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Lexus is a Japanese luxury car brand that’s known for building some of the most reliable cars in the world. Underneath the hoods of these cars, you’ll find a variety of engines – from turbocharged four-cylinders to large V8s. Considering Lexus has built many different engines over the years, we had to wonder: Which one is the best Lexus engine ever?

The best Lexus engine ever can be found in the LS

A Lexus factory worker works on a Lexus V8 engine
Lexus V8 | Getty Images

Although Lexus has produced many different engines filled with a number of outstanding technologies, the 1UR-FE engine stands out the most. That’s the designated engine code for the 4.6-liter V8 engine used in the Lexus LS 460, GS 460, and GX 460. It’s also used in other Toyota products like the Tundra, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser.

What makes the 1UR engine so special is that it’s entirely made out of aluminum and uses a forged steel crankshaft. In addition to six balancing weights, the crankshaft uses a torsional rubber balancer to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. The engine also uses aluminum alloy cylinder heads with separated camshaft housings.

Motor Reviewer points out that there are two camshafts for each cylinder bank with four valves per cylinder. Another key feature is that the 1UR engine utilizes cam timing chains as opposed to belts. There’s one chain that guides the intake cams, while a secondary chain guides the exhaust camshafts.

To make everything work together, the 1UR-FE engine has Toyota’s Dual VVT-I system to control the camshafts in addition to an Acoustic Control Ignition system, a Direct ignition system, and a throttle control system. Ultimately, what makes this particular engine so great is its reliability, technology, and power output.

Speaking of power, the 1UR engine produces different power ratings depending on the model. Over the years, the power outputs have ranged from 304 hp to 385 hp and 324 to 369 lb-ft of torque.

How long can a Lexus V8 last?

Lexus LS 450L badge
Lexus LS 450L badge | Getty Images

With all of these fancy technologies in place, it’s no wonder that the Lexus V8 can surely last for a long time. How long? The insurance website, Jerry, notes that a Lexus V8 should be able to last for at least 20 years and approximately 250,000 to 300,000 miles. That’s not surprising, considering there are plenty of older Lexus LS models with well over 200,000 miles. In fact, there’s one Lexus still running around with over a million miles on its odometer.

The Lexus 1UR-FE engine has a few common issues

Lexus LS 500 rear
Lexus LS 500 | Getty Images

Although it’s a great engine that can last a long time, the Lexus 1UR-FE has seen its fair share of issues over the years. The water pump is known to leak at times, and the hydraulic chain tensioner is known to fail, which can loosen the timing chain tension. Also, in the earlier years of production, the engine was equipped with thin valve springs.

Some owners have also complained about an increase in oil consumption. Otherwise, this Lexus V8 is known as one of the most reliable and even the best engines the Japanese automaker has ever made.