Next Generation Lexus LS to be Offered with V6 Hybrid?

AutoGuide is reporting that the next-generation Lexus LS hybrid will focus on fuel efficiency rather than delivering high-end V12 power:

Lexus, however, has instead used electricity as an added boost to its gasoline motors, providing additional power while retaining modest fuel economy. The result are cars like the GS450h, which delivers performance equal to that of a V8, but with V6 fuel efficiency.

The problem says Lexus ES and LS product planner Ketan Renade is that sales are extremely slow. “We did studies and focus groups and people said, ‘hybrid equals mpg’”, says Renade. “Cars with 400 and 500 hp are great, but no one is buying them.”

The ES isn’t the exception either, but the new rule, with Renade nearly confirming a decision to axe the LS600 in favor of a less-potent hybrid powertrain. Speaking with AutoGuide at the recent ES launch, he said that, “If we did a future hybrid Lexus LS, it would go V6 hybrid.”

This is great news — for Lexus to maintain its position as the top hybrid luxury brand in the world, the technology needs to be accessible, and the $112k USD LS 600hL doesn’t really fit in that equation. Utilizing a V6 hybrid powertrain in the next-generation LS is something that makes sense, especially if it can reach similar fuel economy numbers to the new GS 450h (31 mpg combined).

Another point to consider is that a LS V6 hybrid will be extremely important in markets outside of North America, particularly in the parts of Europe where Lexus is moving to a hybrid-only lineup.

Definitely think this is a smart move — what do you think, do you want to see a LS 450h?

[Source: Autoguide]

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  • V
  • May 23, 2012
A Diesel is a must have if you want to compete in the european business car game. It just better for long distance driving, you don't need to stop so often at the gas station.  A hybrid can't match the highway mpg rates of a efficient diesel engine.
    • L
    • May 23, 2012
    Spot on. The advantage of a hybrid is in the city where the electric motor helps keep fuel consumption down. But for long-distance road trips, hybrids are at a disadvantage because of the extra weight they have to lug around. I've noticed that when I'm driving rental diesel cars on the highways of Europe, they return respectable fuel economy. And I think this is the reason why hybrid sales have not exploded in Europe. A diesel car is seen as the better alternative and being more advantageous overall. Isn't that new Citroen DS5 a diesel-hybrid?
    • M
    • May 23, 2012
    Yes, it is. (the DS5) Toyota Gasoline hybrids are superior on highways when compared to normal gasoline cars because of the very efficient Atkinson cycle engine. The additional weight of the battery doesn't do much harm to high speed efficiency, aerodynamics is much more important when going fast.  Weight is important in the city and there the hybrid is king of the hill. But a diesel engine operating at its "sweet spot" highway speed is still more efficient than the Atkinson gasoline unit and it always will be. It all comes down to more or less two main points: Compression ratio and air-fuel ratio.  These are two essential thermodynamic parameters you can not come around when dealing with combustion engines.
  • Y
  • May 23, 2012
IMO, Lexus needs three different categories in its line-up Mainstream : efficient V6s/V8s Super fuel efficient/Super Ultra Low Emissions (SULEV) : Hybrids Performance : Supercharged V6s/ High Power V8s/V10s/V12s
  • F
  • May 24, 2012
The rest of the world drive smaller engines even in the luxury market.  I don't know why Lexus misses this point. Two-litter 3-series is enough.  Smaller-than-three-litter e-class is being sold well.
  • F
  • June 14, 2012
With the return of ES 300 in h form, wouldn't it be awesome as a throwback and homage to the first LS and call it LS 400h?