up to 40km/h on electric power only - for example in car parks and residential areas - to minimise noise and emissions.
The LS 600hL 2UR-FSE engine is a development of LS 460's 1UR-FSE powerplant, with the stroke increased from 83.0mm to 89.5mm for a swept volume of 4969cc.
The hybrid system in LS 600hL utilises the electric variable inlet valve timing on the Lexus V8 engine.
The intelligent VVT-iE system provides an extended range of inlet camshaft retardation to provide smoother engine petrol start and engine stop for hybrid operation.
LS 600hL stops its petrol engine whenever possible (including when the vehicle is stationary) to save fuel and reduce emissions.
In addition, the new Lexus five-litre V8 employs four-degree camshaft timing variations between cylinder numbers 1, 2, 3 and 6, and the other four cylinders - to reduce vibration at idle and improve fuel economy.
LS 600hL HAS ELECTRONIC CVT
Lexus LS 600hL's Lexus Hybrid Drive system features a clutchless E-CVT transmission.
It mechanically links the vehicle's petrol engine and two electric motor/generators.
LS 600hL's L110F transmission acts as an Electronic Continuously Variable transmission (E-CVT), with the added sophistication of a sequential-shift feature and eight stages of engine braking.
It was designed to fit into Lexus LS' existing transmission tunnel.
The L110F transmission consists of two water-cooled variable voltage motor generators, a power split device, a two-stage motor-speed reduction device, an electrically powered oil pump and a hydraulic system for two wet-type brakes that act on the second planetary gear set (also known as the motor-speed reduction device).
The motor generators (known as MG1 and MG2) are located longitudinally.
LS 600hL's petrol engine and the first motor generator (MG1) are linked by a planetary gear set that splits the petrol engine power to propel the vehicle and drive MG1 to create electricity.
MG1 also fulfils the role of starter motor for the petrol engine.
The second motor generator (MG2) provides motive power and also the power to act as a generator for regenerative braking.
The cooling system for the two motor generators also cools the inverter.
The cooling system for these components is separate to the petrol engine cooling system, with its own radiator, water pump and water filter.
Two-stage motor-speed feature
Lexus LS 600hL's electric 'drive' motor is linked to the first planetary gear set (and hence the petrol engine and MG1) and also to the AWD transfer by the two-stage motor-speed reduction planetary gear set.
This feature is unique to the hybrid systems in Lexus GS 450h and LS 600hL.
The two ratios in the motor-speed reduction device are 3.900:1 (low) and 1.900:1 (high).
Lexus developed the two-stage planetary gear to reduce the rotational speed of MG2 at high road speeds.
This allowed the designers to decrease the diameter of the motor, while still providing high torque and power needed to meet LS 600hL's acceleration and top-speed targets.
In addition to allowing the second planetary gear set to shift gear in two stages, it helps create LS 600hL's sequential shift function.
Two 'wet-type' brakes control the operation of the two-stage planetary gear set and therefore the gearshift function, allowing deceleration to be varied in two stages.
Brake number one is attached to the front sun gears and brake number two to the long pinion gear.
(The wet brakes in the L110F transmission are part of the technology of conventional automatic transmissions.)
Sequential transmission feature
Lexus LS 600hL has a sequential shift feature on its E-CVT.
A downchange on the sequential shift gives a similar retardation feeling to a sequential shift down change on a conventional Lexus electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Tap the sequential shift lever down twice, and the transmission responds as though the driver has changed down two gears in a conventional vehicle.
LS 600hL FEATURES PERMANENT AWD
New LS 600hL is Lexus' first all-wheel-drive sedan in Australia.
Its hybrid powertrain is matched to a newly developed gear-drive transfer and a permanent AWD system.
The heart of the AWD system is a Torsen? mechanical limited-slip centre differential.
The Torsen? LSD system was developed for LS 600hL and was designed to provide smooth all-wheel drive and good response.
It optimises both traction performance and the car's ability to turn.
