Right after the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500, Lexus brings us the LC 500h. This will be the world’s first car to feature a Multi Stage Hybrid System, which is the next generation in hybrid powertrains designed specifically for performance vehicles.
The LC 500h was revealed by Akio Toyoda at the 2016 North America International Auto Show. The eye-catching design, inspired by the LF-LC Concept in 2012, combined with the performance and craftsmanship set the 500h up to the flagship of the Lexus range. This car marks a new era for Lexus.
The new Lexus will be available with a choice of bespoke, 20″ cast, and 20″ or 21″ forged aluminium alloy wheels.
All of the information displays have been carefully arranged in order of importance by their proximity to the driver’s sight line. The instrument binnacle itself houses a variation of the innovative driver’s meter with moving centre ring from the LFA, and the centre console features a next-generation touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). In addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment.
The new hybrid system was developed with contrasting goals in mind: to create a hybrid with a more sporting and engaging driving experience, and to achieve the best possible balance of power and fuel consumption.
The new Multi Stage Hybrid System combines all the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain -including a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack connected to a 4-speed automatic gearbox, which is mounted at the back of the hybrid transmission.
The electric motor generates a better acceleration feel than a conventional engine. And, by adding physical gears, it more closely aligns engine rpm with the driver’s inputs. The result is a much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration, and 0-100 times well into the sub-5 second range.
The Multi Stage Hybrid System also features an ‘M’ Mode, which will be the first driver-initiated gear shifts offered on a Lexus full hybrid powertrain. The ‘M’ Mode gives drivers the ability to initiate direct and responsive gear shifts for the most sporting and engaging drive from a Lexus hybrid to date. The new electric motor is designed to be lightweight and compact, this will offset the weight of the added auto transmission. All this will mean that the Multi Stage system will weigh just as much as the current full hybrid powertrain.
The LC 500h is the first Lexus to benefit from the company’s all-new, premium RWD platform. This forms 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.
The new hybrid is also fitted, as standard, with the Lexus Safety System +, a newly developed portfolio of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations.
Combining a camera and millimetre-wave radar for a high level of detection performance, the Lexus Safety System+ features a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, which helps prevent or mitigate the severity of collisions, All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp technology.