Lexus Technology Roundup 2008

August 29, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Lexus integrates advanced technology in all its vehicles, with a focus on enhancing ease of use, comfort, and driving pleasure. The brand's reputation for quality applies to every vehicle feature and system, and any technology that the customer contacts must be easy to understand and use. The following is a review of some of the advanced technology featured in 2008 Lexus models that enhances performance, comfort and convenience.

Performance


Engines That Think Big

All Lexus engines employ continuously Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which eliminates the compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower by optimizing valve overlap throughout the engine's speed range, not just at one or two set speeds. Models powered by the new-generation 3.5-liter V6 engines or the 4.6-liter V8 employ a Dual VVT-i system that acts on the exhaust valves as well as the intake valves. The new-generation LS models introduced dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electrically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE). This is the world's first electronically controlled valve-timing system. It provides optimal valve timing over an optimal operating range.

Dual Fuel Injection

The 3.5-liter V6 in the GS 350, GS 450h and IS 350 models, and the V8s in the GS 460, LS 460 and LS 600hL models augment port fuel injection with a direct-to-cylinder fuel injection system. The direct injection provides a cooling effect in the cylinders, allowing the higher compression ratio that results in an optimal air-fuel mixture, greater fuel efficiency and power output, lower emissions and enhanced drivability.

World's First Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission

The LS 460, LS 460 L and GS 460 models are equipped with the world's first eight-speed automatic transmission. This advanced transmission allows gear ratios that maximize torque up to the tire-grip limitations in the lower ranges yet maintain quietness and admirable fuel efficiency on the high end. The transmission-control system allows simultaneous release and engagement of the clutches to negate gearshift shock when upshifting.

Road-Sensing Throttle Control

Seeking to enhance driving smoothness at every level, Lexus equips the SC 430 model with Intuitive Powertrain Control. Working with the electronic throttle control, this system helps to smooth out acceleration from a standing start by slightly delaying the throttle opening when the driver steps on the accelerator.


Dynamic Handling Control

 

All-Wheel-Drive Passenger Cars

The 2008 GS 350 and IS 250 models offer all-wheel-drive as an option. A planetary-gear center differential and a wet-type multi-disc clutch control power distribution. The system normally sends 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels to provide the traditional performance advantages of a rear-drive vehicle, but it will vary the torque split ratio from 30:70 to 50:50 in response to driving conditions and driver input. The system's electronic control strategy takes inputs from steering and throttle angle, combined with vehicle signals from wheel speed and yaw rate sensors.

Power in the all-new LS 600h L flagship model is distributed by a newly developed full-time AWD system that delivers secure handling and traction in various driving and road conditions. A Torsen® planetary gear-type limited-slip differential (LSD) distributes torque 40:60 under most straight-line driving situations. The compact new Torsen® differential is 30 percent smaller and 11 lb lighter than previous Torsen® systems.

Unlike speed-sensing LSDs used in some AWD vehicles, the TORSEN unit in the LS 600h L L is a full-time torque sensing, torque biasing system. Torque and differentiation are continuously managed between the front and rear wheels and biased instantaneously according to varying road conditions. As a result, power is automatically shifted to the wheel or wheels with the most traction even before wheel slip can occur.

Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)

The 2008 LS 460 and 460 L, LS 600hL, GS 460, GS 350, GS 450h, IS 350 and RX 400h models feature the advanced Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM integrates and manages a host of handling technologies more quickly than other dynamic handling technologies.

An important component of VDIM is the Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB), a "brake-by-wire" system (except in IS 350 and GS 350). ECB translates brake pedal pressure into electric signals that, via computer control, help provide precise and optimized braking in virtually any traction condition. Electronic control provides quick brake response when needed, helping the VDIM system to anticipate and help correct slides before they might occur. The ECB system is backed by conventional hydraulic brake control in case of the unlikely event of electronic failure.

VDIM integration strategy provides precise control for the ECB, Electric Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS, Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle. On the
LS 460 L, LS 600hL, GS 460 and GS 450h models, VDIM also influences Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) to affect minor steering corrections when needed.

