LEXUS The technology revolution: Four generations of self-charging hybrid electric power

LEXUS The technology revolution: Four generations of self-charging hybrid electric power

21.11.2019: Lexus celebrates 30 years of amazing Ever since its daring, disruptive entry into the luxury car market in 1989, Lexus has repeatedly broken the convention with pioneering new ideas. Principal among these is its long-established leadership

Lexus celebrates 30 years of amazing



Ever since its daring, disruptive entry into the luxury car market in 1989, Lexus has repeatedly broken the convention with pioneering new ideas. Principal among these is its long-established leadership in the development of self-charging hybrid electric powertrains – a technology that has changed the motoring landscape for good.



Thirty years ago, powerful heavy and fuel-thirsty engines were the unchallenged norm for upmarket automobiles. But as the millennium turned, the world was waking up to the immediate challenge of global warming and the need to conserve natural resources. A new solution was needed: step forward Lexus.





THE RX 400h: LEXUS SELF-CHARGING HYBRID BEGINS




Years of research and development culminated in the RX 400h, the first self-charging hybrid Lexus and world’s first luxury hybrid vehicle, launched in 2005. On the outside it looked little different from the familiar RX 300 SUV, but under the skin things were very different. Yes, there was a 3.3-litre petrol V6 engine under the bonnet, but this was just one element in the radical, all-new self-charging hybrid electric system.







SELF-CHARGING HYBRID IN SIMPLE TERMS




The hybrid concept is an ingenious marriage of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Their performance – in unison or individually – is governed automatically and seamlessly by an intelligent system that draws power from the appropriate source to maximise efficiency, or performance.



Electric power is generated by the engine while the car is being driven, and is also converted from the kinetic energy produced when braking or slowing down. Power is stored in a high-voltage battery that needs no “plug-in” recharging.



Lexus Hybrid Drive is a “full” hybrid technology, which means the vehicle can run on its electric power alone, with zero emissions and fuel consumption. Initially, this was limited to low-speeds and relatively short distances, but as the technology was developed, the EV – electric vehicle – capability increased significantly. Today, Lexus hybrids can travel up to 50% of the time in congested urban environment, without the petrol engine having to be brought into play.




FLAGSHIP POWER: THE SECOND GENERATION



The second generation of Lexus Hybrid Drive raised the game significantly. Such was the technology’s status within the company, it was deployed in its new flagship sedan, the LS 600h, in 2007. As the first hybrid system to feature a V8 engine – a 5.0-litre unit, the most technically advanced Lexus had yet built – it delivered the kind of power and performance typically associated with a V12. The system delivered 445 DIN hp and 520 Nm of torque, giving acceleration from nought to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds.



When it came to emissions and fuel economy, however, the LS 600h broke new ground in its class: it returned official combined cycle fuel economy of 9.29 l/100 km and its comparatively low emissions earned it SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) status in the USA.




A SPORTIER DIMENSION




A sportier aspect of hybrid power was also witnessed in the GS 450h sports sedan. A two-stage motor speed reduction planetary gear was used in both the GS and LS models, but for the LS 600h the hybrid transmission was upgraded. The nickel-metal hydride battery produced 280 V, but a boost converter could ramp this up to 650 V.



The GS 450h and the RX 450h, which superseded the original RX 400h in 2009, were equipped with a new 3.5-litre V6 engine. Thanks to the use of an electronically controlled power split device, the transmission operated like a continuously variable transmission, but with the benefit – for the first time in a hybrid – of a manual shift mode and AI-Shift that used artificial intelligence to adapt performance to the driver’s style and the driving conditions.



Lexus was not only improving the efficiency and refinement of its technology, it was also making hybrids more rewarding to drive, too.




MORE EFFICIENT, MORE RESPONSIVE




The third generation of Lexus Hybrid Drive made advances both in efficiency and responsiveness. The revised system was first seen in the IS 300h, the first IS to feature hybrid power, which entered the market in 2013.



Central to the improved performance was a new 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, equipped with D-4S direct fuel injection, Dual VVT-i intelligent variable valve-timing and a high-efficiency exhaust gas recirculation system. Combined with the hybrid transaxle, this duly gave class-leading, sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions and fuel economy from 4.3 l/100 km.



With further refinements, this system was also adopted for the Lexus NX, the company’s first mid-size crossover, and the RC 300h coupe, both of which joined the range in 2014.





