Lexus has revealed a new electric drive control system DIRECT4, designed to achieve unique dynamic performance - the Lexus Driving Signature - for the luxury lifestyle brand's next generation of battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
DIRECT4 precisely controls the delivery of drive torque from front and rear electric motors and braking force to all four wheels.
By automatically adjusting the balance of front and rear-wheel drive, the system adapts the driving conditions to the driver's intentions, changing the driving feel and giving the car the best driving posture.
The system uses a front and rear e-axle, each featuring a high-torque electric motor and transaxle, focusing on optimum drive force distribution. As the motor is directly connected to the wheels by a single driveshaft, it operates without delay.
Its operation is intuitive and highly responsive, giving the driver a genuine sense of being fully connected with the vehicle. Moreover, it provides an ideal balance of predictability and excitement, with powerful, linear acceleration and exhilarating cornering.
At the same time, the system is engineered for quietness and comfort, true to the core quality of Lexus vehicles.
DIRECT4 is a core technology supporting Lexus Electrified vision, which targets a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment.
The new technology was introduced by Takashi Watanabe, Lexus Electrified Chief Engineer, in a short film interview. The film includes a practical demonstration of the benefits of DIRECT4 with track drives of prototype vehicles.
Mr Watanabe says one of the key aims of Lexus Electrified is to use new electric technologies to enhance the driving qualities to which human senses react.
In developing DIRECT4, Lexus has been able to draw on its unmatched experience in electrified vehicle technologies. This expertise supports the development of the Lexus Driving Signature, a unique standard that will define the dynamic performance of Lexus's next generation vehicles.
The Lexus Driving Signature aims to provide drivers with a natural driving feel, a sense of unity with their vehicle, and the genuine comfort that comes from confidence in a thoughtfully designed vehicle with the right balance of excitement and predictability.
The new film also provides a glimpse of Lexus's future design thinking, revealing sketches and images of a new concept car to be revealed in the first quarter of 2021.
Chief Designer Koichi Suga explains how electrification technologies will impact on vehicle design as well as performance; for example, with no requirement to provide front cooling for an engine and radiator. This will present exciting new opportunities to express technological advances in the car's three-dimensional form.
In Australia, Lexus will advance its leadership in electrification with the arrival of its first all-electric model, the luxury compact UX 300e, in November 2021.
The UX 300e represents the first iteration of the Lexus Electrified vision, harnessing more than 15 years of unrivalled Lexus expertise in electric motor, battery and energy management development.
This experience has resulted in the sale of Lexus self-charging hybrids representing one-third of the luxury lifestyle brand's overall sales in 2020.
Note to editors: the film cited in the release is available here: Lexus DIRECT4 electric drive control
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