The New LS430 - Powertrain and Transmission | Part Three

Some of the most important changes are actually hard to detect with the human eye. More precise body stamping accuracy has been achieved and this combines with smoother bodywork and underfloor profiling and flush glazing to achieve an impressive coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.25 – among the lowest of any luxury car. For the motorist, this quality is reflected in the almost complete elimination of wind noise and greater stability in high speed driving.

The LS430’s flanks feature a smooth combination of curves and straight lines and are distinguished by new five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, perfectly in proportion with the car’s dimensions. At the back there is a new rear trim design which carries through the wider and lower themes of the front. The three-stage rear lamps now use LED units; these react faster than conventional lamps and so improve safety. A final flourish is provided by the twin exhausts, the tailpipes now moved into view on either side, beneath the bumper section.

Powertrain With New Six-Speed Transmission

Driving dynamics and performance have been further improved. The latest powertrain technology delivers improved fuel consumption and low emissions. The double overhead camshaft, 32-valve, 4.3-litre V8 engine develops 278bhp at 5,600rpm and 417Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. It can power the Lexus from rest to 62mph in 6.3 seconds – 0.4 seconds faster than the previous model – yet already complies with the stringent Euro IV emissions standards, due to come into force in 2005.

One of the most significant features of the LS430 is the new Super ECT-i, an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift mode, equipped with gear ratios that are both closer and cover a wider range than before. The transmission also uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) programmes that learn a driver’s style and match revs and gear change patterns accordingly. A link between the computerised engine management system and the transmission allows for a momentary reduction in torque to render gear changes almost imperceptible.

continues... | Part Four

Published : 08/11/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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