Lexus is the luxury division of the Toyota Motor Corporation. Although it functions as a brand within a brand, Lexus stands on its own as a unique brand with features that set it apart from other cars. One thing that is most notable about all Lexus vehicles is the reliability rating. The engines are built to hold up over time and have generated few reports of failure, unlike some other brands. Here are the things that make Lexus engines different from other cars.
Equipped with Toyota engines
According to My Wiki Motors, Lexus cars are upgraded luxury versions of Toyota vehicles. This means that the exterior and interiors of the vehicles are different, but the engine is distinctly Toyota. Generally, Turbocharged or naturally aspirated versions of Toyota's 4-cylinder engines are used in the smaller compact and mid-size models. The larger Lexus vehicles such as big sedans and SUVs are equipped with the straight 6 and V6 Toyota engines. The V8 engines are reserved for the top of the line models.
A supercar engine
The most powerful engine you'll find in a Lexus is the LFA 1LR engine. It features a high-rev design for the specific purpose of powering the only Lexus Supercar in existence, the LFA. It's the top of the line when it comes to engines. It's a 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V10 sport edition, tweaked to deliver high performance, quick acceleration, and blinding speeds when compared to the others.
Other categories of Lexus engine
Lexus has generally stuck to gasoline-powered engines, but they've also developed a hybrid powertrain combining electric motors with gas-powered engines. Although rare, you can find a diesel engine in a Lexus, such as the V8 1VD or the Straight-4, 2AD.
The best engine of the decade
Motor Biscuit identifies the 1LR-GUE as the best engine of the preceding decade. It's a sensational and unique design consistently named among the top ten of the decade, dedicated for use in the Lexus LFA. We're talking about the engine designed for use only in the LFA model. This is the only vehicle that the engine powered in the history of Lexus. What sets this powerful engine apart? There are quite a few details and we'll cover them here.
An iconic sound unique to the LFA
First, the supercar engine routed the exhaust gases around the deadening chambers to create a unique sound, which is notable in the LFA. It's comparable to owning a Harley if you're a rider. There's only one bike that sounds like an HD. In the same regard, nothing else sounds like the LFA, complements of the engine and exhaust design.
Constructed for speed and durability
The 1LR-GUE is constructed of aluminum, titanium, and magnesium to achieve ultra lightness in weight. The design achieved low friction internals and low mass. This gives it the capacity for a high-rev that takes it from the status of idle to 9,000 rpm in less than a second. The engine was finely tuned to produce a total of 553 horsepower and it rose in stature as the most impressive engine created for Lexus.
A winning design but losing game for Lexus
What is the cost of building one of the best overall engines in the world? For Lexus, it meant losing money on every model of the LFA sold. The exclusive supercar was first released for sale in 2009. Prototypes were built for the past ten years. These and concept cars had teased the public long enough.
The production models of the LFA were released in a strictly limited number from 2009 through 2010. This was easily one of the most coveted Lexus vehicles on the market during its time, and it was because of the impressive engine that the vehicle became such a sensation. Only 500 examples of the LFA were produced by Lexus.
The MSRP on the first LFAs was set at $350,000. When you considered what it had under the hood, true car enthusiasts with a need for speed merely nodded the head in agreement that the pricing was more than reasonable for what it delivered. You could compare it to the Ferrari Enzo, which was a suitable rival at the time, and the price was nearly doubled at a whopping $650,000, so yeah, it was a good deal.
The main problem was that when all was said and done, Lexus was losing money on the supercar, even with the $350,000 price tag. The Lexus LFA engine rose to become one of the most iconic designs of the decade. The distinction was not made to extol its ranking only within the Lexus lineup but rather through comparisons of all other engines in existence at the time.
Although there were other Lexus engines that made an impressive show, there was none that has compared to the LFA 1LR-GUE. When you consider that it was used solely in one model that was limited to a year-long production run of just 500 models, it was rocketed into a position of extreme exclusivity.
The LFA 1LR-GUE held its positioning as the most iconic and best engine in the world for a solid decade past its debut, which is nothing short of impressive. Although Lexus has not shared the precise breakdown of the associated costs of building the engine, or the 2009-2010 LFA supercar, we can assume it was close to prohibitive.
It's not understood why they didn't simply raise the price and continue to extend the line of LFA supercars past its limited production run. The nearest competitor was the Enzo Ferrari with a price tag that was nearly double that of Lexus. It's likely to remain a mystery, but we assume that Lexus must have had some very good reasons for their decision to discontinue the line and to stop the use of the engine of the decade. It will go down in the history of the brand as one of the best engines ever created, and perhaps for Lexus, that distinction is enough.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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