THE LC COUPE AND THE MULTI STAGE HYBRID SYSTEM




Few cars have made such a spectacular debut as the LC flagship coupe, a bold demonstration of the brave design that’s at the heart of today’s Lexus brand. But while its styling has earned it high praise and awards, the LC also marked a new era in hybrid electric technology. The breakthrough was the Multi Stage Hybrid System, a new transmission device that retains all hybrid’s hallmark efficiency but which takes the driving experience to a higher level.



The LC 500h is equipped with a 3.5-litre V6 engine that revs all the way to 6,600 rpm, and benefits from detailed engineering features to promote both performance and efficiency. The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows its potential to be enjoyed to the maximum, by amplifying the output of both the engine and the electric motor, so that performance is optimised at all engine speeds.


For the driver the rewards are more responsive and direct acceleration, greater dynamic performance and all-round driving pleasure – the “even sharper” character that Lexus sought to achieve. With total system output of 359 DIN hp and nought to 100 km/h acceleration in five seconds, the new powertrain fully justifies its place in a performance model, yet it is still capable of 8.1 l/100 km and produces only 150 g/km of C02.




AIM HIGHER, DELIVER BETTER




While other luxury car makers have come to recognise the value of hybrid and developed their own systems, none is able to match Lexus’ breadth of experience. Today the company is leveraging its technology leadership with a fourth generation of Lexus Hybrid Drive that achieves even better fuel efficiency, responsive emissions and low emissions.




Featured in the new ES 300h sedan and UX 250h compact crossover launched in early 2019, it combines the benefits of an all-new, ultra-efficient Atkinson cycle engine (2.5l in ES, 2.0l in UX) with a new electric motor that’s lighter, more compact and more power dense.








10 MILLION KILOMETRES OF TESTING. 60 PROTOTYPES




No effort was spared in this engine’s development, with 60 prototypes built and more than 10 million kilometres of road testing carried out. The result is the most thermally efficient engine yet to be installed in a production vehicle – rated at 41 per cent. This means more of the power potential of every drop of fuel is captured to drive the wheels.



The impact of this is reflected in the car’s benchmark performance data: the ES 300h’s hybrid system delivers 218 DIN hp, with fuel economy from 5.8 to 5.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions from just 100 g/km[1]. UX 250h’s powertrain has a total output of 184 DIN hp, with fuel emissions from 4.1l/100 km and CO2 emissions from 94g/km.



This has been achieved with fast-burn combustion technology that ensures more power is gained without increasing emissions or fuel consumption. Numerous design and engineering details also contribute to the exceptional performance, ranging from VVT-iE electric intelligent intake valve-timing, a new variable capacity oil pump and a variable cooling system to multi-hole fuel injectors.


[1] Correlated NEDC





SAVING SPACE, SAVING WEIGHT



Every element in the hybrid transaxle was scrutinised to see how the unit could be made both smaller and lighter. The key to its compact size is a new multi-axle arrangement for the electric motors, which has reduced the overall length by almost 30 mm.



The familiar planetary gear system has been replaced with a system contained in a single multi-function unit, and further weight and space have been saved by using a new lithium-ion battery that is compact enough to be located beneath the rear seats, increasing the boot volume and improving the car’s front/rear weight balance.






WINNING THE ARGUMENT




Developing a workable, affordable hybrid system was only part of the battle: Lexus has also had to convince its customers that its revolutionary concept was not just a practical option, but that it also offered all the qualities they required of a luxury model. Strong fuel economy and low emissions had to be matched with sophistication and refinement if premium market customers were going to make the switch from conventional petrol and diesel-powered models.



Lexus hybrids proved themselves to be intrinsically quiet, smooth and refined and, as the years passed, they also demonstrated exceptional reliability. This was not a fragile technology, but a robust and highly durable solution.





Within 15 years Lexus has made hybrid central to its brand, extending its reach from a single model in 2005 to a range of 10 vehicles in its European line-up today, covering many different body styles and performance levels. Worldwide, cumulative hybrid sales have passed 1.6 million units, while in Western Europe hybrids now account for 99 per cent of all the new Lexus cars sold in the region.