The torque-sensing system generates limited differential torque proportional to the vehicle's drive torque.
It has been set up with a front-to-rear torque split that is biased to the rear in the ratio 40:60.
However, it can automatically and instantly change the ratio within the range of 30:70 to 50:50, depending on driving conditions such as wet or dry roads, snow and taking off on a curve.
LS 600hL has a purpose-designed transfer gear set to drive the front propeller shaft.
The Lexus 401K transfer has a set of three gears.
Its compact design means minimised intrusion into the front passenger footwell.
The gear tooth surfaces are high-precision-polished to optimise the contract surfaces and minimise noise.
The lightweight transfer case has optimally placed ribs for maximum rigidity.
LS 600hL has specially designed final drive differentials front and rear, with final drive ratio of 3.357:1.
Both use low-viscosity fluid to reduce rolling resistance in the bearings and boost fuel economy.
The front differential has its pinions offset towards the road to increase interior space.
The rear differential has a Lexus-developed pre-torque mechanism in the differential gears.
It is designed to improve take-off on low-traction roads by applying counteracting torque to limit the slips during light-load and low-differential situations.
Torsen? is a registered trademark of the JTEKT Corporation.
LS 600hL HAS SOPHISTICATED ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
New Lexus LS 600hL hybrid has a variable-voltage electrical system to power its high-output electric drive motor.
LS 600hL has a lightweight, compact 288V battery to store energy.
It uses an advanced inverter to perform two roles: switching battery voltage from 288V of direct current to 650V of alternating current to power the drive motor, and switching power produced by the two motor generators from 650V AC to 288V DC to store in the battery.
Lexus has used leading-edge electrical and control technology in the LS 600hL hybrid system to maximise performance and fuel economy.
LS 600hL's hybrid system uses advanced electrical components (virtually all developed and manufactured in-house) to maximise both operating and package efficiency.
The equipment includes a 650V permanent magnet motor generator (MG1) which acts as the generator and also the starter for the petrol engine, and a 165kW permanent magnet motor generator (MG2) which drives the rear wheels and acts as a generator to provide regenerative braking.
Lexus developed a new 288V sealed nickel-metal hydride battery for LS 600hL to provide high levels of output density (output per unit of weight).
The battery consists of six modules, connected by bus bars, which contain a total of 240 cells.
The high-voltage battery has its own cooling system.
LS 600hL's motor generator circuit operates to a maximum of 650V, to increase operating performance and efficiency.
A semi-conductor switching device or IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) boosts the battery voltage.
The high-voltage power circuit for the drive motor increases power by increasing voltage while keeping the current constant.
The motor, generator and inverter have a separate water cooling system.
Lexus LS 600hL's high-voltage battery has 240 cells, to provide nominal voltage of 288V.
The new Lexus battery confirms the progress made in sealed nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) technology, which was originally developed for electric vehicles.
Lexus LS 600hL's hybrid control ECU controls the generator and motor, to ensure the battery maintains a constant charge so there is no need for recharging from an outside source.
Semi-conductor switching device
The IGBT switching device converts up to 650V alternating current from the generator and motor (in regenerative braking mode) into 288V direct current for storage in the battery.
Switching such a large current flow would normally create large amounts of heat.
Lexus has developed a unique, finely tuned transistor to achieve low heat generation and high efficiency.
The inverter/converter circuitry features an intelligent power module for increased reliability.
Auxiliary power control unit
The LS 600hL power control unit located in the front engine bay contains the semi-conductor AC/DC switching device and a DC/DC converter to create 12V DC.
The 12V DC is used to power all non-hybrid systems in the car, such as lights, audio and windscreen wipers.
The vehicle therefore has a maintenance-free 12V auxiliary battery.
The inverter occupies the underbonnet space traditionally taken by the 12V battery, thereby reducing the length of high-voltage cabling in the vehicle.
All high-voltage components are coloured orange, for ready identification.
