The LS 600h L is a full hybrid, capable of operating in electric-only mode or with a combination of the gas engine and electric motor. Lexus hybrid technology allows electric-mode-only operation when certain conditions are met at low speeds or stop-and-go driving conditions, reducing fuel consumption and noise.
A compact 288-volt DC Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack is installed behind the rear seat. The battery’s power is directed through a boost converter that efficiently raises voltage to a maximum 650V DC. An inverter changes this to AC, providing its elevated power to a 165-kW electric motor that turns at up to 10,240 rpm. The trunk also contains a 12-volt auxiliary battery that powers the audio, navigation, and other systems.
The LS 600h L powertrain uses two motor generators: MG1 and MG2. Each performs specific functions and can operate as either a motor or a generator, although MG1 is used as a starter motor and provides no motive force. The engine-driven generator, MG1, can charge the battery pack or provide additional power to the drive motor, MG2, as needed.
A regenerative-braking system further boosts efficiency. When the vehicle is coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric motors function as generators, capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost as heat through the brakes and transforming it into useable electricity to recharge the batteries.
A state-of-the-art, full-time all-wheel drive system adapts to road surface conditions to help provide vehicle control during acceleration, and cornering. The AWD system employs a compact, ultra-quiet transfer case equipped with a TORSEN® limited-slip differential (LSD) that is 30 percent lighter in size and weight than previous TORSEN systems.
The LSD provides rear biased torque distribution of 40:60 during normal straight-line driving, automatically and continually adjusting power distribution according to changing speed and road conditions.
An eight-speed sequential braking mode, activated when the shift lever is in the “S” position, allows eight different stages of response. When up-shifting, engine speed is controlled by the selected range, offering an exhilarating boost in acceleration during each of the eight “shift” stages. When downshifting, brake-force increases to provide powerful deceleration.
The driver can select “Hybrid” (Normal), “Power,” or “Snow” modes to change the rate of throttle opening for a given throttle-pedal angle. The Hybrid mode provides the smoothest operation and is ideal for city or suburban driving; Power sharpens accelerator pedal response and Snow mode softens accelerator pedal response, making it easier to accelerate on slippery road surfaces.