But the legendary V8 is likely on its last legs.
Whether it's powering a sports car in 2UR-GSE guise or a stately luxury limo in its 2UR-FSE format, the Toyota group's V8 is phenomenal. For some time now, it has provided incredible performance and a sonorous soundtrack for several Lexus vehicles, including the original IS-F, the beautiful LC grand tourer, and the fun IS 500.
But with an all-electric future inching nearer, engines such as the 2UR won't be around for much longer. Rival BMW has already introduced electrified performance offerings, such as the i4 M50 and the iX M60 SUV. So Lexus will surely be heading in the same direction, right?
Well, according to Lexus General Manager Andrew Gilleland, the 2UR may not be around for much longer, but fully-electric offerings aren't going to take over im. Speaking to Motor1.com, Gilleland said, "my guess is you'll see a lot of hybrid, in the connection with [F Models] before you get to full electric."
While nothing has been confirmed by the luxury carmaker, the Toyota group has recently replaced the aging 3UR V8 engine with a V6 powerplant in several offerings, including the Tundra, which is now available as a hybrid. What's more, a recent rumor indicates the upcoming Lexus RX will drop six-cylinder engines in favor of hybridized four-cylinders.
While Lexus and its parent company have been hesitant to adopt battery-electric vehicles, both recently unveiled electric SUVs. Lexus plans to compete in the premium segment with the RZ 450e, while Toyota's bZ4X will tackle the highly competitive mainstream market. It's worth noting Lexus sells an electrified version of the UX, but not in the U.S.
"I think the 2UR in its current form is on its last legs," said Gilleland. As hinted at, a hybrid system could be a great stepping stone for sporty Lexus models, providing superior efficiency without sacrificing performance. Perhaps a plug-in hybrid setup (as seen in the NX 450+) is the way forward for now.
While Gilleland didn't reveal too much to the motoring outlet, his insight into the future of performance Lexus models could signal a change in the way the company approaches its more dynamic models. As lovely as large capacity, naturally-aspirated engines are, emissions regulations are making things considerably tougher for carmakers.
"I think this is probably the last of it, certainly in the IS 500, it's one of the selling points. I can look a customer in the eye and say, 'I'm pretty sure this is probably it.'" When it comes time to discontinue the IS 500, we will certainly be saddened and miss the intoxicating V8 growl. But we have to applaud Lexus for its commitment to retaining an old-school setup, despite the current climate.
While the hybrid models that may possibly replace current V8 Lexus cars may not be as desirable, they will, at least, serve as a final goodbye to combustion-engined vehicles before the inevitable switchover to electric.