Lexus Manila launched the first full-hybrid luxury vehicles in the Philippines last Thursday at its grand showroom in Bonifacio Global City. The glamorous event was attended by media guests and some Lexus owners. Two models were introduced, namely, the 2011 RX450h, a ruggedly handsome hybrid model and its elegant counterpart, the LS600hL model.

Both models are equipped with Lexus Hybrid Drive, an advanced marriage of a gasoline engine with powerful electric motors. Unlike mild hybrids, the Lexus Hybrid Drive has a unique system which allows the vehicle to run completely on electric power resulting in zero gas emissions. When extra power is needed, both the gasoline engine and the electric motors work in conjunction with each other to deliver unrivaled throttle response and breathtaking performance. Lexus Hybrid Drive integrates various features into a full system to deliver maximum performance with ecological responsibility. These features include a regenerative braking system which converts braking energy which is normally discarded as heat into power for the batteries. It has an exhaust heat-recovery system which quickly diverts exhaust heat to warm the engine faster thereby reducing fuel usage and emissions.

The RX hybrid luxury SUV was the first luxury hybrid vehicle launched in 2005. Since then, Lexus has completed a line of performance hybrid vehicles. The 2011 RX450h is powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 engine with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) running on the innovative and fuel efficient Atkinson cycle. This is combined with front and rear, high output, permanent magnet electric drive motors for a combined system output of 295bhp. Part time all wheel drive is taken care of by the rear electric drive motors to ensure added agility and grip upon requirement. The RX450h's hybrid powertrain is completed by the adoption of an Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission with intelligence (ECVT-i) to ensure smooth, powerful, yet fuel-efficient acceleration and cruising.

The 2011 LS600hL redefines the word "flagship", combining the fun of a lead foot with the responsibility of a green thumb. This long-wheel base limousine is powered by a 5.0 Liter V8 with dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence and Electronic valve timing (VVT-iE) and a high-output, permanent magnet, electric drive motor.

The full-hybrid system delivers a combined maximum output of 438bhp to all four wheels through a full-time all-wheel drive system equipped with a TORSEN limited-slip differential. Relentless acceleration and practical fuel economy go hand-in-hand through the use of an innovative Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) with two stage reduction.

Lexus Hybrid Drive is an advanced system that offers dramatically enhanced performance and significantly lowered emissions. The Lexus full-luxury hybrid vehicles give more to the driver and take less from the world.

Lexus has once again raised the bar of performance.