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Lexus to swap V8s for turbo V6

Lexus RCF V8 engine

The days of the V8-powered Lexus could be numbered, with engineers ditching bigger engines in favour of smaller, more efficient units.

You won’t find the bleak future of Lexus’ V8 engines written on the wall. Instead you’ll find it nestled under the bonnet of the brand’s LS sedan.

When Lexus unveiled the top-tier version of its all-new flagship at the Detroit Auto Show, one thing was clearly missing. Well, two things, with the traditional eight-cylinder engine dropping to a twin-turbo V6 for the first time.

The new engine has been designed to offer the performance of a V8, but return better fuel economy, with the new LS generating a very healthy 310kW/600Nm. That’s enough to propel the luxe limo to 100km/h in 4.5secs, and also enough to at least partly outshine the brand’s 5.0-litre V8 engine, which will return 351kW/530Nm when it arrives in the LC 500 coupe later this year.

Obviously there's no reason to go back to V8.

And that spells bad news for Lexus’ long history of V8-powered models, with one of the brand’s chief engineers telling CarsGuide the new V6 could be rolled out to replace bigger displacement engines across the Toyota group, saying there’s “no reason to go back to a V8."

“Our intention was to create a V6, turbocharged engine that would be equivalent to, or something that would succeed the V8 engine, “ said Lexus LS chief engineer, Toshio Asahi.

“With that in mind, Toyota has many V8 engines within their line up so it could be a consideration as a replacement.

“But In regards to introducing a V6 turbo that is equivalent as far as the output goes to a V8 engine, but has a higher efficiency. If that's the case, obviously there's no reason to go back to V8.”

Does the loss of V8 power take the gloss off the Lexus badge? Tell us what you think in the comments below.