THE 2019 LEXUS HYBRID RANGE


    CT 200h premium hatchback
    IS 300h executive sports sedan
    RC 300h sports coupe
    UX 250h compact crossover
    ES 300h mid-size luxury sedan
    NX 300h mid-size crossover
    RX 450h large crossover
    RX L 450h seven-seat crossover
    LC 500h flagship coupe
    LS 500h flagship sedan


 
-Stephan Lesuisse, photos Lexus

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/lexus-technology-revolution-four-generation-self-charging-hybrid-electric-power---200797.html

21.11.2019 / MaP

More News

Ford's electric Mustang is a bold but necessary move, says GlobalData
18.11.2019
Following the news that Ford is to introduce an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) in 2020; David Leggett, Automotive Editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: "It is certainly a bold move by Ford to lend the Mustang name to an upcoming all-electric SUV. The idea is to promote the traditional Mustang brand’s strengths more >>
SKODA AUTO, PRE and Chakratec bring unique charging technology to Prague
14.11.2019
› Charging station uses flywheel technology and does not require chemical battery cells› This enables the Kinetic Power Booster in Prague to have twice as much power as the national grid› The system allows for fast charging even in places with a weak grid› Start-up Chakratec, inventor of the Kinetic Power Booster, was scout more >>
Volkswagen breaks ground on expansion for electric vehicle production in United States
13.11.2019
Overall plant expansion in Chattanooga brings $800 million investment  Volkswagen creates 1,000 new jobs  Production of an electric-only Volkswagen ID. model starts in 2022  Volkswagen also announces new battery pack assembly facility more >>
SEAT Mii electric: making electrification affordable
11.11.2019
•    SEAT Mii electric is the first all-electric vehicle from the brand, making the technology affordable, with purchase costs on the same level as an internal combustion engine vehicle and low cost of ownership•    Mii electric is the ideal vehicle for the city, mixing dynamic performance with practicality thanks to its 61kW ele more >>
BMW Group continues to expand charging infrastructure for electrified vehicles
05.11.2019
- 4,100 charging points to be installed by 2021 - Offer for employees at German locations - Public access also planned - Charging with green energy at attractive conditions The BMW Group is se more >>
Electric vehicles to disrupt but not eradicate turbocharger fitment, says GlobalData
21.10.2019
The relentless pursuit of lower emissions and fuel consumption has driven a significant jump in the fitment of turbocharged engines over the last two decades – first with turbocharged diesels and then with downsized gasoline engines. However, the forecast increase in electric vehicle up-take has led some to question the longevity of the turbocharger. A closer analysis of the figures more >>
Volkswagen electric car ID.3 communicates using light
09.10.2019
ID.3: The vehicle is not yet available for sale in Europe. Innovative ID. Light concept visually supports vehicle functions and warnings  New feature lends the ID.31 more emotionality more >>
SEAT: 5 questions and answers about electric cars
02.10.2019
•    By 2030, sales of zero or low emission cars must amount to 40 % of the total, according to the European Commission•    Range and battery recharging raise the most questions•    SEAT is going to launch 6 new electric and plug-in hybrid models by early 2021 more >>
Hyundai's 45 Concept gives a vision of electrification, autonomous technologies and intelligent design
18.09.2019
Hyundai has unveiled the 45, an electric vehicle concept, at the Frankfurt Motor Show as homage to its heritage and a future image of a new era of the Korean company's automotive design focused on electrification, autonomous technologies and intelligent design. more >>
BMW Group aims to have one million electrified vehicles on the roads in 2021
10.09.2019
Oliver Zipse: Already at the forefront of electromobility - Market for electric vehicles developing at different rates - Customers are key: Technologies for climate protection only effective if customers want them and use them more >>
Automobili Pininfarina, Bosch and BENTELER - Future Foundation For Performance Electric Cars
09.09.2019
•    Strategic collaboration formed with mobility specialists Bosch Engineering and BENTELER ahead of Frankfurt International Auto Show•    Conf more >>
This is how you design a 100% electric concept car
09.09.2019
photo caption: CUPRA concept car •    The electric vehicle is now a reality that is transforming every area in the automotive sector, such as design•    Aerodynamics is a key factor in achie more >>
