Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500 at Detroit, Lexus introduces the hybrid version of the coupe at Geneva.
First revealed at the 2016 North America International Auto Show in January, the LC 500 has been brought to the automotive world as the flagship coupe of the Lexus lineup. Toyota’s luxury division have also applied to the LC company’s well-known hybrid treatment and the brand’s LC 500 two door gets a newly-developed “Multi Stage Hybrid System”. This setup links the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain, including the 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission – in addition to the 6 speed CVT. The electric motor generates a better acceleration than a conventional engine, and adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with the driver’s inputs. The result is a 0-100 km/h in under 5 seconds, Lexus says, with a total system output of 264 kW/354 Hp.
The Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System also features the ‘M’ Mode—the first time when the brand allows the driver to select the gears on its full hybrid powertrain. A new lightweight and compact electric motor and a lithium-ion battery offset the weight of the added automatic transmission, and so the Multi Stage Hybrid System weighs the same as the current hybrid powertrain. The LC 500h is the first Lexus to benefit from the company’s all-new rear-wheel drive platform, which is part of a new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for future front-engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models.