Electric Power Steering

Electric Power Steering (EPS) in VDIM-equipped Lexus models provides precise electric power assist using a DC motor built into the steering-gear housing, rather than traditional hydraulic assist. Eliminating the hydraulic steering pump reduces engine drag, and the simplified steering system is lighter and more compact than hydraulic steering systems.

The Variable Gear Ratio Steering System (VGRS) in the GS 460 and GS 450h models electronically adjusts the steering ratio according to vehicle speed. VGRS can vary the steering from 2.7 turns lock-to-lock for low-speed maneuverability to a slower 3.2 turns lock-to-lock for highway-speed stability. Additionally, VGRS provides differential steering control, which helps correct for a delay in steering response, something that occurs in all vehicles. VGRS is optional in the LS 460L, where, with 18-inch wheels the steering range is from 2.4 turns lock-to-lock to 3.5 turns, and with 19-inch wheels it is from 2.5 turns to 3.5 turns. This function helps enhance driving feel in lane changes and other transitional maneuvers.

Advanced Suspension Systems

The advanced Active Power Stabilizer system offered in the GS 460 and LS models reduces body roll and enhances vehicle control during cornering. This fast-acting system uses electric actuators, rather than slower hydraulic actuators used in most competitors' systems. An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calculates the force needed to counter excess body sway, which is then applied to the stabilizer bars by the front and rear actuators.

The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system is standard on the LS 600hL, GS 460 and GS 450h sedans and the GX 470 and LX 570 luxury utility vehicles. Responding to road conditions, driver input and vehicle speed, AVS continuously adjusts the shock absorber damping force to help provide the best balance of ride comfort and handling response. For the GX and LX, the driver can select from normal, comfort and sport settings; for LS 600hL, GS 460 and GS 450h, there are three selections: normal, comfort and sport.

The LS 460L and the RX 350 luxury utility vehicle offer an optional air suspension system designed to enhance handling, driving comfort and versatility. Automatic load leveling helps to ensure generous suspension travel and preserve ride comfort. Four driver-selectable height settings allow the driver to tailor the RX 350 to specific driving conditions or needs.

Adjustable SUV Suspension

The GX 470 features Adaptive Variable-air Suspension (AVS) with four settings (comfort, semi-comfort, semi-sport and sport) for increased ride comfort over various road surfaces. In addition, the Rear Adjustable Height Control (RAHC) is included to lower the rear by 1.2 inches or raise it by 1.6 inches for easier loading and unloading.

The new LX 570's standard hydraulic Adjustable Height Control (AHC) and Adaptive Variable-air Suspension (AVS) allow the driver to raise the vehicle by up to about three inches to help clear rough off-road terrain and to lower it for easy entry and exit. A height-control switch and light indicate current suspension height, and the light flashes when height changes occur.

For off-road travel, switching to High increases the angles of approach and departure by several degrees to help the vehicle negotiate obstacles. The LX 570 will go into Extra High mode if it is in low range and traveling over rough terrain, with the height rising automatically by 1.2 inches at the front and approximately 1.8 inches in the rear. If set in High mode, the suspension will automatically lower when the LX 570 exceeds 18.6 mph, which is a more than adequate speed for rigorous off-road conditions.

Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) for GX 470

The GX 470's available Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) enhances the vehicle's on-road ride and handling and off-highway capability. Electronically controlled hydraulic cylinders help vary the degree of roll resistance provided by the front and rear stabilizer bars. KDSS helps provide more roll stiffness when needed for crisp handling response and variable roll resistance to increase wheel articulation. This helps ensure comfort and optimize traction over uneven road surfaces.

The GX 470 also features two systems to help control the vehicle in rugged driving conditions. Downhill Assist Control (DAC) augments the low-speed descending ability in low range by helping to hold the vehicle to a comfortably low target speed with no intervention from the driver. The Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) system helps provide additional control when starting up an incline by gently applying the brakes if the vehicle starts to roll backward.