e-up! for everyone – new generation of the electric e-up!
05.09.2019
...with a long range to be launched at a low price    World premiere at the IAA: new e-up!1 will make its début with a low leasing rate of €1592    Ideal for commuters and city driving: energy more >>
Opel Corsa-e Electric Car: Fast and Easy Charging
02.09.2019
    Charging at home: from household socket to wallbox    Charging on journeys: high-speed charging is standard    Charging everywhere: with the “universal charging cable” at every charging station    Via remote control: efficient travel with e-Services and the myOpel app more >>
Hyundai Motor Group Reveals Personal Electric Scooter Capable of 20km Range
27.08.2019
•    New on-board scooter could be featured on future Hyundai Motor Group vehicles•    Last mile mobility is enhanced by foldable and lightweight, all-electric scooter•    Scooter houses 10.5 Ah lithium battery enabling 20km range, plus 20km/h top speed  more >>
New Passat GTE with longer electric range
26.08.2019
The Passat Variant GTE with a plug-in hybrid drive    31% more battery capacity allows for a longer electric range    Zero emissions in the city, efficiency on long journeys    more >>
AIWAYS U5 prototypes enter Europe after crossing China, Kazakhstan and Russia on electric power
23.08.2019
•    Pair of engineering prototypes enters Finland after pan-Asian drive•    9,166 kilometres travelled since departing Xi’an, China on 17 July•    Set to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany, in time for IAA 2019 in September•    Single point-to-point route of 14,231 km (8, more >>
Expansion of electric charging stations at Volkswagen’s German sites begins
22.08.2019
  (F.l.t.r.) Thomas Ulbrich, Ulrich Markurth, Martin Römheld und Werner Gose charging the ID.3. ID.3: This vehicle is not offered for sale yet in Europe.   First charging center more >>
AIWAYS U5 prototypes cross Kazakhstan and enters Russia on epic EV drive to Western Europe
13.08.2019
•    7,013 kilometres travelled since departing Xi’an, China on 17 July•    Set to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany, in time for IAA 2019 in September•    Single point-to-point route of 14,231 km (8,843 miles) forms part of rigorous test programme; showcases how simple and easy U5 is to live with more >>
KW Variant 3 - Tesla Model 3
08.08.2019
Since beginning of 2019 the Tesla Model 3 has also been available in Europe. According to different media reports the Model 3 is already one of the best-selling electric cars in Europe. KW automotive, the suspension manuf more >>
CUPRA shows a glimpse of its vision of the future with an exclusive all-electric concept-car
23.07.2019
•    The brand’s all-electric concept represents the vision of how CUPRA wants to reinvent sportiness•    The high-performance vehicle accentuates the sleekness of a sports coupe, with the presence of an SUV•    The CUPRA Concept will make its world debut at this year’s IAA Frankf more >>
AIWAYS embarks on great EV adventure: U5 prototypes depart from China for epic drive to Western Europe
18.07.2019
•    AIWAYS U5 battery-electric SUV departed from Xi’an, China, yesterday•    Set to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany, in time for IAA 2019 in September•    Single point-to-point route of 14,231 km (8,843 miles) forms part of rigorous test program; showcases how simple and easy U5 is to live with more >>
Groupe Renault and JMCG officially establish a joint venture for electric vehicles in China
17.07.2019
•             Groupe Renault will increase its share capital by RMB 1 billion to become a major shareholder of JMEV with a 50% stake. Groupe Renault and Jiangling Motors Corporation Group (J more >>
SEAT - An electric 600 in the classroom
11.07.2019
•    A secondary education school in Madrid converts a petrol powered SEAT 600 to electric•    Sourcing parts and joining the gearbox to the engine were the main challenges of the project•    More than 150 hours of work were required to reconstruct the vehicle  more >>
Tested to extremes: AIWAYS prepares for launch of U5 in Europe
10.07.2019
....with longest-ever EV prototype drive•    Single point-to-point route of 14,231 km (8,843 miles) will form part of rigorous test programme; showcases how simple and easy U5 is to live with•    Drive commences in Xi-an in mid-July, concludes September 2019 •    U5 battery-electric SUV more >>
Fastned eröffnet 100ste Schnellladestation
13.06.2019
Ein bedeutender Meilenstein auf dem Weg zu einem europäischen Netzwerk von tausend Schnellladestationen. Fastned, das Ladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netzwerk von Schnellladestationen für alle vollelektrischen Fahrzeuge a more >>
