Lexus to showcase hybrid-drive V8

Lexus plans to use the forthcoming Paris Motor Show for the European launch of the LS 600h, the world’s first premium five-litre V8 saloon with a hybrid powertrain.

The hybrid drive in the LS 600h has a power output of 444bhp, delivers fuel consumption of 29.7mpg (combined cycle) and carbon dioxide emissions below 220g/km.

The new, all-wheel drive system works in tandem with a dual-stage, electronically- controlled, continuously variable transmission (E-CVT), providing the car with good linear acceleration.

E-CVT is designed to make the best use of the hybrid’s petrol and electric motors by blending an infinite number of gear ratios as the car is driven, resulting in no gear changes. It does this by combining planetary gears with a standard differential, resulting in stepless acceleration.

Hybrid drive is a combination of components that enables Lexus hybrid cars to draw power from electric and petrol motors, as well as to store energy generated during braking. This energy comes from the heat dissipated from the brakes that would otherwise be wasted.

At slow speeds, the petrol engine isn’t used and the company claims you can barely hear any engine noise.

The LS 600h will be joined at the show by its hybrid siblings, the RX 400h and the GS 450h.