 

Comfort and Convenience


A Car that Virtually Parks Itself

The LS flagship sedan models offer the segment-exclusive Advanced Parking Guidance System (APGS) to assist with parallel and back-in parking. Once the driver has correctly positioned the car and identified the desired parking space shown on the navigation screen, APGS utilizes the rear back-up camera and parking sonar sensors to guide the car into the space. The driver controls vehicle speed by applying the brakes.

Rear Back-Up Camera

All 2008 Lexus models offer a rear back-up camera that provides an extra measure of confidence when reversing the vehicle. The rear back-up camera is standard in the LS 460 L, LS 600hL, the GS 450h hybrid sport sedan, and the LX 570 luxury utility vehicle. In other models, it is part of the available navigation package. The camera gives the driver a view of what its lens can detect behind the vehicle, projecting a color image onto the navigation screen when reverse gear is engaged.

Dynamic Laser Cruise Control

The RX 350 and RX 400h offer available Dynamic Laser Cruise Control. This system uses lasers to collect data from scanning points ahead and is designed to help the driver automatically maintain a set distance from the vehicle traveling in front.

Intelligent Climate Control

All Lexus models come equipped with automatic climate control. The LS 460L and LS 600hL come with a four-zone climate-control system that includes the world's first overhead diffuser, and an infrared temperature body/seat sensors (with Executive Class packages).

The SC 430 hardtop convertible's climate control system adjusts airflow and temperature automatically, differentiating between top-up and top-down driving needs. For example, when driving in cooler weather with the top down, the system will direct warm air to the feet and lap areas. On warmer days, the system will circulate cool air to the same locations.


Entertainment, Navigation and Security

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Pre-Collision System

All Lexus sedans and the new LX 570 for 2008 offer the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which integrates the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system. A millimeter-wave radar system is designed to detect vehicles traveling ahead. A millimeter-wave radar sensor helps detect obstacles in front of the car, while vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw-rate inputs help to determine whether a collision is unavoidable.

In such a situation, on models equipped with Adaptive Variable air Suspension (AVS), PCS switches the AVS system to firmer settings for optimal chassis response, preemptively retracts front seat belts, and pre-initializes Brake Assist so that increased braking will be applied the instant the driver depresses the pedal. The active braking feature will automatically apply the brakes up to a deceleration rate of 0.3 g if the driver fails to react to system warnings.

In the LS 600h L Launch Edition offered through Neiman Marcus, the Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) is the industry's first such system designed to help detect pedestrians in the vehicle's path. Using two small cameras mounted at the front of the car that work in conjunction with millimeter-wave radar, APCS is sensitive enough to detect certain nonmetallic objects.

The APCS option also integrates a Driver Monitor System first introduced to the world by Lexus. A camera mounted on the steering column monitors the orientation of the driver's face. If the camera detects that the driver is not looking directly ahead for a few seconds or more, and if an obstacle is detected ahead, the system alerts the driver first with a warning chime and a flashing light. As the car closes on the obstacle, if the driver does not react, APCS can begin to gently apply the vehicle's brakes.

To assist the driver in maneuvering around the obstacle, APCS adjusts the steering ratio to quicken the degree and speed of steering response. Simultaneously, in anticipation of a potential impact, the system automatically retracts the front seatbelts and prepares the brake system to respond with full power when the driver applies the brake pedal.

Lexus Navigation System

Lexus offers a navigation system in all 2008 models. -- A DVD-based system in offered in most vehicles and a new hard-disc drive (HDD) system in the LS models and the new LX 570. In the DVD-based systems, a single DVD holds all of the map data for the contiguous United States, Hawaii and select areas in Canada. All Lexus navigation systems feature voice recognition. In additional to having a larger capacity and a quicker response, the HDD systems can store up to 2,000 digital music files.

Voice recognition allows the driver to input the destination by voice command, even while driving. “Building footprint display” for four major cities can provide a graphic representation of the buildings near the selected destination or along a route to help the driver identify surroundings. The system also features phone-number-based business address recognition.