Mitsubishi Motors celebrates a decade of i-MiEV, pioneering mass-production electric vehicles
05.06.2019
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today marked the 10th anniversary of its launch of the zero-emission i-MiEV city car, which paved the way for the automotive industry's seismic shift towards mass-produced electric vehicles (EV). Since its release, the more >>
SEAT recharges city driving with the Mii electric
04.06.2019
•    SEAT Mii electric is the first electric vehicle from the brand, laying the groundwork for more to join the family in the future•    Mii electric is the ideal vehicle for the city, mixing dynamic performance with practica more >>
Joint Venture with Porsche: 100th IONITY HPC-Park goes into operation
28.05.2019
51 sites are currently under constructionJust a few months ahead of the world premiere of the Taycan, the first fully electric sports car from Porsche, the development of the High Performance more >>
Fastned öffnet Schnellladestation am Van der Valk Hotel Spreewald an der A13
17.05.2019
Fastned, das Schnellladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netzwerk an Schnellladestationen baut, eröffnet heute eine Schnellladestation am Van der Valk Hotel Spreewald an der A13 (Ausfahrt Freiwalde). Dies ist die dritte Station von Fastned an einem Van der Valk Hotel und Teil einer Kooperation um gemeinsam weitere Stationen in Deutschland zu realisieren. Die Fastned Schnellladest more >>
The Charging Power of the Audi e-tron
10.05.2019
....Benchmark for Long-Distance Journeys   150 kW fast charging over a large portion of the charging procedure        80 percent in 30 minutes, full charging to 100 percent in less than 50 minu more >>
Groupe PSA : Electric offensive on the light commercial vehicle
30.04.2019
•    Groupe PSA presents a preview of the electrified versions of Peugeot Boxer Electric and Citroën Jumper Electric at the Birmingham Commercial Vehicle Show (from 30 April to 2 May). •    Leader in the LCV[1] segment in Europe with 24.7% market share in 2018, Groupe PSA reaffirms its ambition to offer 100% of its range wit more >>
EXTREME E to partner with Spark Racing Technology to build electric SUV off-road cars
23.04.2019
• Spark Racing Technology to design, assemble and deliver all-new electric SUV model for Extreme EExtreme E has joined forces with motor more >>
Fastned eröffnet erste Schnellladestation im Vereinigten Königreich
16.04.2019
Fastned, das Schnellladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netzwerk von Schnellladestationen aufbaut, eröffnet heute seine erste Schnellladestation in Großbritannien. Dies ist die erst more >>
Fastned verdreifacht den Umsatz im ersten Quartal 2019
09.04.2019
Schnellladeunternehmen veröffentlicht Zahlen für das erste Quartal 2019  Fastned, das Schnellladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netz von Schnellladestationen aufbaut, setzte den schnellen Wachstum im ersten Qua more >>
Fastned erzielt 2018 ein Umsatzwachstum von 195%
02.04.2019
Schnellladeunternehmen veröffentlicht Jahresergebnisse und Jahresbericht  Fastned, das Ladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netz von Schnellladestationen aufbaut, ist im vergangenen Jahr stark gewachsen. Im Jahr 2018 stieg der Umsatz um 195% auf € 1.638.000. Insgesamt 17.923 Kunden luden bei Fastned mehr als 2,9 Mio. kWh auf, was einem more >>
The BMW iX3, the BMW i4 and the BMW iNEXT undergo cold testing in the Arctic
26.03.2019
Electromobility under extreme conditions:BMW i is preparing to launch the next generation of solely electrically powered models. Three of the brand’s electric models are currently going through a key phase of their series developmen more >>
Fastned eröffnet Schnellladestation in Pilsting an der A92
21.03.2019
Fastned, das Schnellladeunternehmen, welches ein europäisches Netzwerk von Schnellladestationen aufbaut, eröffnet heute die elfte Ladestation in Deutschland. Die Schnellladestation befindet sich in Pilsting an der A92, Richtung Deggendorf, und ist neben einer 50 kW-Ladesäule auch mit zwei 175 kW-Schnellladesäulen ausgestattet, welche auf 350 kW aufgerüstet werden kö more >>
Volkswagen plans 22 million electric vehicles in ten years
12.03.2019
Almost 70 new electric models by 2028 – instead of the 50 previously planned    Comprehensive decarbonization program for the Volkswagen Group signed off    Volkswagen Group targeting fully CO2-neutral balance by 2050    Diess: “Volkswagen will change radically. We are taking on responsibilit more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com