Lexus researched the many different acceleration scenarios experienced by millions of drivers around the world. Analysis of the big data created found that for about 90 per cent of their time at the wheel, drivers only use around 50 per cent of full throttle, usually generating no more than 0.3G. This led the LS team to prioritise more effective use of drive torque to gain the quality of lower-speed performance it sought – what it calls “leeway acceleration.”
The driver will notice this as quick response even when the accelerator pedal isn’t pressed hard, for example when pulling away from stationary, reaccelerating in traffic and driving on winding roads. Power delivery is prompt and the car’s increase in speed more faithfully matches the rise in engine rpm.
The high-voltage battery’s usable range has been expanded, which reduces the difference in drive force before and after shifting to give a smooth acceleration feel. This adds an extra 170Nm of torque when driving at around 12.5mph (20km/h) with about 40 per cent throttle.
As a result, and with additional changes to upshift timing, there are no sudden changes in rpm under acceleration and performance is quieter and smoother while also better communicating the car’s “torqueful” quality.
These changes have been accomplished while maintaining the Multi Stage Hybrid System’s performance benchmarks: total system output remains at 354bhp/264 kW, with acceleration from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds for the rear-wheel drive LS 500h and 5.5 seconds for the all-wheel drive model.