The luxury-oriented subsidiary recreated the classic ad in 2020 with the current-generation LS 500 and chief executive officer Akio Toyoda behind the steering wheel. Once again, not even a single champagne glass moved despite the switch from a naturally-aspirated V8 to a twin-turbo V6 which isn’t related to the force-fed V6 powerplant in the Tundra.
Both the original V8 and the current crop of sixers were developed to be as reliable and smooth as technically possible, sacrificing the potential sportiness of the luxury sedan. Introduced in 2017 for the 2018 model year, the fifth-generation LS is the first to not feature a V8. Rumors dating back to 2016 indicated a twin-turbo V8 for the LC F, an engine that materialized in 2020 in a race-prepped car with a gigantic rear wing.
Months after the racecar’s first outing, reports from Japan sounded the death knell of the 4.0-liter mill that Lexus intended to use in the LS F as well. Come February 2021, yet another unverified report from the Land of the Rising Sun alleged that said engine isn’t dead. Toyota had also filed a patent for a hot-vee V8 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September 2020, showing two spinny lads nestled between the heads.
We’re in December 2022 now, going on January 2023, and guess what? Toyota hasn’t launched this engine yet, and Lexus hasn’t confirmed or denied any plans for an F-branded LC or an F-branded LS with said powerplant. More worryingly, the Japanese automaker has reportedly canceled the force-fed V8 again according to a report from Best Car.
The cited publication understands that Lexus pulled the plug on the LS F as a result of this unfortunate development, as well as the much-anticipated SUV based on the LF-1 Limitless design study.
Best Car notes that combustion-engined performance vehicles aren’t suitable for this day and age, probably referring to cost cutting posing as greenwashing despite Toyota’s reluctance towards BEVs. On the other hand, this hearsay could hold water given that the Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, and LX all dropped their NA V8s for TT V6s.