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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
5336We at my.IS were highly gratified when automotive trade journal Ward's AutoWorld and their WardsAuto.com website first selected the 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6 engine powering the Lexus IS350 (and GS350) to their Ward’s 10 Best Engines list <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f42/lexus-is350-engine-named-one-ward-s-2006-10-best-275574/">in 2006.</A> Calendar year 2006 saw <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f42/more-wards-10-best-is350-engine-278121/">a follow-up my.IS article on the 2006 award</A> and, at the end of the year, the great news that the Lexus 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6 <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f42/lexus-is350-engine-repeats-one-ward-s-10-best-2007-revised-26-dec-2006-a-314000/">once again won this award for 2007.</A> Last year, we wrote:

"Will the GR-FSE V6 rival Nissan's incredible 13 wins for its VQ-Series DOHC V-6? Time will tell, but, for now, we'll congratulate Toyota/Lexus engineers on this notable achievement. We're certainly looking forward to rewriting this story again this time next year..."

That time is now here, and, indeed, we're proud to announce that, for the third year in a row, the Lexus IS350/GS350 powerplant has won this prestigious, coveted award. Here's how WardsAuto.com writer Bill Visnic describes that engine this year:

Toyota Motor Corp.: 3.5L DOHC V-6
All right: V-8 challenging power and torque. Supreme refinement delivered the old-time Toyota Motor Corp. way. And an innovative fuel-injection layout that still has some competitors asking why they didn’t think of it.

Or, perhaps, “How could we ever afford that?” This, too, is part of the Lexus mystique – how Toyota’s premium division can continue to deliver top-shelf engineering and manufacturing for virtually every component, from hood release to fuel injector to trunk latch, yet remain price competitive.

All these aspects, and many more, make Toyota’s 3.5L DOHC V-6 a unique and singularly satisfying engine experience. We continue to call it the thinking man’s V-6.

As it earns its third consecutive 10 Best Engines award, Associate Editor Byron Pope sums up the Lexus-exclusive engine’s execution: “Good luck beating this in any category.”

In the titillating IS 350 sport sedan, the 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. (376 Nm) say “V-8,” yet there are just six cylinders. The signature design feat is the world’s first fuel-injection system that uses both direct (in-cylinder) injection and conventional port injection. (The new Lexus IS-F V-8 also has it.)

Toyota claims choosing between the two – or blending their actions – generates optimum power, torque, emissions and fuel economy.

That all happens (well, we’d argue a bit about fuel economy), and Lexus assumes you already know about its legendary refinement.

But where the IS 350 application really nudges the needle is that engineers seem to have deliberately let a little more emotion edge out the near-clinical refinement.

“Sounds fabulous when pushed,” says Editor Drew Winter, and all judges agree this unquestionably is Lexus’ most emotive engine.

That may be the most important marker set by Lexus’ scintillating 3.5L DOHC V-6 as the company experiments with the formula. If Lexus is able to combine its laboratory-grade levels of noise, vibration and harshness with the correct proportions of emotion that excite car junkies, even BMW needs to take heed.

Sure, there’s still a vague, paint-by-the-numbers feel during casual driving – as if somehow robots had more to do with it than humans.

But smash the throttle one time and rollick to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.6 seconds, and you won’t find anything digital in the experience.

As we’re beginning to see more and more with Lexus, digital they’ve got down; understanding of the joys of analog is quickly being acquired.

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<P><A HREF="http://wardsauto.com/reports/2008/tenbest/10_best_engines_2008/">A general article by Tom Murphy of WardsAuto.com</A> reminds us that behind every great engine is a team of great engineers and smart management to focus their energies on even the most daunting tasks. Powertrain engineers often toil in obscurity, getting their hands dirty in the often thankless task of building components that will be cut from solid chunks of metal and then pieced together on the assembly line. If all goes according to plan, the finished product achieves internal-combustion harmonic balance – and lures new customers to a particular vehicle or brand.

Also in that article is a reminder that, even though the Lexus GR-FSE V6's combination of direct and port injectors remains unique (and shared only by Lexus' 1UR-FSE/2UR-GSE/2UR-FSXE V8 family), direct injection is featured in 6 of the 10 Best Engines.

<A HREF="http://wardsauto.com/reports/2008/tenbest/10_best_engines_nominees/">Another article by Bill Visnic lists all 37 nominees</A> and makes these comments on the Lexus IS350/GS350 V6:

+ Carries a seriously big stick
- Speaks softly, though
= Subtle but convincing

Links to other WardsAuto.com articles on this subject, including a list of the other 9 winners, appear on <A HREF="http://wardsauto.com/reports/2008/tenbest/">a Special Reports page of their website.</A>

And here's hoping that we rewrite this story again next year...
 

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Of all the cars with all the motors that I've driven over all the years I like this one best of all.

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