Japanese media were given a chance during the Tokyo Motor Show to drive a Lexus ES prototype equipped with a new All-Wheel Drive system.
The E-Axle AWD system was built around the Lexus Hybrid system, and utilizes a second electric motor equipped on the rear axle with an output of between 80-100kw of power. The technology can be engaged by the driver, and Japanese auto writer Kenji Momota described it as such:
The winding road we ran this time has a variety of settings, such as low-speed hairpins, S-curves at medium speeds, and places where there are undulations and the corners are not clearly visible. Then, the sense of security as a driver increased.
No, it was not just a sense of security, but there was a sense of acceleration and excitement that I had never experienced before with hybrid vehicles. It feels completely different from the variable rear suspension, where the accelerator is stepped on in the second half of the corner and the rear of the car goes inside the corner.
Lexus engineers at the event hinted that the new AWD system would be introduced on a vehicle early in the next decade, and considering the prototype model, the ES sedan looks to be one of the first to get the technology.