For years, a vehicle's fuel consumption depended on the engine's size and efficiency. Today, the advent of hybrid technology has changed the landscape considerably. The most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road today have dual powertrains that utilise the latest in hybrid technology. But even luxury sedans that rely on turbochargers rather than electric motors as part of their powertrain can be much more fuel efficient than a normally aspirated engine.
Turbo-charging your efficiency
Sedans are often regarded as being inefficient when compared to smaller vehicles. But in fact, the fuel efficiency of the average sedan is much better than you think. For example, the flagship Lexus LS has a twin-turbo V6 engine. Turbocharging an engine results in greater fuel efficiency as it harnesses the energy that would usually be passed straight out of the exhaust system. It compresses the air drawn into the engine to produce more power per cycle. This is why turbocharged engines deliver greater fuel efficiency.
Streamlining – style makes all the difference
Luxury car brands such as Lexus spend a great deal of time developing the ultimate aerodynamic body shape. The slicker the profile, the more fuel-efficient the vehicle will be as it slices through the air. If you look at the styling of the Lexus IS, for example, you'll see how the bonnet is longer and lower, with the curvature of the windscreen and roof set at a relatively low angle. This reduces the potential for drag to act against the car, which in turn, makes the car more efficient. All Lexus sedans adopt this sleek look – not only is it aesthetically pleasing to look at, but it has a vital role to play in the efficiency of the vehicle.
Leaner, lighter, faster
One key element that manufacturers of luxury sedans have been focusing on recently is reducing weight. The lighter the vehicle, the easier it is for its engine to move it along the road. In turn, that improves fuel efficiency. The Lexus ES long ago adopted an all-aluminium engine block, saving a considerable amount of weight. Sedans today have all the luxury touches you want, but the overall weight of modern vehicles has gone down thanks to the use of more lightweight materials.
This article started by mentioning the importance of the development of hybrid technology – something that is particularly well suited to sedans. You’ll most often find sedans in the urban environment, where stop-start traffic can compromise fuel efficiency and increase pollution. Hybrid cars use an electric motor for those short journeys through the city streets, and technology such as regenerative braking increases the range you can achieve with battery power before switching to the combustion engine.
Lexus has been at the forefront of hybrid technology and has produced a full range of sedans that have all the refinements of their petrol cousins, such as the Lexus ESh, but with that dual powertrain technology to improve efficiency. Because you're relying on an electric motor around town, the vehicle's overall efficiency is considerably higher. However, the benefit of a hybrid sedan is that once you hit the open road, you can switch to the power and performance of a petrol engine, avoiding the 'range anxiety' that fully electric vehicles can generate.
Overall, luxury sedans in the UAE are far more fuel efficient today, but with no compromise on the driver experience. Book a test drive today of any Lexus sedan through Al-Futtaim Lexus.