LS 600hL HAS SOPHISTICATED HYBRID SYSTEM
Lexus LS 600hL combines two power sources in a hybrid system to combine performance with economy.
The propulsion elements of its hybrid drive system are a 290kW 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine and a 165kW electric drive that can produce maximum torque from zero rpm. Together they offer a maximum output of 327kW.
LS 600hL's Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission or E-CVT is designed to cleanly blend petrol and electric power and give highly responsive linear acceleration from start-up to full speed.
Hybrid drivers can keep track of which power source is being used and how much energy is being generated and saved in real time through an easy-to-read screen in the dashboard.
There is a Hybrid System Indicator in addition to the tachometer.
Hybrid drivers can also track fuel consumption on the Electro Multi-Vision (EMV) screen that displays Bluetooth?1 phone controls, Mark Levinson audio controls, DVD, climate control, satellite navigation and Rear View Camera2.
How the hybrid system works: Lexus LS 600hL
For normal starts, only the electric motor is used, providing a gentle, quiet take-off. When more power is needed, the motor works in combination with the engine. In both cases, LS 600hL enjoys immediate torque optimisation, impossible in a regular petrol engine.
Power from the petrol engine is split between driving the wheels and a generator that produces electricity for the motor, ensuring maximum fuel efficiency at all engine output levels.
When extra acceleration is required, the battery provides added power to the electric motor, resulting in a quiet, smooth and immediate response.
A highly effective regenerative braking system means that energy usually lost during braking is converted to electricity and sent to the battery for storage and later re-use.
The petrol engine switches off when at stop, saving on fuel and eliminating emissions. The electric motor remains on for immediate starts.
Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission
The mechanical heart of LS 600hL's hybrid system, the E-CVT, is designed to provide both seamless acceleration and the variable deceleration feeling of a conventional automatic transmission.
It consists of two 650-volt electric motor generators linked to the petrol engine and the wheels, via two sets of planetary gears. The first motor generator generates electric power, which is stored in the high-voltage battery.
This energy can be used to power the second motor generator and increase acceleration. The electric motor delivers 165kW (more power than most conventional four-cylinder petrol engines) and 300Nm of torque from zero rpm.
All the connections in the E-CVT are mechanical. There are no belts or pulleys, and no torque converter, so there is no loss of energy through slippage in the driveline.
Power source: petrol engine
LS 600hL's new 5.0-litre quad-cam V8 petrol engine uses the best in Lexus performance and fuel efficiency technology to deliver 290kW of power and 520Nm of torque.
That technology includes dual VVT-i as well as both direct and port fuel injection, and VVT-iE on the inlet camshafts.
LS 600hL's power-split planetary gear system allows the petrol engine to perform two simultaneous functions: propel the car and drive the generator to create electric power.
Battery and electrical equipment
LS 600hL has state-of-the-art electrical equipment. It includes a high-efficiency, high-voltage battery to store electric energy until it is required and an inverter to boost voltage from 288 to 650 volts.
The battery receives energy from the generator and from regenerative braking. It supplies power to the electric motor for instantaneous use when additional acceleration is required.
LS 600hL is based on the dynamics and chassis of Lexus LS 460, so the entire hybrid system, including the 165kW electric drive motor had to be small enough to replace the conventional system, without compromising the driving dynamics.
All high-voltage wiring in LS 600hL is colour-coded orange for clear identification.
Nothing is wasted in LS 600hL, hence the use of regenerative braking. It simply means slowing the car by using the electric motor as a generator - converting kinetic energy from the vehicle's motion into a reusable form of electricity, which is then stored in the high-voltage battery.
LS 600hL's braking system includes a sophisticated regenerative brake cooperative control function, which balances the regenerative braking force and the balance of the friction braking system to achieve the total braking force the driver requires.
By recovering energy, regenerative braking significantly improves the fuel economy and emissions of a hybrid vehicle and further enhances the attractiveness of hybrid vehicles for city driving.