The newest navigation system offers Spanish for the voice prompt feature, along with English and French. The user can select language preference at system start-up. All Lexus navigation systems use a high-speed computer that offers quick route calculation and fast map scrolling.

Convenience features include multi-route calculation, route preview, simplified highway junction graphics and a dual-map screen mode. The Freeway Lane Guidance feature will alert the driver to the best lane for an upcoming exit. Additional functions of the navigation system vary by vehicle. On the LS models and the new LX 570, factory-installed XM® satellite radio features XM® NavTraffic with real-time traffic displays and dynamic route guidance.

Bluetooth® wireless technology integrates with the navigation system to allow the transfer of personal phone books. The driver can make hands-free phone calls via its touch-screen control panel. Customers can place a handset-free call by either using the keypad on the navigation system to dial a number, selecting their handset phonebook stored in one of two phonebook settings, selecting a point of interest or by using the one-touch dial feature. To help reduce driver distraction, the one-touch dial feature is the only dialing function that a customer can access when the vehicle is in operation. The customer can also use controls on the steering wheel to answer and end calls as well as to adjust call listening volume.

Anti-Theft System

Lexus equips all its 2008 models with an advanced remote keyless entry and a security system with immobilizer. Only the correct key code will start a Lexus vehicle. For convenience, Lexus integrated the remote lock/unlock unit into the key, eliminating separate remote-control unit.
SmartAccess

Standard in the new-generation LS, ES 350, GS and IS sedans and LX 570, SmartAccess allows the driver to unlock the car simply by pulling on the door handle (with the remote control carried in pocket or purse) and then start the vehicle at the touch of a button. The SmartAccess key fob, carried in the driver's pocket, transmits a radio signal to onboard antennas, authorizing the security system to unlock the car and permit the engine to start. The LS 600h L and new LX 570 are equipped with a SmartCard key wallet card that allows the driver to unlock and start the car if the main key fob is lost.

XM®/Sirius® Satellite Radio

Satellite radio capability, which with the appropriate subscription provides a wide selection of music and news/talk stations coast to coast, is available in nearly all 2008 Lexus models.

Mark Levinson® Audio

Lexus is the only automaker to offer an OEM mobile audio system by Mark Levinson. Audiophiles have recognized the Mark Levinson brand as a leader in high-end home audio components since the early 1970s. A Mark Levinson® Premium Audio System is standard in the SC 430 and LS 600h L models and available in all other Lexus models as an option. The Mark Levinson systems feature discrete amplifier design with ultra-low crossover distortion. All occupants enjoy optimal sound quality no matter where they are sitting.

The ES 350, IS and GS models offer a Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound audio system featuring a maximum of 300 watts of power for ES and IS and 330 watts on the GS system. These models feature 14 speakers (including a center speaker and subwoofer) and 7.1-channel speaker architecture. Specifications vary by model.

Standard on the new LS 600h L and optional for other LS models is a specially developed 19-speaker, 450-watt, discrete 5.1 Mark Levinson® Reference Surround sound audio system, creating a new benchmark for automotive sound systems with its theater-level entertainment experience. The new-for-2008 LX 570 luxury-utility vehicle offers a similar 19-speaker system. In most models equipped with Mark Levinson audio systems, the display screen provides an in-car theater. With the transmission in Park and the parking brake set, passengers can view a DVD movie on the navigation screen.

Rear-Seat Entertainment

All Lexus SUVs offer an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system, which plays movies on an LCD screen that deploys from the headliner in front of the second-row seats. Two sets of wireless headphones and a remote control are included with the option. The system uses large 9-inch wide-format screen.

The Executive Class Seating Package for the LS 460 L and the Executive Class Seating Package II for the LS 600hL include a rear-seat entertainment system featuring the world's first motorized, ceiling-mounted 3.0 VGA high-quality display with a nine-inch screen, which deploys via electronic-motor.