A large capacity turbocharged V8 engine is in development
Lexus has quietly confirmed the existence of a new engine which could ensure more V8-powered products from the brand, in future. As downsizing pressure has forced many automotive companies to adopt turbocharging, the V8 engine configuration has come under scrutiny.
Despite V8s being a small volume of overall automotive sales, they trade mostly in the more profitable market segments. This has incentivised brands to keep them within product portfolios. For Lexus, its largest vehicles are all powered by V8 (RC, LS and LX) and there is a vested interest for the Japanese car company to keep this engine configuration in production. That challenge has now seemingly been solved by forced induction.
In many markets Lexus has become a unique product offering with its naturally-aspirated V8s, at a time when most rivals have all downsized and reverted to turbocharging for their V8 engines. To retain its V8-powered product appeal Lexus has now confirmed that the company’s engineers are developing a twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, due to be revealed in 2020.
Although engine capacity is unconfirmed, it is logical that Lexus would make this new engine 4-litres, which is what all its German rivals have done. This would allow it to benefit from a global supply network and scalable components, which have been established to support the development and production of 4-litre V8 engines.
With twin-turbochargers this new engine, due for eventual production beyond 2020, should make slightly more power than the current LC500’s 5-litre V8, which cranks 351 kW.